These simple little hens can be so many things!
Fill them with heavy aquarium gravel and you have some pretty dang fancy pattern weights.
Fill them with lightweight Poly-fil Stuffing and add a loop to the back and you have a pretty ornament for your tree.
Fill them with plastic pellets and you have a pocket-sized softie that sits in the palm of your hand.
These are hand-sewn from scraps of wool felt and a bit of embroidery thread and take about an hour to make. Want a little quiet handwork for couch-potato time? This is the perfect project. And it’s FREE!
Here’s what you’ll need. . .
- download the pattern here
- scraps of wool felt
- freezer paper (optional)
- stuffing (gravel, Polyfil and/or plastic pellets)
- embroidery thread and needle
- your favorite embroidery pattern transfer tools
- sharp scissors
Cut out all the pieces. I don’t like to trace onto felt, because I don’t want even a tiny bit of that marking line to show on the finished piece. I trace or print my pattern pieces onto freezer paper, cut them out roughly, fuse them to the felt, and then cut around the edge.
It’s a nice way to cut clean, precise shapes.
You’ll need two body pieces, one gusset, one beak, and one comb.
Transfer the dots you’ll use as guidelines for stitching the wings.
I don’t like to draw the whole wing shape because the thread of my Ustitches might not sit right on that line, so I just mark the dots where each stitch will start, stop, and be tacked down.
Stitch the wings in a contrasting color (I like to match the beak and comb color) using the U-stitch and four strands of embroidery thread.
Lay the gusset along the bottom edge of one of the body pieces and stitch the two layers together using a running stitch and four strands of thread. If you use 36 inches of thread you’ll have enough to sew the whole hen without having to knot off and start a new thread. Sneaky. :)
I would normally use thread that matches the chicken body. I used contrasting here just so you could see it better.
You could use whipstitch instead of running stitch - choose the look you like.
When you get to the end of the gusset piece, layer the second body piece with the first one.
Pin the beak between the two layers and start stitching your way up the front of the hen’s face.
Stitch up to the top of the hen’s head.
Slip the comb in between the two layers at the back of the head and stitch the rest of the way across the top of the body.
It looks like it’s done, doesn’t it?
Not quite. Turn it around and you can see that you still need to sew the bottom part of the other side of the body.
Line up the body edge with the gusset edge and keep stitching.
Sew most of the way along the bottom edge.
When the opening is just big enough to slip your thumb inside, stop stitching but leave your thread tail there. I even leave it threaded on my needle.
Tuck a tiny pinch of Polyfil stuffing in the head and another in the tail. Work it right up into the points.
If you’re making a tree ornament, fill the whole body with Polyfil stuffing.
If you’re making a pattern weight, add two tablespoons of aquarium gravel.
If you’re making a softie, add two tablespoons of plastic pellets.
Pick the needle and thread back up and finish stitching across the bottom of the hen. Tie a knot and bury the tail inside the hen.
You’re done! Better make another - hens don’t like to live alone. :)