Tuesday, 3 November 2009

It's a Hoot!

My daughter Ellie and I found this neat owl bag when we were looking for some autumn craft ideas over the half term break. The brown owl bag comes from Ellen Baker at thelongthread.com I've added a link on the side bar so you can visit her. You can see our version just below. But the bag has morphed into snugly cover for a hot water bottle.
Hot water bottle?? Well, hot water bottles are a big deal over here in cold damp England. A hot water bottle is one of life's simple pleasures. I don't think that I ever ever used one when I lived in Baltimore but everybody uses them here, even kids. Especially if they have a soft fleecy cover!
So here's what we did. First we rummaged around my bag of left over fleece. I love working with fleece because it is so soft and cuddly, it also keeps its shape and won't unravel. I just traced around the hot water bottle and cut the front out a bit larger. The back of the cover was pieced, with an overlap, just like the back of a cushion cover. Then we put right sides together and sewed all the way around. Hey presto one hot water bottle cover.
Now for the owl. Again, using a double layer of fleece, I cut an owl shape that would cover the front, put right sides together and sewed most of the way around, leaving a gap at the bottom so I could turn it inside out. I machine stitched the gap closed - it will get covered by the feathers. We traced and cut some circles for the eyes and a triangle for the beak out of other colours of fleece and top stitched them down on the machine with some pretty variegated thread.
For the feathers, I decided to raid my stash of designer fabrics. I cut a two inch strip along a selvedge edge and cut scalloped feathers. I then turned this wrong side up in an arc and machine stitched the selvedge edge to the fleece. This hides the stitching and gives the feathers a bit of loft when they flip over. I went on to add 3 more strips of feathers in the same way. Finally, we used the buttons for the center of the eyes to attach the owl to the hot water bottle cover. This was fun and fast and now everybody wants one.
This 'Spotted Owl' fabric from Alexander Henry's In the Kitchen collection is well worth a closer look. Now that everybody in our house wants their own owl cover - we'll be needing inspiration from this Parliament of owls. As ever, a picture is worth a thousand words so click on any of the images for a good close up shot.

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