Wacky Chicken/Silly Goose/Wild Turkey



Introduction:

Goofy birds with seasonal variations. These are fairly easy to sew - I designed them when I was asked to make stuffed chickens for a game of Capture the Flag, and I was under deadline.


Step 1:

The Pattern

Chicken parts. The grid is 1", and the image is about 75dpi.

Print these patterns at 36dpi - you may have to tile them, depending on the size of your printer. Or you can print them out in a smaller version - they scale well. The bill pieces and tail piece are half patterns, to be cut on the fold.

For the chicken: Ideally, you want short plush in red, tan, and chicken-color, and long shag in chicken-color, though the shag is optional. I'll refer to chicken-color as "white" from now on, but they look good in browns too.

For the goose: Ideally, you want short plush in black, white, light gray, and either a darker gray or a gray-brown. I think I only had one color of gray, but since I don't have pictures I can pretend I did a properly-colored bird. For the bill and feet, you want flexible oilcloth or upholstery vinyl. You can use felt or upholstery velvet, but shinier is better.

As usual, no seam allowances are included here. Cut the patterns on color lines, and add seam allowances. (I prefer to mark the seam line, and cut a seam allowance by eye.)

For the chicken: Cut four wings (two reversed) from white plush, two tail feathers (one reversed) from white shag, four wattles (two reversed) from red plush, and two combs (one reversed) from red plush. Cut one of each bill piece, and two of each foot piece, from tan plush. All the foot pattern pieces are to be cut on the fold, but I recommend only marking and cutting the tops at first. Just use the bottom-piece pattern to cut a piece of fabric in the general shape. Cut the body patterns at the neck line, and cut three heads from white shag, and two sides (one reversed) and one front (the piece with two legs) from white plush.

For the goose: Cut two wings (one reversed) pieced as shown, and two wings (one reversed) from white or light gray plush (there's a lot of variation in goose coloring outside of the black and white parts). Cut two tails, one pieced as shown, one from white or light gray plush. Cut one of each bill piece and four foot pieces from black vinyl. Cut the body pieces as shown, two sides (one reversed) and one front (the piece with two legs).

If the chevron on the goose's chest looks too intimidating, change it to a seam straight across, or cut the pattern in half and piece each side separately (don't forget to add seam allowance), then sew them together down the midline. You can do the same with the tail.

Step 2:

Sewing

Sew the bills together, leaving the end open, turn and stuff them.

Sew the wings and tails the same way, stuffing only lightly if at all.

Chicken wattles and comb: Sew the same way.

Chicken feet: Sew two upper foot pieces together, from the top of the legs down to the odd little points. Then take this combined piece and pin it to the bottom piece, sew it, then trim the bottom piece down to the seam allowances. I stuffed these very lightly (mostly just a blob of stuffing in each toe) so they were floppy and goofy.

Goose feet: Sew the feet, turn them rightside out, and topstitch the webs in. Then stuff them lightly.

Now take the body backs and sew them together along the back seam (that's the one that doesn't have a leg) leaving an opening to turn and stuff. Chickens can have their comb and tail sewn into the seam in this step.

Match the body front up with the backs, being extra careful at the three-way seam at the very top and bottom. Pin the wings into the front side seams before sewing - make sure they are rightside up and that the lighter underside is facing the body front. Match the top seam of the feet with the straight seam across the bottom of the legs, and sew all the way around.

Turn the whole bird rightside out through the opening you left in its back. You should now have a scary goose with wings and feet but no face. Stuff it (be sure to give it enough stuffing so its neck doesn't flop over after it's been loved awhile), and ladder-stitch the opening closed.

Tail: If you didn't sew the tail into the back seam, turn the seam allowances under and ladderstitch firmly in place.

Chicken wattles: Sew the wattles on where the bill will go - far enough below the comb to leave room for the eyes.

Position the bill - above the white "chinstrap" for the goose - and ladderstitch securely in place. (Chances are, the bird will be picked up by the bill, so stitch it well.)

For the eyes, I cut two circles of white fabric about 5" in diameter, gathered them each around a ball of polyfil, and ladderstitched them hard up against each other and the top of the bill. You may choose to glue on large pompons instead. For the Wacky Chickens, I sewed a circle of felt onto the eyeball for the pupil, but for the Goose I colored them with a permanent fabric marker - either method is fine.




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