I thought I’d jump back on the proverbial horse and sew something. Here’s a step-by-step of the penguin I designed for those sewing lessons I did last week.
If I had a scanner, I’d gladly give y’all the pattern, but…tough cookies. If you’re an experienced crafter, you can probably make your own by checking out these pics. Or you could ask me in the comments section to send you the pattern.
Here I have all my pieces laid out. (You’ll see later that the yellow feet pieces on the left were tossed for something bigger.) There are two body pieces that I’ve made sort of egg-shaped with a flat bottom, a tummy, four wings, two beaks, four feet, and button eyes. If you’re using felt or vinyl for the beak and feet, you won’t need to worry about raw edges, so you can make just one beak and two feet.
Now sew the tummy onto the right side of the body front. I used flannel, so I wasn’t really worried about fraying around the raw edge. I figured it would be fine. If anything, it would make the penguin look more fowl. (Get it? — Don’t worry. That’s the only pun I’ve got today.) If you’re worried about the raw edge, you can make a facing and sew it to the tummy before attaching.
Next, attach the beak and eyes. I chose to position my face to one side so he looks to his right a little. I just did one line of stitches along the top of the beak. (Obviously, if you’re working with two beak pieces, you’ll assemble them before this step. I’m just assuming that most people are going the easy route and using felt or vinyl. I think vinyl would look really cute for this project. Just saying. I couldn’t find my scraps anywhere, so I used this cute cotton print.) Make sure that you’re leaving plenty of room for your seam allowance. You don’t want the eyes getting in the way when you’re sewing your penguin together. (My student chose heart buttons for the eyes, so he’d look like he was in love.)
Now sew your first wing (right sides together, of course), leaving the top open. Trim, clip the corners/curves, and turn it right-side-out. Do the same for the other wing.
Fold the tops of the wings under and pin wings to the penguin front. Position them however you like, but be sure that the outside top corner leaves room for your seam allowance. (Another way to do this would be to insert the wings into the side seams when you’re sewing the body together, but I like this look better.) Then sew right along the top of the wings — about 1/8 in. from the edge. It should look like this when you’re done:
Now let’s do the feet. I tossed the yellow pieces, as I mentioned before, because they simply weren’t big enough for my taste. I found an old pair of green cargo pants and used that for the new feet. Of course, if I’d had my vinyl scraps, I wouldn’t need to sew the feet right sides together and turn them right-side-out. I could’ve just cut out two feet and pinned them in place like this:
No, they’re not upside down. They’re tucked in so that they’ll be on the correct side when you sew the body together and turn it right-side-out. (If you’re using vinyl, make sure the feet are right side down. That way the shiny topside will be on top and not that ugly underside.)
We’re almost done, but before we sew the body together, we need to tuck the wings out of the way — like this:
Now you can lay down the penguin back on top of the penguin front, right sides together (of course). When you sew these together, leave a gap for stuffing. I recommend at least two and a half inches along one side because the wings can be a bit bulky. Here, I’ll show you. The gap is between those red pins. Can you see them? My pictures aren’t that great.
Now we turn the penguin right-side-out. Be careful of the pins. You may want to reach in with your fingers and pull them out before starting to turn your penguin.
Isn’t he cute? Now we stuff and sew the gap shut to get this:
I’m amazed that he stands so well. Score for me. Though, looking at him now, I probably should’ve put more stuffing in the head. Ah well. I like him.