I am not the best sewer. I get a little impatient and can have messy seams. I go too fast and I don’t like to follow directions. But, it’s what is on the outside that counts, right?
I like to make little stuffed animals when people have babies. It’s just my thing. I draw up a little critter, and make the rest up as I go. Which, in case you haven’t learned anything from this blog, is how I roll. “Making it with Stephany, making shit up as she goes EVERY DAMN DAY.” I smell a trademark.
I make more intricate creatures, but I have had requests from viewers to tie in some basic sewing skills and how-to tips on sewing. And what better way to do this is to make some cute little animals?!?
I sketched up 3 animals and then made each design. The sketches became MIWS GIRAFFE, MIWS DOG and MIWS BUNNY patterns. I am including the template for each animal for download, make which ever you prefer, or make all 3 and have a crafty day. Since they are on the small side, and only use 2 pieces of fabric, they are pretty easy to kick out in an hour. I made the pattern big enough to fit on a standard sheet of paper so when you print it out, you are ready to go. If you want to use the pattern as a template only, feel free to use the shape as a guide and make it bigger than the print out. Sometimes the smaller area to sew can be tricky but if you go slow, you can do it. These designs are geared for someone who as a basic sewing knowledge but if you want to get a little creative and add your own ears to the dog, or extra ear to the bunny, DO IT!!
You will need:
At least 1/2 yard of fabric. A fat quarter will work but might be a little tight getting the pattern to fit. Also, with the small seams you will be making, the better quality of the fabric the better. Junky fabric will need to be gone over with the sewing machine twice to make sure the seams don’t rip out.
needle for hand stitching the animal up after you stuff it
any embellishments you want to add to make your animal extra rad, like buttons, ribbon, yarn, etc.
Start by folding your fabric in half with the printed side of the fabric facing in to itself and the wrong side of the fabric on the outside. You will have 2 layers and when you cut out your pattern, you will have 2 cuts of the animal shape. You don’t need to place your pattern on a seam so place the pattern anywhere on the fabric. Pin the paper to the fabric and cut out the animal shape you have chosen.
Take out the pins and remove the paper pattern. You don’t need this anymore. Now you have 2 cuts of your animal shape, repin the fabric together and it’s time to start sewing. Make sure you keep the printed/good side of the fabric facing in on itself.
You can start sewing at any point on your animal, but I suggest you leave the under belly open for turning it inside out when you are done sewing, and for the stuffing. I did a small seam allowance, about 1/8 of an inch. This is where good fabric quality comes into play. The black and white polka dot fabric was good quality, it held the 1/8 seam with no problem. When I made the bunny, I really liked the stripes, but the fabric wasn’t the greatest. I went over my seams twice with the bunny to make sure they held. It was a drag. Use good fabric and you won’t have this problem. This is also where going slow helps make good seams, too.
Once you have sewed the 2 pieces together (and left an opening to turn right-side out and stuff!), it’s time to turn your animal right-side out and stuff. I used a pencil with the eraser side to get all of the tricky areas turned out. Then I stuffed the animals firmly. If you don’t use enough stuffing, weird creases can appear in your animal.
After each animal was stuffed, I sewed up the opening in the belly by hand. I wanted the stitch to show, so I just did a basic stitch. You can do an invisible stitch to hide your work, but I liked the look that mine had.
Let me tell you about the bunny. I hated the bunny. I am including it as a pattern in case you want to attempt and improve it. I ended up using the tail as his back foot and getting rid of the foot I had drawn. There were too many angles for as small as it is (the bunny is about 8 inches long) and it just didn’t work. And the ear. It looks ridiculous. Bunny, you are the worst. Yes you have a button nose and a awesome pom-pom tail, but I still don’t like you.
If you make the bunny and your bunny turns out better than mine, please show me! I would love to see the improvements you made on it!
But the Giraffe and the Dog. Easy and solid. Love them.
So get cracking! Make some animals! Share some animals! SHOW ME YOUR ANIMALS!