Thursday, April 30, 2015
Fabric Bird House Tutorial
Earlier this month I made a fabric bird house to store my sewing notions in beside my favorite chair. I had so many requests for the pattern so I promised to do a tutorial on how I made it. Since I have a little girl who visits frequently and is constantly emptying my little house so that it can store small dolls, I thought I would make a second one just for her.
Let’s start with drawing the pattern. You should be able to click on the photos to enlarge for the measurements.
We are then going to cut the pattern out on a stiff fusible interfacing. I am using Peltex for mine. At this point you could cut each piece separately, but I do mine in one piece – gently scoring on the fusible side of each line in the center 6”x4” section that will eventually be turned to shape the house. If you have cut the pieces individually, you will lay them out right next to each other when fusing to the fabric.
Next you will cut your fabrics for the outside of the house. My fabric – the yellow – will be cut at 12.5”x6.5”. The end fabrics – the zebra stripe – will be cut at 7”x5”.
Fold the 12.5” fabric in half lengthwise and mark center. Likewise, fold the end fabric in half along the 5” side and mark the center.
With 1/4” seam allowance, sew the end fabrics to the center, matching center folds that you just made. This will form a cross shaped piece of fabric.
Clip at point where seam starts so that the main fabric can be pressed open.
Place the fusible interfacing on the wrong side of fabric – matching the seam lines with the mark on your pattern that will now form the ends of the birdhouse.
You will notice that you will have 1/4 inch overlap for sewing. This keeps the interfacing from being sewn into the seam.
Trim the ends by cutting with the additional 1/4” seam allowance.
You are now ready to sew up the sides. With right sides together, bring up one side of front and join it to one side of adjoining side panel.
I sew from the top down using 1/4” seam allowance. Repeat for next three sides and you should now have a rectangular shaped box.
Turn right side out.
Place to the side and it is now time to start the lining. I used one piece of fabric for mine, but you could always repeat the technique to make the ends a different fabric.
Take your original pattern and lay it on the lining – cutting it out by adding 1/4 inch all the way around. Again, bring the sides up and sew the same way as you did the house, forming another rectangular box.
Now for the fun part…. place the outside of the birdhouse inside the lining with right sides together.
Wiggle to match all seams and sew all around the top – leaving about 4” open on one side panel to turn right side out.
Trim the top points and gently turn right side out. This is a little fiddly, but work slowly to pull it all through. Slip stitch the opening closed.
Every house needs a roof so here we go. This is much easier.
Cut a 7.5” piece of the fusible interfacing. Cut (2) 8” pieces of roof fabric – mine is the black and white check.
Fuse interfacing on one piece in the same manner as the house – leaving 1/4” seam allowance. Stitch all the way around – leaving about 4” open for turning.
Turn right side out and slip stitch opening closed.
Slip stitch roof to main house. I did mine down from one point of the roof, across the side, then back up to the other point. This allows the top to be opened like a box.
For a closure on the other side, I made a small loop with narrow elastic and sewed it to the roof – adding a button to the house to close it.
Decorate as desired. I added a button and a welcome sign, but I think a grommet would be darling too.
Enjoy your birdhouse. Please ask if you have any questions.