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Project

Mademoiselle Butterfly

Colorful and beautifully crafted, hand-stitched felt wings can turn anyone into a bright butterfly. Combine them with a plain black top and pants, and a headband with pipe-cleaner antennae.

Materials

  • 1 1/2 yards dark brown wool felt
  • Butterfly Template
  • Scissors
  • 1 yard polyurethane foam
  • 1/4 yard blue felt
  • 8 by 10 inches each of orange, white, and green felt
  • Needle and thread
  • 1-inch-wide black elastic
  • 2 brown pipe cleaners
  • Brown headband

Steps

  1. Step 1

    wings-how-to-1010sip09077.jpg

    Fold dark brown felt in half; place template on top, aligning left side with fold, and cut out (do not cut at fold). Repeat with piece of foam. Repeat process with remaining brown felt and foam, this time cutting along the fold.

  2. Step 2

    Cut out 2 sets of markings from colored felt, using template as a guide. Topstitch markings to each felt wing. Stack pieces as follows: whole foam wing; whole felt wing, faceup; felt half wings, facedown; foam half wings. Stitch around perimeter with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Turn right side out. Whipstitch center opening closed; this will be underside of wings.

  3. Step 3

    Stitch around perimeter with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Turn right side out. Whipstitch center opening closed; this will be underside of wings.

  4. Step 4

    wings-how-to-1010sip09078.jpg

    Cut elastic into two 11-inch strips; hand-sew crossed straps onto underside of wings as shown, stitching through one layer of felt and foam. To make antennae, wrap pipe cleaners around headband; curl ends.

Reviews (10)

  • Sonrisa1122 21 Oct, 2013

    I'm already lost at step one: "Fold dark brown felt in half; place template on top, aligning left side with fold, and cut out ... Repeat process with remaining brown felt and foam, this time cutting along the fold." If I use the entire piece of felt at the first sentence, what is the "remaining felt" needed for the second sentence?

  • b_rothwell9 14 Oct, 2013

    It seems people are having a hard time finding the right foam. My family runs a pool company, and we use thin foam behind the walls of vinyl lined swimming pools - perfect for this project. It comes on big rolls, and its inexpensive. Call your local pool company and I'm sure they'll cut you a piece!

  • ofthesun1 3 Nov, 2012

    I made this for my little one this year and it turned out beautiful! I sewed on the butterfly markings on a sewing machine to save time, then hand stitched (using a whip stitch) the whole thing together. Re: the foam, Ms. Stewart should have provided more detail. I finally found some 1/2" polyurethane foam at an ulpolstery/home decoration specialty fabric store; JoAnns doesn't carry it! Still, a striking, impressive costume - I make it again I'll get thinner foam.

  • atsan 18 Oct, 2011

    Does anyone know where to buy the polyurethane foam? I have an idea of what it is, but I just can't find it. I believe it's the same type of material used in many of the pre-made Halloween costume that holds structure, such as a penguin costume or a superhero costume. The closest material I saw at my fabric store was to use for car roof upholstery and that is too thick.

  • rmajewski 13 Oct, 2011

    Anyone have advice or knowledge of how thick the polyurethane is/should be? Is this also called "batting"?

  • sizzleteen101 7 Oct, 2011

    Great Idea... However, the printout template was overly complicated.

    Dear Martha,
    Next time please give us the template for the outline of the butterfly wings separate from the inner decorative designs. After taping the wing together I have to retrace the inner designs... not so easy to cut out after being taped together and didn't line up exactly. I would have had the two separated.

    But other than that... love it :)

  • dodoe 2 Oct, 2011

    to jds. It does specify hand-sewn, although I agree the directions are not always complete and understandable.

  • AussieDale 1 Oct, 2011

    Dale - Australia
    If you look at the very beginning of the Article you will see that it is written HAND SEWN ....
    I LOVE THIS BUTTERFLY and found the direction easy to read ..... ANOTHER Amazing Costume ... THANK YOU MARTHA and Craft Designers :)

  • evilarsen 1 Oct, 2011

    I made these wings for my daughter when she was 8 (she's 15 now). And for my newborn son (who's now 10), I made a catepillar costume from the old magazine Martha Stewart Kids. They were SO cute together. I can't find that catepillar costome anywhere on the website - it's a perfect combo, so maybe the web master will put a link to it. After Halloween, we put those wings up on my daughter's wall for a decoration, and there they stayed for many years until they were handed down to a special cousin.

  • jd124 1 Oct, 2011

    As usual your directions are incomplete. What width foam
    is sewable on a sewing macjine? Or do you mean sew it by hand?