OK Internet, as promised, an owl craft made just for you! You can download a PDF pattern for this little Owl at the bottom of the page.
I have been stuck in bed this week, hit hard with the worst cold I think I have ever had. So if you want to try this at home, it is so easy it can be done under the covers, on a lap tray, while drinking tea and hunting for a good movie on Netflix. I just hope your partner doesn't mind little bits of felt and fluff in the bed!
I made this little owl out of some of my wool felt scraps and a tiny Japanese measuring tape which I had picked up ages ago at my favourite local fabric store, Gala Fabrics. Our little owl friend is hand sewn and embroidered with cotton embroidery threads, and stuffed, along with the measuring tape, with a little polyester fiberfill and some quilt batting. It is hard to see in the pictures, but the tape has a pull tab which comes out just behind the owls wing. If you don't have a tiny tape measure, you can still make a stuffy version or applique him onto any of your projects for some added cute.
The first step is to decide what colours you like for your owl and cut out all your felt pieces. This took my sick-addled brain a long time, but I finally I chose some of my favourite colours, a soft heather purple and pink with light browns. If you design your own felt animal for this project, notice in the photos below that you need to make the body at least a 1/4" bigger than your tape measure on all sides
Next, sew on the felt features and embroider the body of your owl. I used 3 strands of embroidery floss for most of the decorative stitches, 6 strands of brown for the owl body, and 2 strands to sew down the eyes and beak. I also used a little bit of stuffing in the beak to make it puffy. All my stitching is just simple straight stitches and overcast stitches. If you are not under the influence of a big mug of NeoCitran, you might want to attempt something fancier, but it's not really necessary (I had this idea to cover the back of the owl with lazy-daisy stitch "feathers", but that seemed too exhausting).
Decorate the front of each wing as you like and then sew the wing fronts and backs together with 2 strands thread, adding a little stuffing before closing them up. Stitch together the little toes. I used 1 strand of floss in a fine needle to make sewing the tiny little toes easier.
Cut out two pieces of cotton quilt batting a little smaller than your owl body. I used a little quilt baste spray (yeah, don't do that step in bed!) to attach the batting to the wrong side of each brown body piece. Position your measuring tape button side down, on the back side of your owl body, so that the tab comes out behind where a wing will be. I held the tape in place with a couple of basting stitches which I pulled out when the owl was finished.
I sewed the body together with overcast stitches, starting from the middle of the head and working my way around clockwise. Stuff as you go, both around the edges, and adding a little stuffing on top of the tape.
When you reach a spot to insert wings or feet, tuck them between the two body pieces and make sure your stitches catch all 3 layers as you sew. When you reach the tape measure tab, cut a little slit in the felt so that the tape can move freely (see picture above).
Keep sewing and stuffing until you reach the top of the head again, make a knot and then draw your thread through the owls body. Clip the thread close, the tail will be pulled back into the owls body. Pull out the basting stitches around the measuring tape from the back.
This little owl would be a great gift for a crafty friends sewing box, but a handy little measuring tape in your purse is really useful for thrifty shoppers too! I find carrying a measuring tape to garage sales and thrift stores helps me be sure that one of a kind finds will actually fit and be used in The Tiny Apartment and won't be a waste of money. I also carry a tiny notebook with the measurements of things I hope to find: the height of my chairs, the width of a shelf I could use, yardage for sewing projects, the diameter of the Pyrex lid I am missing, etc...
Download the PDF pattern here