Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lucy’s Very Hungry Caterpillar, pt 1

Sometimes you want to make something just to see if it can be done. In August, I visited a craft show where someone had made adorable jewelry and hair accessories out of fabric-covered buttons. These buttons captured my imagination—and I wanted to create something where they could really shine: a fabric picture. Just because I’ve never seen a fabric-button-picture doesn’t mean I couldn’t make one, right?

First step was to settle on a theme After considering and discarding several ideas (beginning with a fabric-button monogram…still floating around in my brain), my sister suggested The Very Hungry Caterpillar (book by Eric Carle), and knowing that my neighbor wanted to throw a Very Hungry Caterpillar party for her little daughter, that idea stuck!

First step was to get the general layout of the picture. I pulled a frame out of my garage (rescued from my parents basement), blue fabric (rescued from my stash), and we played a little. We had spent the afternoon making fabric flowers (for a previous idea that didn’t get off the ground), so we used those and yarn to outline the caterpillar’s body.

SewingArmoire 020

I backed the blue fabric with some fusible fleece to give it some body. I drew some wavy lines directly on the fleece, and then stitched them onto the fabric for a quilted look.

I made the caterpillar “pattern” by placing a sheet of tissue paper over the yarn outline I made, and then transferred that to dark green felt. I used light green felt to make accent pieces, and a red scrap of cotton for the head.


I free-hand cut the caterpillar’s eyes, nose, feet, and antennae out of felt. Each piece was appliqued onto the background (I sewed around and around and around….)

I used two different green rick-racks to make the flower stems.

I used a yarn needle and red and blue yarn to stitch the caterpillar’s fuzzy spine.

One afternoon was taken up with making 100 fabric buttons. I used two different green fabrics to make four different sizes of buttons for the caterpillar’s variegated body. (My button covers were purchased from Three Dancing Magpies Supplies..highly recommended). It wasn’t too bad…thanks to Netflix!…but it resulted in some sore thumbs!

I carefully arranged all the buttons on the caterpillar’s body, and then I used hot glue to fasten them on.

caterpillar 001

I cut a piece of scrap wood to the size of my frame (by now painted orange) and ‘upholstered’ it with a couple of layers of batting before stapling on my new fabric art.


And there you have it…one Very Hungry Caterpillar—recreated in fabric! (The color in the next picture is a bit dark…sorry.)

caterpillar 049

I added a little buggy “friend” for Mr. Hungry Caterpillar…look just below his “chin.”

Lucy 1b

Do you think Mr. Carle would approve?

Lucy 3


Click HERE to see Part 2 of the Very Hungry Caterpillar project (the pillow).


Linking up  here and Mom on Time Out.


Rhissanna said...

This is just pure genius, and a lot of hard work. I wince at the thought of all those buttons!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Wow, Korrie, that turned out great! I love it all framed and with your little one pictured in front of it. I actually just stuck that book into a basket of books I keep here for my little granddaughter.

Deneen@dreaming-n-color said...

WOW! You ARE amazing! This is a piece of art!

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

That is amazing! I think he would love it!

SImple and Serene Living said...

So adorable, Korrie.

Valley Primitives Gift Shoppe said...

That is amazing and so much hard work!

Geneva said...

You did a great job! You really captured the spirit of Eric Carle...he would be so proud! Thank you for sharing the was delightful!

Darling Details said...

Still my favorite project from that round. You had my vote. :)

bj said...

I think this is just the cutest thing. I don't know why, but, during the contest, I just didn't see this as one of your projects. I just didn't realize how versatile you really are. Very talented, indeed.
xo bj

Gabby said...

Love this! I bought some hungry caterpillar vinyl wall art for our kids bathroom, but this looks way better.

The...Late, Young Family

Erin of Salvaged Whimsy said...

I don't know if I have the patience for this project (plus I can't sew), but yours came out beautifully. Your neighbor had to be thrilled, as did her little girl. So fun and whimsical!

Unknown said...

Wow what an amazing piece of art. This really came out beautifully. I'd love it if you'd stop by my blog and check out the giveaway I'm having for a Dremel Multi Max!

Angela@the crazyness that is me said...

Oh my goodness this is fantastic!

Julianne said...

That is amazing!


Trish @MomOnTimeout said...

I am seriously impressed! This turned out amazing! You must have a lot of patience, and obviously, a lot of talent :) I'd love for you to share with my readers if you get a chance.

Jenny @ Simcoe Street said...



Trish @MomOnTimeout said...

Very very impressed! Thanks for sharing at Taking A Timeout Thursday! Hope to see you again this week!
-Trish @ Mom On Timeout

margot said...

This beautiful post is shared on :-)

Mary Lamoray said...

Wow!! That is absolutely fantastic!! I love the fabric flowers too...they really help make the whole scene so unique! Wonderful job!! :)

Unknown said...

Great job!!!

Carrie @ My Favorite Finds said...

Very cute!