As mentioned in an earlier post, I wanted our baby to have inside references to the things that he was growing up with outside. His window overlooks the chicken coop and as I hoped, he now wakes up during the day and watches the chickens doing their thing from his cot. "Chicken" and "bird" were two of the first words that he spoke! He loved the mobile hanging above his change table from an early age and it was one of the first things that he would try to track with his eyes. Now he still watches it but instead of lying and chuckling at it he stands up mid nappy change and tries to pull it out of the ceiling. At least he loves it I guess!!
As with the curtains I used a Dick Bruna chicken picture as my starting reference although you wouldn't know it to look the chickens on the mobile - they are somewhat unique!!!
I chose to make eight chickens in a two tiered mobile. The lower four chickens were all to be in black and white, the colours that babies can first visualise and track. The higher tier was to be the primary colours but using fabric off-cuts that I had in my cupboard. It's amazing the stories that are associated with each chicken - family history that I can relay to my little one when he gets a bit older....."see that yellow chicken with the flowers? That came out your Ma's linen cupboard at the holiday house. It used to be a sheet but I cut it up and made a dress and then this chicken. Ma was a seamstress when she was younger....." I'm sure you get the idea by now. I love having stories woven into everyday items around the house! It keeps family alive.
These are the white chickens. As you can see they are the reverse of each other.
I decided to use felt for theirs combs and sew them onto the chickens once I had sewn and stuffed their bodies. It meant that the hanging ribbon had extra reinforcing and I didn't have to fold out the more intricate stitching. I used ribbons and beads for the legs for a similar reason. It was going to be too difficult to fold out such small and narrow legs and feet. Mini loves the hanging beads and they sometimes click together in the wind. The wings are simply sewn onto the backing fabric of the chickens. I decided that since the mobile was hanging and not being touched much the lack of hemming wouldn't be a problem. I was on a bit of a time frame!
The chickens are hung on pieces of dowel that my husband cut for me. We decided this time that we would not drill holes in the dowel to fix the chickens as it's quite difficult to get the balance of the mobile right. We (I should say my husband) tied the chickens into place on the dowel and we were then able to move them slightly if they were off balance. Again it's not a problem as they don't get touched much.
I'm happy with the finished mobile and my baby is as well. It's not the most perfect piece of sewing but each chicken has it's own character and they serve their purpose very well. They also fit perfectly with the ''handmade" earthy feel of the room that I was trying to achieve.