Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Tweet Start to 2013

Happy New Year everybody and I hope 2013 brings you everything you wish for or more-of-the-same if you are quite happy and content with your lot.
Here at Patchsmith Palace there are feathers flying!  All those of you who took the first PalaceTour will remember Henrietta, the faithful guard-bird.  Well today saw the introduction of another feathered friend at the Palace and Henrietta is a little jealous.  It is the January Across-the-Pond sew-along project chosen by Susie.  Susie very skillfully (she is a canny girl on the computer) found a wonderful FREE pattern for a bird pincushion/sachet created by Joel Dewberry and decreed that this is the first 2013 outing for the sew-along group.
I don’t know about you but there is always room for a pin cushion (or two, or three ..... okay maybe a few more than that).  I was lucky enough to get some new heart pins for Christmas and they are desperate for a home.  I was also craving some down-time after the hustle-and-bustle of the last few weeks so I set out to complete the January project on the first day of the month.  And it is done. 
Here are my hints and tips for this project – for all those swimming in the sew-along pond .....

1.         The pattern states that you will need 20” x 20” of the main fabric – this is far too much – in reality you will need 20” x 8” (or two 10” x 8” pieces).  So fear not – no more than a fat quarter.
2.         Step 2b and 2c instructs you to sew along the line marked on the wing. I couldn’t see a line on the template.  If you look at the photo at the top of the pattern it is clear to see that you need to embroider in a gentle curve along the wing.  So I suggest you wing it (excuse the pun!).  Talking of winging it - that is the name of the fabric I used for the body and belly of the blue bird - 'Wingin It' by Buggy Barn.
3.         Step 4a and 4b.  When pinning the body to the belly use lots of pins. 
4.         Step 5c.          You stitch one side of the body to the belly and then the pattern suggests you stitch the rest of the belly to the bird at the same time as stitching the whole thing together (leaving a 2” gap for turning).  I would advise that you stitch the second side to the belly for a couple of inches, from the tail to the bottom of the bird as you did at step 4b.  Stop sewing, break the thread and then pin the rest of the bird together.  This will make it easier for you to pin and stitch the back of the bird where the two tail sides meet.  (This sounds complicated but when you get to step 5c just pin the other side to the belly and stitch for a couple of inches from tail towards front.)   
5.         Finally, I added the wings after I had put the body together (but before I padded the body) for fear that I might catch them in the stitching. This worked really well and I was able to position them exactly where I wanted them.
6.         I tried to be clever and make the beak a different colour by stitching a scrap of yellow fabric onto the main bird piece before sewing the bird together. This was virtually impossible to turn through and although I did manage it, I wouldn’t do it again.  
I did however, add a very thin bit of wadding to the wing which gave it a more substantial feel. 

My reflections on this project – I LOVE IT.  I love this little bird as a pin cushion or just as an ornament.  I included a hanging loop on the blue bird but I think it is slightly too big to hang so I left it off the next bird I made.  This is a really versatile project and would make a lovely gift.
I also think that the wing would make an excellent needle case which you could attach to the body with Velcro – now wouldn’t that be tweet? (Sorry, but it had to be done.)  Another good use would be to fill a bag with rice and add it to the bottom of the bird before stitching the body closed so that this could be used as a paperweight. 

Sew why not join the Across the Pond Sew Along group this month with this wonderful project.  If you do then don't forget to post your finished birdies to the Flickr group and why not leave your reflections on this project in the January 2013 thread there or as a comment below.


  1. Your pincushion is adorable. But look out... people will be 'flocking' to the Patchsmith Palace to get a glimpse of her!

    Thanks for your tips!! I am starting mine now!


  2. This looks like a fun project, so I think I'll join in this month. Thank you for all the great tips!
    A fun-to-read-post!
    Gelukkig nieuwjaar.

    1. It felt so like the Zakka Sew Along writing this blog - oh how I miss it.
      Nice to have you on board this month Simone.

  3. It's great to see a project with so many tips included, as sometimes just following instructions can be frustrating.

  4. thank you so much, but I love Henrietta the most, please tell us if you're planning a tutorial to make one us too!
    I want that hen in my new home, there will be a door or a step for her ^_^

    1. Henrietta would make an ideal project ... mmmm .... I promise to give it some serious consideration.