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Extract from Pretty Birds • By Virginia Lindsay • Published by Running Press


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Pretty Birds
I love to hear the pecking of a woodpecker when I am on a walk or just raking the leaves in the yard. Imagine a bright, colorful beauty out there, working hard! Woodpeckers are so distinctive that catching a glimpse of one always seems special.

The Woodpecker’s bright, crisp colors and strong beak make it a really fun bird to sew, and it is a quick and simple project, even for beginners. I chose to make a pileated woodpecker but you can easily alter the pattern to resemble other types, such as the greater flameback, ivory-billed, or red-bellied woodpecker.

Search through your scraps to find some fun prints and top this guy off with a bright red cap. Try mixing in some different textures, such as a lightweight décor fabric and or a duck cloth or corduroy for the belly. This little Woodpecker will make a great addition to your bird collection.

Get stitching!

Pattern measures

Length: 8 ¾ in. (22 cm)
Width: 1 ¾ in. (4.5 cm)

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© 2024 Virginia Lindsay / Running Press · Reproduced with permission. · Reprinted with permission from Pretty Birds © 2015 Virginia Lindsay, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.
  • Step 1

    Cut out all the pattern pieces according to the guidelines. Make sure to cut the body and head pieces as mirror images.

  • Step 2

    With right sides together, sew the heads to the body pieces. Press the seams out flat.

  • Step 3

    Pin and sew the bodies right sides together, following the line indicated on the pattern pieces, around the head and all the way down the back.

  • Step 4

    Pin the belly to the body piece with right sides together. The curved top of the belly piece should be lined up with the seam by the head. Sew the belly and body together leaving a 2-in. (5-cm) gap for turning.

  • Step 5

    Clip the corners and trim down the seams. Turn the piece right side out. Poke out the beak, head, and tail with a chopstick. Stuff with polyester fiberfill and sew the opening closed using ladder stitch.

  • Step 6

    Fold the felt cap in half to make a triangle. Using the separated coordinating embroidery floss, starting at the tip, sew the cap together with a ladder stitch. Leave the long tail of the floss. Repeat with the beak, using the separated coordinated floss.

  • Step 7

    Fit the cap snugly onto the pointed head of the bird. Using the long tail of the floss from the last step, ladder stitch the cap onto the body.

  • Step 8

    Fit the beak onto the body. Using the tail of embroidery floss from sewing up the beak in Step 6, ladder stitch the beak to the body. Where the cap and beak meet, pull the two together gently with the floss. Sew on the button eyes.

    Other Ideas to Try

    Napkin Ring

    Make your Woodpecker into a napkin ring by attaching it to a simple tube of fabric. Measure a piece of fabric 3 x6 in. (7.5 x 15 cm). Fold the right sides together but leave the short ends open. Turn right side out and press flat. Fold one raw edge under and press again. Insert the raw edge into the folded edge and pin. Handsew the loop onto the Woodpecker’s belly and close up the opening at the same time. Pull a napkin through the loop and create a lovely place sitting!

    Fridge Magnet

    Glue a strong magnet to the side of the Woodpecker to create a fun magnet for the fridge.

Made this project? Share your version »


James A.
James A. · Melbourne, Victoria, AU
wow amazing
Esteph H.
Esteph H. · Melbourne, Victoria, AU
Love awesome.

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