how to make a tufted titmouse : a sew-along

The tufted titmouse sew-along begins today! What’s a sew-along? Everybody works on the same project at the same time and shares images if they feel like it. That’s pretty much it.  You can share your images on instagram using #annwoodpattern or in the facebook sew-along group or join stitch club- the ann wood handmade community.

We are using the songbird sewing pattern.

Today we’ll get into the steps for making the tuft – the defining feature- and a couple body details.  First let’s talk about some other tufted titmouse features to consider:

  • the beak is smallish, black, short and symmetrical
  • the eyes are black
  • the tail is pretty short
  • the dominant colors are snowy white, soft grays, a little black and there is an orange patch on its flanks.

Make the bird body from snowy white fabric. For the tuft, wings, feathers etc. you’ll need a little black, a couple shades of gray and maybe some orange (more on that below).  All the fabric should be light weight. It’s also handy to have a fine black sharpie.

download the tuft templates


1. Make your bird in white and add a little black beak. Pro tip – make a few beaks and pick the one that feels just right for your bird,

2.  Mark the center tail 3/4 inch from the edge.

3. Trim to a point and stitch closed.

4. Cut out the crest and head cover pieces from gray and the little beak tuft from black. If you’ve made the cardinal this process is mostly the same with a couple details adjusted

5. Use the head cover template for the tufted titmouse. Pin and then whip stitch it in place.

6. Fold the pointed end of the crest 1 piece.

7. Pin in to the top of the head and stitch around the edge.

8. At the back stitch the sides of the opening together – just at the base.

9. Pin the crest 2 piece the same way – on top of crest 1 and stitch around the edge. Again – at the back stitch the sides of the opening together – just at the base. Feel free to stop adding layers here if 2 feels like enough for you – or – carry on with layer 3.

10. Add the third crest piece.

Optional –  give it a trim and fray the edges. You can also make a few stitches through the crest layers.

There’s one more detail for the crest – a little black patch above his beak. You can do it the easy way – just cut a little patch and stitch it on or- use the beak tuft template.


Cut the tuft from light weight black fabric- fold it at the center and pint the folded edge to the crest. Stitch the fold in place with tiny whip stitches.

Clip into it, fray the edges and trim. I had a little white space above the beak that I filled in with a fine sharpie.

Finally for the orange patch under the wing –  I used colored pencils in bright orange and yellow – I might also ad some stitches in bright orange thread.  Pro tip – test first on a scrap of the body fabric. You could alternatively stitch on a little orange patch – a thrifted silk scarf would be ideal.

As I make progress on my titmouse I’ll update this post with more tips and images (look for that the middle-ish of next week).  Let’s shoot for having our birds done and ready to be photographed in the wild by by April 22.

UPDATE  4/15-

I’m just about done with the wings.  The orange colored pencil added to the body didn’t show up enough so I added an extra feather on the side (using the tail feather template) in an orange coral.  For a little black detail in the wings I also an extra wing accent in the back near the tail.

My tufted titmouse just needs eyes and legs. As soon as he is done I’m going to photograph him in one of the pink flowering trees.

Are you tufting a titmouse? Let us know in the comments.

PS – Did you feel that? Just as I was finishing this post the east coast had a little earthquake!


  1. Christine

    I love this little bird! I just saw a video of a nesting blue tit which is related but colored differently, It would make a very pretty cloth bird. And yes, that was the scariest earthquake (third floor of a 100+ year old brick building in NJ!) I have ever felt and I lived in California for many years!

  2. I like this sew along of yours. And had always an idea to make a bird of you. And now we are learning to adjust your pattern . I like that. I like havehat little bird too. I having an idea to make a Beck of clay. My hands aren so good to carve a Beck of wood. Is this smart it or do you have an orher option. The tutorial is great i understands your picture very well. Wishing you a great weekend.

  3. Jennifer

    I am in…..I have long wanted to make one of your birds. Totally a beginner with my sewing skills!

  4. Jennifer

    Oh!!!!! We felt the earthquake in Saratoga Springs! The table moved!!!

  5. Barbara Brown

    I’m going to make him. Might have to shop for some grey.

  6. Let your hair down and sit under a tree. A titmouse bird may land on your head and pluck your hair. It happens to me every Spring !

  7. antonella

    Grazie…proverò anch’io ma, non prometto il risultato..

Comments are closed.