2 pieces of fabric 13x25cm, for the body
fabric 8x12cm, for the wings
selection of fabric scraps (to complete the wings and red breast)
felt 3x5cm, for the beak
felt 2x4cm, for the eyes
2 small buttons, for the eyes
2 buttons, to decorate the wings
red sewing thread
sewing thread to match your chosen body fabric
cream embroidery thread (I used pearl cotton 12)
40cm craft wire, 18 gauge, for the feet
plus the usual needle, pins, scissors etc plus pliers for working the wire and some glue
1. If you are using a sewing machine, set machine to a straight stitch, stitch length to 3 or alternatively this can be sewn by hand using backstitch. Pin the 2 body shapes, right sides together, and using the sewing thread which matches the body fabric, sew around the edge, roughly half a cm in from the fabric edge, leaving the turning gap (noted on the template) open. Turn the body right side out, and stuff with the toy stuffing.
2. Working with the fabric scraps begin to cover the open hole, through which the stuffing was placed, by appliquéing randomly cut pieces to create the Robin’s red breast. Attach each patch with random straight stitches using the red sewing thread.
3. Lightly tack each wing in place, just in the part closest to the bird’s head, on either side of the Robin, still using the red sewing thread. Add another patch of randomly cut fabric to the top of each, again appliquéing with random straight stitches. Switch to the cream embroidery cotton, and attach a button to each wing to decorate.
4. Still using the cream embroidery thread, fold the beak in half, and attach to the face. Fix the eyes in place by sewing a small button to the center of each of the felt circles. To finish, add a few additional random straight stitches to the red breast area.
5. Bend the length of craft wire to make the feet following the diagram, and trim off any excess wire. Now, this is where it can get a bit fiddly! Glue the centre section of the wire feet to the underside of your Robin and add some pins to hold it place while the glue dries. Remove the pins, and stitch on another fabric patch to hide the glued area. Just remember, you may need to adjust the feet and legs a little to get your Robin to stand.
TIPS & HINTS
For both birds, when working with the fabric scraps, these are best cut randomly, without templates, as you go. Don’t worry about edges fraying or overlapping, this simply adds to the quirky nature of the finish.
When stuffing, I like to put quite a lot in to give the birds a firmer appearance.
In asking the sewer to cut random shapes for some of the appliqué, it enables a little bit of designing and personalizing of your Robins to take place.
All of the sewing can be done by hand but a sewing machine can be used for the adult Robin’s body if you prefer.