Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thanksgiving Button-Turkey (Busy Bag)

I saw some of these button turkeys recently, and realized I had to make one for Thanksgiving.  Theodore is really at the age now where he is understanding seasons and holidays, and gets very excited by the changes in decor he sees with these, so I knew he'd love having his own little turkey.  And, he needs desperately to get better at all aspects of dressing himself, so practicing buttons in a fun way sounded perfect.

I couldn't really find any patterns or tutorials for this that were quite my style, so I went ahead and just free-handed the whole project, making my own changes as I went.  And I decided I would try and write up some directions for others to use.

Materials and Tools

Felt:  4 or more colors for feathers, plus two browns for turkey body, red for the wattle, yellow for the beak
Buttons:  4 or more colors to match feathers
embroidery thread and needle, thread
sewing machine, button hole foot
seam ripper, scissors, glue

1.  Cut out feathers, turkey body, turkey head, beak, and wattle.  Here's a screen shot of my template, but feel free to contact me for the PDF file.

2.  Next I went ahead and put the button holes in all the feathers.  I haven't done a button hole in probably over ten years, so it took me some time re-learning how to do this on my machine (even had to break out the manual).  Once I figured it out, it became very easy to repeat.  You can search for how to sew a button hole, but basically you set your dial to 0.5, and then use the 1, 2/4, 3, 2/4 stitches on your second dial.  The machine does all the work.  I learned to make sure to keep the needle up whenever I turned the dial to the next stitch.  I then opened them up using a seam ripper.
I did not even remember what this foot was for.

3.  Next, I hand sewed on all the buttons using embroidery thread.  I'd love to learn how to do this on the machine sometime.

4.  Finally, I stitched on the turkey head, beak, and wattle.  I glued the eyes on.  I then hand stitched the turkey body closed, stuffing it before the last few stitches.

As soon as I stuffed it, Theo became excited for his "turkey pillow" that Elmo and Elizabeth now get to sleep with.  He is getting really good at buttoning all the feathers on.

I thought it turned out pretty well.  But apparently, I should have added wings.  Because Theodore has been brought practically to tears by the idea that a turkey is a bird.  He is convinced they don't have wings.... and don't get him started on penguins.  He thinks they are fish...

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