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!
- 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
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.