There is something quite special about handmade Christmas decorations. That feeling you get seeing all your handmade decorations hanging on the tree is wonderful. They become keepsake items to use year after year.
From Mandy Shaw’s book Celebrate With a Stitch we have a gorgeous Robin redbreast decoration that we would like to share with you.
There is no sight more cheery than a perky little robin redbreast. This little bird will need a good deal of stuffing to puff out his bright chest. Make a flock and hang them from a twisted willow branch, covered in twinkling lights.
You will need for one robin
- 7.5cm x 7.5cm (3in x 3in) red fabric or felt
- 25.5cm x 15.5cm (10in x 6in) brown fabric or felt
- 7.5cm x 5cm (3in x 2in) white fabric or felt
- Scrap of yellow felt
- Two micro black buttons
- Polyester stuffing and fabric glue
- Brown coton à broder
- Finished size: 10cm x 7.5cm (4in x 3in)
1. Use the robin pattern (see Templates) to cut out: two bodies, four wings and one tail from brown fabric/felt; one breast from red fabric/felt; one belly from white fabric/felt; one beak and two feet from yellow felt.
2. Place the bodies right sides together and sew from A to B only, using a 6mm (¼in) seam allowance and stitching by machine, or by hand with very small backstitches, using matching thread.
3. Place the red breast on top of the white belly so it overlaps at the seam and tack (baste) in place. Blanket stitch the two pieces together by hand. Sew the tail to the other end of the belly.
4. Insert the joined breast/belly/tail piece into the main body, matching and pinning point A to the tail with a little nip and tucking. Sew all the way around leaving no gap for turning through (see step 6).
5. Pair the wings together, right sides facing, and stitch all the way around the edge, leaving no turning gap. Make a slit in the inside layer only of each sewn wing (take care not to make the slits on the same side of each wing). Turn the wings to the right side through the slits, and then sew the slits closed. Sew around the edge of each wing with blanket stitch.
6. To turn the robin’s body through to the right side, make a slit on one side of the bird’s body where one of the wings will be positioned (the wing will hide the sewn up slit). Turn inside out and stuff with polyester stuffing paying particular attention to the breast. Make sure the robin is really firm, squashing the body around in your hands to get a nice shape. Sew the slit closed with ladder stitch (see Techniques: Utility stitches). Apply fabric glue to the open side of the wings, then attach to either side of the robin’s body making sure to cover the turning slit.
7. Embroider over the body seams with blanket stitch, then sew a micro button eye on either side of the robin’s head pulling the thread up tightly to get an indentation for the eye socket.
8. Glue or sew the beak onto the robin’s head and the feet beneath the body. Sew a length of decorative cord or a thin piece of ribbon to the back of the bird for hanging.