This all started when I saw those Ugly Dolls in a store last winter. It was before I got my sewing machine, but I thought to myself, ‘I could make that’. Actually, it was my mother who wouldn’t let me buy one, and insisted I could make something like that once I learned to sew. Then, I got Pottery Barn catalogs (almost once a week around the holidays- annoying! but i do rip out pages from the kid’s sections of things I like for a little inspiration) and, these caught my eye. So, I kept the idea in the back of my mind, and as soon as I got my sewing machine for Christmas and learned the basics, I made a prototype. I wanted to make a soft owl with big eyes, so I used some of Dean’s old clothes and some felt and I came up with this: (keep in mind, this was like the 2nd thing I ever made, so it’s pretty simple)
Ellery loved it. She holds him close when we read books at night, and recently we started putting him at the corner of Grant’s bed, so he could watch over him with those big eyes when it’s dark. I wanted to dress the owl up a bit, so I added some wings kind of like the ones on the pottery barn dolls. I also wanted him to have long soft legs- I had a hard time with those at first, but eventually figured it out by using some soft off-white cotton flannel stuffed with batting. I make some funky little booties and used shimmery floss to tie them on…. Here is how it all went down:
I made the face on this blue flannel. Using a zig-zag stitch, I went around the wings (made of a really cute printed flannel) to keep them in place. I used embroidery floss to hand sew the eyes and nose on.
For the back of the owl, I wanted a contrasting fabric so I usde this super soft blue and tan checkerboard. Here, you can see me putting the right sides together.
A view of the back of the owl (wrong side)
Next, on the wrong side of the owl’s face, I used a permanent marker to draw the owl’s shape. I then sewed all along that shape, leaving about 2″ open at the bottom so I could stuff the owl….
I then cut the owl out, staying pretty close to the seam….
Then I turned him right-side out! See his friends? I had a little assembly line going on here…. they were all very patient for their turn.
I wish I took a picture of me stuffing him, but… I didn’t. But, if you can picture it- I stuffed him tight with batting- starting with those pesky ears. I had to use a long knitting needle to make sure the batting went all the way into the corners. My prototype’s ears weren’t properly stuffed, so he’s looking a little droopy now. Once he was stuffed, I hand-stiched the bottom closed, and placed the legs in as I went. Now that I think of it though, I may have used the machine to do that so they were sure to not budge… Anyway, here’s the little owl. He’s been shipped off to my friend Shawna in Seattle, where he will be on the look-out, perched on a shelf in her new baby’s nursery…