Monday, May 15, 2017

Making a Stuffed Flamingo for a Nursery

     We are joyfully expecting a second baby grand-daughter, and I wanted to make something for her. She is due the end of June, the first child for our Jacksonville Beach son and his wife. So, they won't need crocheted or knitted blankets anytime soon or a cozy little cocoon like the one I made for our Georgia grand-daughter, born in March and now a feisty, happy two year old.

     So, I looked at sewing patterns and was thrilled to find one that includes a stuffed flamingo. Why thrilled, you ask? Well, when I had asked the planned nursery decor, the mom sent me a link to some Etsy flamingo wall art prints she had chosen and said that the walls would be pale aqua, accented with accessories in the pinks and corals found in the prints. So, for our little Florida girl, this seemed perfect and fit the nursery theme. I used soft cotton flannel with a white felt face. The flamingo can sit (in various poses, I've discovered) on the nursery book shelf until she is old enough to play with it.

     This project was different from any sewing I have done for a long time--not at all like making clothes. There were a number of small pieces and many steps. But the instructions were clear, and I worked slowly and carefully. The pattern called for "safety eyes"; I needed a store expert's help figuring out what that meant. They are a smart idea although a bit tricky to put in. The wings and legs were stuffed before they were attached. Stuffing the rest, however, was a real challenge. It was quite difficult to push puffs of stuffing all the way from the opening left in the back through the relatively narrow neck and into the beak and head. So, it was with a real sense of accomplishment that I presented the gift. They love it, and the nursery is almost done--it's truly lovely.

     The pattern, Simplicity #1082, also includes a giraffe and hippo. The hippo looks like it might be a bit easier than the other two. Might give that a try one of these days, building on what I've learned from wrestling with this bird.

Question of the day: Do you enjoy making gifts using an art or craft you pursue? What has been one of your most satisfying gift projects?


  1. Hey, this is fun! What a clever bird! You did a great job and with safety eyes. We have a new great, great grandson and another on the way. I haven't made any gifts in ages. I used to make quilts on the sewing machine for baby gifts with a design on the top. You bring back the memories.....

  2. Thank you, Jo; it is fun! Especially now that it's completed : ) . I would love to see posts of the quilts you made.

  3. Firstly, Congratulations on becoming a grandma again... its always so exciting! I remember when my daughter presented me with her Wedding gown and she asked me if I can make a Christening outfit from her dress. This is how I found out that I was going to become a grandma. I made an outfit for a boy and a girl....she had a girl!
    This stuffed Flamingo is adorable and "your" baby will love it! You're inspiring me to open up my sewing machine (when my shoulder gets better)

  4. Hilda, It's super to hear from you! And what a beautiful story; thank you for telling us how you found out you were going to be a grandma. I would love to see those Christening outfits. For whatever you want to do, sewing, painting, or anything else--I hope your shoulder continues healing and that you'll be fully free to create soon.

  5. Mary, this is so adorable! Tell me - what are safety eyes? I have made name quilts and matching "Huggables" for 2 grands in San Francisco, but I painted the eyes on with acrylic. I don't know about safety eyes.

  6. Thank you for finding me and for commenting. Safety eyes are smooth, rounded plastic pieces (as in my photos) with a peg that you push through the fabric (required snipping a hole in the flannel in this case). I had reinforced the area with a 1" circle of interfacing as per the pattern. Then, a flat plastic ring snaps onto the peg on the wrong side (looks sort of like a washer for a faucet) and holds the eye firmly in place. I don't think it can be pulled off unless the whole face is torn apart. The eyes come in several sizes, some with brown pupils on the black.

    I would love to know what brought you to this blog and who you are. When I clicked on "bluevase" the site didn't mention blue vases, but was for a watercolor painter and author living in Paris, Janice McLeod. If that's you, your work is amazing, and your posts are very well-written and amusing. Thank you.