Baby Butterfly Tutorial by Abby Glassenberg

on May 30 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 27 Comments

We have admired Abby Glassenberg’s beautiful and artistic stuffed birds since she first started sharing her work at While She Naps. Abby’s portfolio is both a technical marvel and an artistic delight; birds take flight, animals emerge from scraps of fabric and Abby shares her whole process on the blog. From her first solo show to the fabulous The Artful Bird: Feathered Friends to Make and Sew, we’ve followed her growth as an artist and we can’t get enough of her amazing designs! Learn more about Abby in her introduction here. We’re beyond excited about Abby’s newest book about soft toy design coming out next spring. While we wait, Abby shares a tutorial here today at Sew,Mama,Sew! Enjoy!

As a mom of three little girls I know how important it is to have something fun with you at all times when you’re out with a baby. Whether you’re standing in a long line at the coffee shop or stuck in traffic, having a silly, fun toy at the ready can make all the difference! Just attach this Baby Butterfly to your stroller or diaper bag and you’ll always be prepared!

A quick, easy project, this sweet butterfly comes together with just a few pretty scraps and some ribbon from your stash. Add a jingle bell inside the head to make it into a rattle, and put a crinkly piece cut from a chip bag in the wings to hold baby’s attention during play.

I hope you’ll enjoy sewing this baby butterfly for your own baby or as a quick and easy handmade gift for your next baby shower. It’s sure to come in handy for any mom and baby on the go!

Materials:

  • Fat quarter of a print for the wings (Victoria Orange ~ Crazy Love & Lantern Ivory ~ Sugar Hill)
  • 10 inch x 5 inch scrap of a solid for the head (Maize Pink & Baby Pink Kona Cottons)
  • 6 inch x 3 inch stripe for the body (Skinny Stripe Mint ~ Hello Pilgrim & Joy Stripe Red ~ Soul Garden)
  • Baby Butterfly Template
  • 12 mm jingle bell
  • 2 inch x 4 inch scrap of light-colored muslin
  • 7 inches 3/8 inch grosgrain ribbon for antennae
  • 7.5 inches 5/8 inch satin ribbon for the loop
  • Empty, clean chip bag OR a 12 inch x 8 inch piece of batting
  • Felt scraps in gray, red, and white
  • All-purpose thread in gray, red, and white
  • 12 inch strand of white embroidery floss
  • Plastic loop for baby toys

Steps:
1/4 inch seam allowance has been included in the head, body, and wing pattern pieces.

1. Download the Baby Butterfly Template. Cut two wings, two bodies, and two heads. Cut one wing shape from a chip bag, minus the 1/4 inch seam allowance. Cut the 7 inch length of 3/8 inch ribbon in half and tie a knot at the end of each piece. Cut the two larger ovals from white felt and the two smaller ovals and two eyelashes from gray felt. Cut the mouth from red felt.

2. Place the wings right sides together and stitch around, leaving an opening as marked. Clip the curves and turn right side out. Press.

3. Roll the chip bag wing up from the bottom to the top and insert it into the sewn wing. Unroll and fit it inside. Close the opening in the wings with ladder stitch.

4. Topstitch around the edges of the wings.

5. Lay one body on one head right sides together, aligning points A and B. Stitch across. Repeat for the other body and head. Open and press the seams toward the body.

6. Sew the dart at the top of each head piece.

7. Place the 3/8 inch ribbons face down on the right side of one head and baste in place. Place the 5/8 inch ribbon face down in between them and baste.

8. Place the head and body pieces right sides together and stitch around, beginning and ending at the opening.

Clip the curves, remove the basting stitches, and turn right side out.

9. To insert a 12 mm jingle bell, fold the 2 inch x 4 inch piece of muslin in half and sew around two sides. Insert the bell, than sew the bag closed. Push the bag into the body before stuffing. *The bell is sewn inside a bag to keep the stuffing out and to prevent the bell from escaping and becoming a choking hazard. If you are worried about the bell, you can stitch the bag to the seam allowance between the head and body seam to secure it or omit it entirely.

10. Stuff the head and body firmly. Close the opening with ladder stitch.

11. Place the body on the wings and pin in place. Backstitch the wings to the body along the back of the wings using extra-strong thread.

12. Take a single straight stitch with white floss through each gray oval to create a highlight. Stitch the grey ovals to the white ovals. Stitch the eyelashes to the back of the white ovals, then stitch the eyes to the butterfly. Stitch the mouth in place.

13. Put a plastic loop through the 5/8 inch ribbon loop and hang the toy from the stroller.

*If you are using batting instead of crinkle, cut one wing shape from batting in Step 1. Place the batting underneath the two wing pieces in step 2. Stitch around the wings, clip the curves, than turn the wings right side out so that the batting is sandwiched inside. Quilt the wings by hand or machine before attaching them to the body.

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27 Responses to Baby Butterfly Tutorial by Abby Glassenberg

  1. Hi Marsha Gibbons,
    To sew the body to the wings, just flip the body over so that it is face down on your work surface. Place the wings on top, centering them over the body, and pin them in place. Thread a needle with a doubled length of extra-strong thread (or use all-purpose thread) and stitch the wings in place by hand using backstitch.
    Hope that helps!
    Best,
    Abby

  2. Hi Chris V.,

    Thank you so much for asking first! Because this is a free pattern I can’t make it so that you can sell it. All of my paid patterns come with a cottage industry license so that you can make and sell those to your hearts content, though! And feel free to make Baby Butterflies to give as gifts!

  3. Hi Arlene,
    Thank you for pointing that out! There should be an opening left right below point B on the body extending down 1 inch in length. I hope that helps!
    Best,
    Abby

  4. JLVerde says:

    Very cute. This would also make a great cat toy, just tuck some catnip inside or spray with catnip spray after it’s done.

  5. vivian says:

    I use the plastic off the diaper wipe pkgs. from Costco. They work great for a lot of this type of project!

  6. Arlene says:

    I just love this butterfly. I can’t wait to make one but because I’m not the brightest bulb in the box I was wondering if you could clear up a fuzzy matter for me.

    In Step 8 you state: Place the head and body pieces right sides together and stitch around, beginning and ending at the opening. Where is this opening? Thanks so much.

    Arlene

  7. Chris V says:

    What an adorable toy Abby! If I were to think about selling this in my tiny online store, do I have to buy the pattern off you, or are there any limitations to your cute little butterfly?
    If I can’t sell them I will still make them as gifts for friends… ;o)

  8. marsha gibbons says:

    Precious! I am trying to make one. How do you sew the body to the wings? Thanks!!

  9. Joy says:

    This is an absolutely perfect project and at the perfect time, too!
    I have two showers coming up and two friends recently had babies.
    These will be great gifts as well as gift bag decorations. I used my Sew Mama Sew gift certificate to purchase one of the remnant packs. Now I have a project to use up those great little pieces of fabric!

  10. Baby Baskets says:

    I love these. It seems that handmade or vintage looking gifts are all the rage at the moment so these will fit right in.

  11. kat says:

    I absolutely heart this idea! My little baby could sooooooooo use one of these made by me!!! And what a great baby shower gift!!

  12. Jodi says:

    Abby is such a genius designer. I can’t get enough of her stuff! :)

  13. So glad you like the butterfly everyone! For a boy’s version you could modify the wing shape and make a dragonfly. And the crinkle and bell are machine washable. If you do embroidered features instead of felt I think you could throw the whole thing in the washing machine on gentle. My middle daughter was a pukef, too! I’ve been there!

  14. Soooo cute! I saw somewhere online-maybe American Felt & Craft? that you can buy crinkle paper and bells for baby toys that are washable…that’s my pet peeve about toys like this (my son is a puker-we’ve had to throw several non-washable toys that he loved away because he threw up and there was no way to get rid of the rotting vomit without ruining the toy!)

  15. Vanesa says:

    Great tutorial! Thank you for sharing!

  16. Lindsay says:

    These are adorable! Thanks for sharing the tutoria

  17. Meg says:

    Abby designed an adorable toy! Thank you for sharing, I will enjoy making these!

  18. Heather says:

    OOoooh! I love the butterfly! I’m thinking that scraps from baby quilts would be cute as a toy to add to the gift! Any ideas for boy versions?

  19. KristyMN says:

    I’m totally making these for my pregnant friends. Great tutorial – thanks!

  20. So cute!!! Thanks for the tutorial!

  21. VickiT says:

    This is such an adorable little baby toy. I have some Tostitos bags I saved for this type of thing too. And I have to tell that when I emptied that bag and washed it out with soap and water so as to avoid my Grandchild from being followed by an entire ant hill, my husband saw that bag upside down drying and lauged at me. LOL I hadn’t mentioned to him why I needed them so he thought I’d lost my mind or something. He said “Honey, we can afford to buy storage bags. You really don’t need to wash those.” roflmao Then a few weeks later, one of my twins came to see us with our brand new Granddaughter and saw the bag on my shelves in my sewing room. He pulled the bags out and two styrofoam trays and aske me if he needs to give call to Hoarders yet because I am really starting to scare him. He’s already said the day I die he’s scared because the amount of stuff we have in our house. LOL

    Sorry ~ got a bit sidetracked there. Thank you so much for this adorable toy pattern. I guess I’d better make some of these so I can redeem myself in the eyes of my family who think I need to be on Hoarders now. HA

  22. Stephanie Wehrman says:

    so sweet!

  23. Dayna says:

    These are adorable! What a great gift idea!

  24. Jane says:

    Thank you for an adorable and easy toy.

  25. Tammy says:

    This is adorable!

  26. Too cute! Thank you for sharing. I am going to make one for my 2 1/2 month old granddaughter.

  27. Steph says:

    Very cute! I have a baby shower to attend in July so I’m adding this to my gift to-do list!

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