Introduction: Travel Bird
HERE IS THE PATTERN FOR MY TRAVEL BIRD
He is fun to carry around and travels well in a pocket, purse, or car.
He is fun for children and adults alike to prop up in unusual or exciting places.
I have found that people are willing to pose with him, making lasting memories of your travels.
Even the most normal places seem different when you add him to a picture.
The possibilities are endless!
For my bird, I stuff him in what ever I am carrying and pull him out however squished he is and take his photo at arms length or propped up/in/against something. I don’t adjust his beak because he seems to have funny/candid expressions that I find amusing.
My bird has been everywhere with me and has posed in odd places and has been photographed with people, including my family and the lead singer of the band Seether. No better ice breaker or conversation starter than pulling out a homemade funny looking stuffed animal and explaining his adventures and future plans. I find almost everyone warms up to my bird and are willing to play along.
Step 1: Needed Materials
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
A sock – at least calf length (crazy patterns work well)
Stuffing – can be new or recycled from an old pillow, I prefer "cluster stuff" by Morning Glory found at Wal-Mart (oh how I miss Wal-Mart!!!).
Thread – matching or contrasting…its up to you
2 Buttons – for eyes, but consider something else if you are going to give this to a small child. I pictured little rivet things you can place before you start sewing, but again is not totally childproof. Think about gluing fabric eyes or using a marker instead.
Sewing machine is optional but I find it easier and more fulfilling to hand stitch. Plus I don't like it when my machine catches and pulls the knit through and this pattern does not take into account seam allowance.
And warning: I am not a seamstress, nor do I claim to be. I am a crafter. My stitches are not purdy, and I may call them the wrong names (so please feel free to correct me).
Step 2: Body Work
Sew the top of the head with a whipstitch.
Stuff the body, keep him pliable and don’t stretch the sock too much.
Sew the bottom with a whipstitch.
Using vertical running stitches, create tail feathers through all layers. This is like quilting. You can move the stuffing out of the way for a flat tail or move stuffing down before stitching to create more “puffiness”
Pinch down the heel of the sock and run a stitch about ½ inch from the edge to create beak. Keep some stuffing in the beak. I used the grey portion of the heel as my guide here. Leave a good length of thread and the needle attached at the end.
Move the bulk of the stuffing down towards the body.
Using your thread and needle at the end of the beak, push the needle through the inside and come out just under the middle of the beak and lightly tug. In approximately the same place, push needle and thread through to the back of the body slightly above the position of the beak and tug. Move thread slightly and push back to the same spot in the front and then towards the back again, tug slightly again, then tie off. This creates the shape of the body.
Take your time selecting and trying out eyes. Your choice and placement will create character that can reflect your personality or style. You can spring for teddy bear eyes, buttons, mismatched items, place them askew, or as in original “Bird” use a marker which ends up rubbing off the white buttons and his look can be easily changed.
Cut rectangle of the ribbing and use as feet. I just tacked it down in the middle and then cut off the corners.
Step 3: Wing Work
Keeping the wing portions folded, sew up the open long side and one end with the whipstitch. Stuff lightly.
You can also choose to create shape to your wing. I shaped the wings on my original bird, but for this instructable I kept them as I show in my beginning pattern (rectangular).
Don’t feel obligated to even use the same sock for the wings…
Get creative!!! Go for it…
These are just guidelines anyway…. :
Ok, where was I?
I like placing the wings on the sides and near the tail. But you can try next to the beak or somewhere in between.
Attach to the body by placing the wing on top of the bird and then pinch the end next to the body making sure you see both layers of your wing. This part is the hardest for me to explain. I hope you can read my mind at this point. I did include a picture of this part.
Do your most meticulous sewing when attaching the wings. This part of the bird receives the most abuse (from my experience). My original bird has had two partial wing amputations which required emergency staples before I could get back to the needle and thread.
Step 4: Pattern for Shorter Socks or Matching Stripes
Original bird was made with a shorter sock. His pattern varies as yours may have to depending on the type of sock you use. Instead of cutting the wings vertically from the sock, the wings were cut horizontally and then sewn along both long sides.
The bird used in this instructable was a men's sock making him larger.
A good reference and my inspiration came from:
Original bird also has his own facebook page! He welcomes everyone to submit their travel bird adventure photos!