Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sheep Tutorial: Right-sided


Today's tutorial on how to make a sheep divides the construction in four parts. There are a lot of bits and pieces--and hopefully this approach will make it easier to follow.

Please note that this shows how a sheep is constructed, not deconstructed. This sheep is for wool purposes only, and if you are interested in sheep for mutton, you should probably look elsewhere.

The sheep requires four fabrics: a very dark fabric (e.g. black) for the eyes, nose and feet and a very light background fabric. Then the fabric for the sheep itself (in this case blue) needs to stand out from the background and the black, but also have enough contrast against each other. In particular, consider the ears when choosing the fabrics--the ears use nine patches and this detail will be lost without sufficient contrast.

The sheep is 14 inches square (13.5 inches finished) and is based on a .75 inch grid.

I would suggest cutting strips of fabric and then cutting pieces as needed as you build the four sections.  In general, to start you will want to cut...

Black: one 1.25 by 13 inch strip

Background:  two 1.25 inch strips the width of fabric and one 2.75 inch width strip

Dark blue: one 5 by 9 inch strip, one 2.75 in strip (width of fabric), one 1.25 in strip (width of fabric)

Light blue: one 2 inch strip and one 1.25 inch strip

Although we will construct the entire sheep in four parts, let's start with the woolly coat because it spans three sections but has similar construction suitable for chain piecing.

First take six 2.75 inch squares of the dark blue and 12 1.25 squares of the background. Sew two flip triangles (squares sewn diagonally in the corner and ironed over) to the upper corners of each of the six 2.75 inch squares.

Next, take two 2 inch squares of the dark blue and 2 1.25 inch squares of the background.  Sew a flip triangle onto one corner of each 2 inch square.

Then sew 1.25 by 2 inch rectangles to the sides of the two inch squares as shown. Please note that they are facing in different directions...one will go on the back end of the sheep and the other on the front end.

Now take one 2 by 2.75 in rectangle of the dark blue fabric and sew a 1.25 inch flip triangle in the upper right hand corner and another 1.25 inch flip triangle in the lower left hand corner. This is the sheep's tail.


Next, lay out the pieces you have sewn as they will fit on the sheep. The tail is in the upper left hand corner and the two smaller squares fit at the bottom of the side sections as shown.

Now you will need to add one 1.25 inch flip triangle of the light fabric to the top left corner of the top part of the coat on the right side. This will be part of the sheep's cheek on the right side.

Finally, sew the top row together, then the back side and then the front side. This is what you would have if you sheared your sheep in three sections.

Now we will construct the ears. This is a bit fiddly, but is really just a nine patch with an additional strip and flip triangles. Let's start by making two nine patches. First, sew a 1.25 by 5 inch strip of dark blue fabric lengthwise to a 2 by 5 inch strip of light blue. Also, sew two 1.25 by 2.5 inch lengths of light blue to one 1.25 by 2.5 inch length of dark blue so that you get a strip set with the dark blue fabric in the middle.

Next cut the five inch two-strip set into four sections 1.25 inches wide. Then cut the 2.5 inch three-strip set into two sections 1.25 inches wide.

Arrange and sew these pieces into two nine-patches with the dark blue as the diagonal. At this point, either nine patch can be used for either ear. The key is to make sure that you lay it out so the left ear has the diagonal slanting from down from left to right. The right ear should have the diagonal slanting down from right to left.

Lay the ear components out so everything will be sewn in the right direction. First, sew the light blue strips to the nine patch. If you lay the pieces out like the ears on the sheep, the 1.25 by 2.75 strip of light blue is sewn on the inner side of the ear next to the sheep's head.

Next attach two flip triangles...a 2 inch background square on the upper corner closest to where the sheep's head will be, and a 1.25 inch background square on the outer lower corner of each ear.

Now let's make a brain to go between the ears that we've just made. For this, you will need a 2 by 3.5 inch rectangle of light blue, two 1.25 inch squares of background, and a 1.25 by 3.5 inch strip of background.

First, sew two 1.25 inch flip triangles onto the upper corners of the light blue rectangle. Then sew the strip of background across the top.


Next, cut a 2.75 by 5 inch rectangle of background. This provides all the pieces for the top level of the sheep...so sew these four components together as shown.

And there you have the tippy top ear section of the sheep.

Now let's make the sheep's face. For this, you will need two 1.25 inch squares of background fabric and two 1.25 inch squares of black fabric. You will also need a 2 by 3.5 inch rectangle of dark blue fabric  and two 2 by 3.5 inch rectangles of light blue, two 1.25 by 2.75 inch strip of light blue, and two 1.25 squares of light blue fabric.

First, take the two large rectangles of light blue fabric and sew a 1.25 flip triangle of background fabric on the upper left hand corner of one rectangle, and a 1.25 flip triangle of background fabric on the upper right hand corner of the other rectangle. 

Sew the two black squares to the ends of the 1.25 by 2.75 rectangles of light blue.

And then sew two flip triangles of light blue to the upper corners of the dark blue rectangle.

Lay these out as shown: the dark blue piece is the nose and goes in the middle. Then the eyes are on either side of the nose. Then the large light blue rectangles are the sides of the face. Sew these five components together.

To finish assembling the face level strip for the sheep, you will need to cut a 2 by 2.75 inch rectangle of background, a 1.25 by 6.5 inch strip of background and a 1.25 inch square of background, and two 1.25 inch squares of dark blue fabric.

Because this is a very fluffy sheep, there are some extra bits of dark blue coat that creeps up around the sheep's face. This requires a 2 by 2.75 inch rectangle of background fabric with a dark blue 1.25 inch flip triangle in the lower left hand corner. It also requires a 1.25 inch square of dark blue sewn to a 1.25 inch square of background. Yikes, that's fiddly.

Next sew the 1.25 by 6.5 inch strip of background fabric along the top of the woolly coat and tail.
Also, sew the background piece with the flip triangle to the two piece unit so the two dark blue pieces are together.

Once the components are together, sew the woolly coat section to the left side of the face, and the small dark blue woolly bit to the right side of the face. You now have the face-level section completed.

It's now time to put together the back end of the sheep. For this, you will want two 1.25 by 2 inch rectangles of black fabric, a 2.75 inch square of background fabric, and two 1.25 by 2.75 rectangles of background fabric. You will also want a 1.25 inch square of light blue, a 2 inch square of light blue and a 2 by 4.25 inch rectangle of light blue fabric. Also cut a 5 by 4.25 inch rectangle of dark blue and a 2.75 by 3.5 inch rectangle of dark blue fabric.

It helps to lay out the components of the sheep's back end as you sew them together. It does not help to have a cat knocking them to the floor because it amuses her. 

First, sew the 1.25 inch square as a flip triangle onto the upper right hand corner of the large dark blue rectangle. Sew the black rectangles to the long and short light blue legs. 

Sew the background fabric strips to either side of the short back leg. And sew the 2.75 inch square of the background fabric to the bottom part of the woolly back coat. After this, you will have five components to sew together. 

Sew the back leg (the component with the background strips on either side) to the smaller dark blue square.

Next sew the long back leg to the side of the other back leg section. Then sew the large dark blue rectangle to the top of the back legs. And finally, attach the woolly coat section along the left hand side. That completes the back end section.

And if you have stopped your cat from creating mayhem during this process, she should be looking like this...sad and neglected. However, you only have one more section of the sheep to finish before you sew the four final sections together.

For the front end section you will need two 1.25 by 2 inch rectangles of black and two 1.25 inch squares of black.  From the background fabric, you will need a 2 by 2.75 inch rectangle and a 2.75 inch square. From the light blue fabric, cut two 2 by 4.25 rectangles, two 2 inch squares and a 1.25 by 2.5 inch rectangle. From the dark blue fabric, cut two 1.25 inch squares, one 1.25 by 2.5 inch rectangle, a 2 by 2.75 inch rectangle, and a 2.75 by 5 inch rectangle.  You will also be using the last remaining woolly section of the coat.

First sew the two 1.25 by 2.5 inch rectangles of light and dark blue together and then slice them in half so you get two 1.25 by 2 inch rectangles of each color. These will go on either side of the nose.

For the nose, attach flip triangles to opposite sides of the two 2 inch squares of light blue fabric. Sew the black flip triangle on the opposite side of the square from the dark blue flip triangle.

Also, sew the 2.75 inch square of background fabric to the bottom part of the woolly coat. 

Sew the black hooves to the ends of the front legs.

And sew the 2 by 2.75 inch dark blue rectangle to the end of the 2 by 2.75 inch background rectangle.

Now you have all the components made for the lower front of the sheep. First, sew the nose together with the black flip triangles matching. 

Also, sew the legs to either side of the dark blue/background rectangle.

Now sew the two-color rectangles to each side of the nose piece so the dark blue triangle matches the dark blue square.  Also, sew the large dark blue rectangle onto the top of the legs. 

Next sew the nose section onto the top of the chest and legs.

And finally, attach the woolly coat section to the right side.

And you now have the four sections of the sheep. 

First, sew the top-level ear section to the face-level section. And sew the back half to the front half.

Finally, sew the top part to the bottom part.


Happy Easter!






9 comments:

  1. Yeah, he's SO sweet. And he's got the blues.

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  2. I recognize that look on my dog's face during long sewing sessions! Darling sheep, even if he is a little blue.

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  3. Great tutorial! I'm going to make one of them! That picture of poor Molly reminds me of one I took of my late fur son Boomer. They can sure pile on the guilt, can't they?

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  4. Thank you. I can't wait to get started. Hope Molly has gotten over her sulk. She really has that look mastered.
    Pat

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  5. Those are just too stinking cute...love their "furry" edges. Smitty sympathizes with Molly. Sewing is so boring.

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  6. LOL! You really have the best instructions! And so funny. I can't wait to make my little doggie have that bored, neglected look and make this sheep. The little sheep is safe as I don't eat mutton. Thanks for the tutorial.

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  7. I see sheep in my future, even without using a crystal ball!

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  8. Thank you so much for this cute lady! She really is the cutest on the block:)

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  9. Thanks! And like Gayle I think I see some Baa, Baa Black Sheep in my future right after I see the Oodles of Poodles and now I think with the chickens, sheep and cows I see a whole barnyard too.

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