Saturday, 20 August 2011

Bird Mobile

One of my friends has decided to decorate her new nursery with hanging bird mobiles so I thought I'd see if I could make some for her. After some searching I found some wired feathers that I'd used as water round a dolphin birthday cake for my daughter ( of course I kept them afterwards!). I used cotton fabrics but backed them with very thin iron on vilene so that I could have a very narrow seam allowance. They were great fun to make and I'm thinking of producing a load of red and gold ones for the Christmas tree.  The pattern is here if you want to make one.

Bird Mobile

thin iron on vilene
small pieces of cotton fabrics
two beads for eyes
small amount of polyester toy filling
three bunches of wired feathers( if required)

Click here to download a PDF pattern (there's no charge).

To make the fabric bird
      1/8inch,3mm seam allowance allowed throughout

  • Download and print the pattern
  • Cut round the pieces and use them to  draw the pattern onto the non-sticky side of the vilene.
  • For each bird draw:- 2 bodies (one in reverse), 2 tails (one in reverse), 4 wings (two in reverse) and 1 body gusset
  • Cut round the pieces a little way outside the drawn line
  • Place both body pieces, a pair of wings and one tail piece on the back of the main fabric, a pair of wings, a tail and the body gusset onto the back of the contrast fabric
  • Iron the vilene pieces onto the cotton fabrics and cut out along the drawn line. 

  • Pin the body gusset to one of the body pieces (right sides together) matching points A and B
  • Join from A to B
  • Fold the body gusset outwards and pin it to the other body side, matching points A and B
  • Pin two body pieces together and join  under body from B to tail point
  • Join from point A around head and along back to about 2 inches(5cm) from tail
  • Fasten off thread and leave this section open for filling
  • Turn the birds body right side out
  • Fill with polyester filling until quite firm
  • Ladder stitch filling gap closed

Using a small zigzag stitch (or buttonhole stitch if hand sewing) join the two tail pieces together
Join the wing pieces together in the same way
Attach tail around tail point
Attach wings from D to E only (so that points stand away from body)
Hang using invisible thread from centre back (If head dips move hanging point closer to head)

 To make the feathered bird

Ignoring the wings and tail make in the same way as the material bird but when you cut out the body pieces make a hole in them at point B ( I used a knitting needle)
  • Fill only as far as these holes
  • Take a wired feather bunch and push the covered part of the wired feathers through one of these holes
  • Repeat with the other hole
  • Twist the two wires together and trim off the ends
  • Fold in the tail point about (1/4inch 6mm)
  • Trim the wire on the third feather bunch to where it meets the covered section and lay it onto this fold so that the covered section is inside the bird
  • Fill the bird's body and close the filling gap with ladder stitch making a few stitches through the covered section of the feathers as you sew
  • Hang using invisible thread from centre back (If head dips move hanging point closer to head)


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