Fly high this summer with Sidney the Seagull Who knew this marine bird could be so adorable? This cheeky fabric seagull by Carolyn Letten is sure to look amazing suspended from a shelf or ceiling, adding a spot of nautical decor to your home. Complete with glimmering sequins and speckled wings, Sidney is well and truly ready for take-off, just be sure to keep a close eye on your chips. Bring back cherished memories of coastline escapades with this fabulous feathered friend!
- Fabric: plain white, cotton; pale grey, speckled; black and white, patterned; yellow
- Felt, flesh coloured
- Toy stuffing
- Net: grey, navy and silver
- Sequins: gold, two; iridescent
- Embroidery thread, black, sixstrand
- Heavy weight pelmet interfacing
- Glue, PVA, acidfree
- Elastic bands, small, clear, two
- Wadding scrap
Download and print the templates. For the main body, cut two pieces from plain white fabric and two beaks from yellow fabric. Pin the beaks in place, right side up onto the beak section of the white body, also right side up. Use yellow thread to stitch the two inner sides of each beak.
Iron on the reverse, then cut away the excess white fabric from underneath the beak. Cut a 0.5mm snip into the point of the ‘V’. With the first seagull piece placed wrong side up, fold the sides of the ‘V’ in by 5mm, press with an iron to crease then sew the seam. Repeat this with the second seagull piece.
Pin both seagulls right sides together. Stitch a 5mm seam from point A to B catching a hanging loop, C round to D catching the second loop, then from E to F. Do not sew anything between points F and A or D and E, leave open. To attach the breast, use the template to cut a breast piece from white fabric. Lay the bird in front, then fold and pin the unstitched top layer of fabric between points D and E up out of the way.
Lay the breast insert in place so that the bottom edge of it matches the edge of the body, then pin in place and sew a 5mm seam from point to point. Unpin, turn the bird over and repeat, pinning the now stitched half of the breast out of the way while sewing the remaining edge from point to point.
Use pinking shears to cut away all excess fabric from around the bird, cutting close to the stitch line. Turn the right side out by pulling through the gap in the top of the bird. Using the template, cut two tail pieces from white fabric and one from wadding. Layer them on top of each other with the wadding at the bottom and pin.
Sew around the three long sides with a 5mm seam, leaving the short straight bottom edge unstitched. Use pinking shears to trim all excess fabric close to the stitch line, then turn the right side out by pulling it through the unstitched end. Iron and use white thread to sew the five detail lines as marked on the template by the dashed line.
Insert the finished tail in between the two seagull tail flaps and pin in place so that 5cm of the length of the tail is outside the body. For the top side of the tail, use hand stitching to turn the short seams on the body under to hide the stitching and raw edge, then use small stitches to hold the tail in place. Repeat this process to finish the underside of the tail. Sew a gold sequin to both sides of the head using black embroidery thread, securing them with black French knots in the middle.
Cut two whole wings from white fabric by placing the half template on the fabric fold. Use one of the fabric wings as the template to cut two from the heavy weight pelmet interfacing; avoid folding or creasing the interfacing.
Iron the adhesive sides of the interfacing onto the middle of each piece of white fabric. Snip into the edge of the fabric at 1cm intervals all the way around each wing, up to the edge of the interfacing, then fold each tab over onto the other side of the interfacing, using an acid-free glue stick to secure.
Create two different fabric sections that spread across the wings. Place the first section on the fold to cut two pieces from grey speckle fabric and use the second section to cut four from black/white fabric. Use an acid-free glue stick to separately assemble the top and bottom wings so they match, then sew all just in from the fabric edges.
Add a piece of silver net across two-thirds of the grey fabric and sew iridescent sequins across the inner raw edge of the grey fabric. Cut a piece of navy net using the dotted line as the template is placed on the fold and stitch it onto the middle of the wing. Sew a piece of grey net across the whole wing but leave a border of the white fabric across the wing edge.
Place the top and bottom wing wrong sides together and sew around the edges. The wings can be hand stitched in place along the spine of the seagull, in between the two loops sewn in earlier, or secured using acid-free PVA glue. Cut out two leg pieces from flesh coloured felt. Lay them on thin paper, machine or hand stitch the details, then tear the paper away and glue them in place under the bird.