Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Bird Is The Word: A Cuddly Fleece Bird Softie

This is Doopy Bird.  At least that's what my kids have named him.  He's cute and weird and handmade so he deserves a fun name for sure.  

For Christmas I wanted to focus less on buying and more on making, so I made fleece plush toys for each of my kids.  I was a bit short on time to completely design 3 new patterns from scratch, so I finally broke open some softie pattern books I'd bought ages ago and still never used (aka typical craft hoarder scenario).  This fleece bird was one of them. His actual pattern name is Bitty Bird, but I think I prefer Doopy myself.

He's from the book, Fleece for Kids by Mary Emery Vollertsen.  I bought the book when I was new to sewing and just starting with fleece.  Fleece is the ideal fabric for making plush toys and for sewing beginners by the way.  8 yrs later I'm finally using it and no longer a beginner, but it was just what I needed in the holiday hurry.  There are a number of cute soft toys like dinosaurs, birds and a bee puppet included, plus lots of hats and tops. I liked it because it came with paper patterns, not the usual "here's a line drawing, now try to magically scale this up on your printer.  That was the the big plus of the book.  The second plus is a good sized section with technique info on smocking, tucking, fabric sculpting and appliqués.

The big minus?  Those handy paper patterns only applied to the toys in the book, not any of the clothes heavily featured, which was the main reason I wanted it in the first place. Showing a bunch of cute tops and hats, but then in the instructions saying "find a basic garment pattern" and then just some minor steps to embellish it with was a bit of a let down. As was the fact that said embellishments were for a single size.  Even if you found the ideal pattern to do the adorable smocked coat and bonnet, her measurements for the smocked bit were for newborn size only.  Not very helpful.

However, Doopy Bird was a pretty quick sew.  I made him in an afternoon.  The pattern and instructions were basic and easy to follow and it would be simple to change his look with different colors, prints and eyes.  He's got some fun tassel-y top and tail feathers that really make him interesting.  I'd definitely make him again.  

Right now, he's enjoying hanging around, being a fun bird and chilling out with my doopy kids.  Since he sewed up so fast, it gave me time to draft my other two softies, which will be coming up soon.


  1. Wishing you and your family a healthy and lovely New Year 2017 ahead! The bird is super cute. Thank you for featuring my blog post red uniform sweater revamp with embroidery on your liked list. Thanking you again for your lovely creations and link parties!

    1. Thank you & a Happy New Year to you as well. Be sure to grab a Featured On button to toot your horn for your great idea!

  2. What did you stuff it with? I'm currently working on some off-shaped (I.e. not fitting a pillow-form) toy-pillows. Any recommendations that would keep it somewhat in shape?

    1. I used polyfil (fiber fill) stuffing. It's inexpensive and works well to keep just about any shape.


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