Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Intermediate Sewing: Chickens

These small stuffed hens can be made from scraps of fabric and any trims you can find. This one has tail feathers of stretch trim and a beak made from heart shaped buttons.
This one has a comb and wattle made from this metallic rick-rack, and tail feathers from white eyelet cotton gathered trim.
The eggs can be made two or three dimensional, depending on how many pieces you sew together.

Here is a close-up of the hen next to the matching kitchen curtains, showing the wings attached. Crafts like these are whimsical accents when you use left-over scraps from curtains and table cloths. If you make matching tea-cozies or potholders and other things, it makes a humble kitchen look co-ordinated.

Go to Martha Stewart for instructions on how to make these eggs, if you want something different than the cloth eggs.

 Click on the pattern, then "save" and print on card stock for your template.


Fabric scraps at least the size of the paper pattern
Trims and buttons, sequins for eyes if preferred, embroidery floss for eyes, eyelet ruffle or other kinds of ruffles.
Fiber fill tuffing
thin scrap of batting for the wings.
felt fabric for beak, wattle and comb, if preferred.


With pencil, trace pattern on doubled fabric on the wrong sides (fold fabric with right sides facing each other and wrong side out.

Cut out the card stock or paper pieces and lay them on the fabric, and if necessary, tape them down with clear tape or pin them to keep from moving while cutting.

If preferred, just trace around the pattern with a pencil and then cut out the fabric.
Sew the hen around , leaving open at the "x's".

After sewing around the chicken, turn it right side out, and press with the iron to make the seams smooth.

The gusset is not necessary but you can insert it at this time. I found that just by stuffing the hen a little more full at the bottom, it would sit just fine with out the gusset.

After stuffing, sew the gathered lace around both sides in three rows.

If inserting a gusset, cut a cardboard piece and put it inside the hen in the same place as the fabric gusset.

Cut two pieces for each wing, and sew around it. Cut an X on one side of the wing and turn it right side out. Then stuff with a piece of matching batting that has been cut to the same size as the wing.

Stitch along the stitching lines of the wing to make it look like feathers.

Attach the wings by the x's by making small over-cast stitches.

Sew several rows of ruffled trim on the tail, by hand or machine, turning it around to the other side also.

Sew the beak of whatever trim or fabric you like, and add the wattle and comb of preferred material or trim.

(pictorial tutorial may appear later)

The larger hen in the middle is made of felt with seams sewn on the outside.

You can also use this pattern to make cards from scrapbook papers and card stock, or make large chickens from heavy paper by adding a stand on the lower edge.  If you want to make chickens that fit envelopes, just reduce the pattern and make a template.


Jenny said...

Oh they are so adorable!!

I need to get from super beginner to intermediate in my sewing so I can try them!

Miss Linda said...

These are charming! Thank you for sharing such a whimsical idea for using up scraps.

clevsea said...

Very cute and what a good project to use up little bits of trim and fabric.

I think children would love to make these too.

When I was young we made bean-bag frogs that could sit up. What fun!

Elizabeth said...

Oh, how adorable, a perfect spring craft for young girls to make. Thank you for the time and effort you put into making life a bit more lovely!

Anonymous said...

This is so cute!!!

Anonymous said...

--I have a few ceramic chickens in my kitchen and I’m thinking of making a couple of chickens to go with them. I went back to the swans you did for Christmas and thought of how pretty and elegant a fabric swan would be in a living room, on a dining room table, or on a buffet.