I made these cute little lovebirds for a Valentine’s day decoration, but I am definitely leaving them up all the time! These are hand-sewn with embroidery detail to give them a handmade touch. There is also a pattern included so you can easily make them too.
- Woven fabrics in coordinating colors
- Small piece of yellow felt (for the beak)
- Fibberfill stuffing
- Sewing needle and embroidery needle
- Thread and embroidery floss
- Fusible interfacing
- Sewing machine
Cutting Out Your Pieces
If you are using thinner or lighter colored fabrics, or just want your birds to be more stable you can use fusible interfacing. You will cut the interfacing pieces the same as your fabric.
- Body: cut 2 mirrored images out of main fabric
- Back piece: cut 1 out of main fabric
- Belly piece: cut 1 out of contrasting fabric
- Wings: cut 2 mirrored sets out of contrast fabric or additional accent fabric
- Beak: yellow felt (or color of choice)
*I chose to hand sew my birds using a whipstitch for all the stitching. You can also use a sewing machine with a ¼” seam allowance, but your final product may differ from that of a hand-sewn one.
- Cut out all fabric (and interfacing) pieces
- Iron interfacing onto the wrong sides of pieces if using
- Transfer beak and tail markings from body pattern piece onto the fabric
- Take your back and belly pieces and set them right sides together, line up the “noses” and sew along the rounded edge. *From here on out, I will refer to this as the nose seam.
- Line up the nose seam with the marking on the head of the main body piece. Make sure your back and belly pieces are on the correct sides of the body.
- Starting at the nose seam, sew the back piece along the top of the bird’s body easing it along the curves as you sew. Stop just next to the tail marking on the body piece. (If using a sewing machine, pin the back piece along the body then sew)
- Back at the nose seam, ease the belly piece along the bottom side of the main body piece the same way as the back piece, also stopping just next to the tail marking.
- Take your other main body piece, line up the nose seam with the head marking, and repeat the same steps sewing the back and belly pieces to the body up to the tail marking.
- Pinch the tail together where the two sides meet, make sure the “V” of the tailpieces line up.
- Start sewing where the stitching by the tail marking ended, attaching the base of the tail to the body.
- Work your way along each side of the tail sewing the sides together, but leave the end of the tail open to turn it right side out.
- Turn your bird right side out pulling through the open end of the tail. Now you have what looks like a floppy fish!
- Stuff your bird with fiberfill stuffing all the way to the end of the tail.
- Grab the tail and fold the raw edges in about 1/4″
- Sew the end of the tail together using a ladder (invisible) stitch or a whipstitch. I used a whipstitch on mine. The thread will be visible, as is most of my stitching, but it will be hidden by the embroidery stitching later.
- Fold your beak piece in half to give it a beak shape.
- Use coordinating thread to sew small whipstitching along the outer side of the fold to hold the shape.
- Line the fold of the beak up along the nose seam on your bird.
- Starting from underneath the beak, sew the beak to the body.
- Take each set of wings and put them right sides together.
- Sew around the edge leaving a 1″ opening to turn them right side out.
- Turn the wings right side out and put a small amount of fiberfill stuffing in them to give them some structure and puff.
- Fold in the raw edges and sew the opening together in the same way you did with the end of the tail.
All embroidery is optional. I think it takes it up a notch and gives your bird a more finished look. If you prefer not to add the embroidery details, skip down to “attaching the wings.” I have included several pictures of each type of stitch for reference. I have never embroidered anything so I have also included the names of each stitch if you need to look up further instructions or videos.
- We are going to do a BLANKET STITCH along the outer edge of the tail.
- Insert your needle from the underside of the tail at the base where it meets the body and pull up through the top leaving a small loop in the embroidery floss.
- Thread your needle through the loop from front to back and pull gently to close the loop.
- Repeat this stitching along the edge of the tail to the base of the tail on the opposite side. Try to keep the spacing between the stitches and length the same.
- Now we will be sewing a CROSS STITCH along the body seams. Looking at the bird from the top with the tail towards you, the left will be side 1 and the right will be side 2.
- At the base of the tail where you ended the blanket stitching, insert the needle into side 1 going from the tail towards the head.
- Push your needle through to exit on side 1 about 1/8″-1/4″ away from where it was inserted and pull the thread through.
- Jumping across the seam to side 2, insert the needle going from head to tail lining up the stitching with side 1. Pull the thread through.
- Going back across the seam, insert the needle into the fabric on side 1 even with the top of the “X” on side 2.
- Push the needle through to exit the same distance as your previous measurements, and pull the thread through. This completes the first “X.”
- Your floss is now on side 1. You will be crossing over to side 2 and continuing these steps along the back and belly seams.
- Along the outer edge of the wing, you will sew a BLANKET STITCH following the same steps as the tail.
- To create both the inner ring and heart, you will use a SPLIT STITCH. Make sure you are embroidering on the outside of the mirrored sets so you will end up with mirrored detailing.
- Insert your needle from the back of the wing and pull the thread all the way through.
- Decide the length of your stitches and try to keep them consistent throughout. Insert the needle through from front to back and pull through.
- From the back to front, insert your needle up through the previous stitch, splitting the threads on either side of the needle and pull through.
- Continue this stitch all the way around until you get back to the beginning.
- Use a pencil, pen, or chalk to draw a heart in the middle of the wing.
- You will use the same SPLIT STITCH steps to create the heart.
- Repeat all of the embroideries on the other wing.
Attach the Wings
- Position the wings how you like. You will be sewing from the midpoint of one side, along the edge closest to the head, and back down to the midpoint on the opposite side.
- Sew through both the body and backside layer of the wing using a whipstitch or straight stitch to join the wing to the body.
- Repeat with the other wing.
I added a little flower and she’s good to go. Now she just needs a friend! I chose to make mine into a hanger above my fireplace by grabbing a stick from my yard, wrapping jute twine to either end, and using a bit of hot glue to hold the birds in place.