I have been experimenting with a new medium for my stuffed toys – fleece. It feels like I am making “real” stuffed animals. It started with my nephew’s dinosaur-themed first birthday party. I wanted to get him a dino book, and stuffed animal to go with it. I could not find a stuffed dinosaur that was a generic one (not associated with a movie or game). Plus, most of them were pretty scary, and well, he was turning one. I decided I would have a go at making my own, and it turned out very cute, and very one-year-old friendly.
I chose the color to match one of the dinos in the book. I think he turned out quite well. I hand sewed this one, which takes a long time (well, longer than a machine), so I decided subsequent attempts would be machine sewn.
His eyes are sewn as well, since safety eyes should really be for ages 3+. My second attempt turned out a bit cuter, but maybe it is just because I prefer yellow, and the seams are hidden inside –
I also gave him larger eyes. I have a theory about the size of eyes being directly proportioned to the amount of cute something is. I made his tummy a bit thinner too, so his legs stand up better. I plan to make a couple more and tweak the pattern.
Of course, I try stuffed animals with my very own pattern first, and then do some research and find TONS of free patterns out there. So I decided to try a couple of them out. The first one is a bunny. It is a really good pattern, but I used felt instead of fleece, so his ears are a bit too large, and he is not as soft as he could be.
He is still quite cute, and his eyes are my first successful attempt at a French knot! I have been trying to master that one for quite some time! I had a bit of trouble following the pattern instructions, but I think it is due to my inexperience, rather than an issue with them.
My next project was gigantic, too big even for my photo booth, but I did have a “whale” of a time making him.
Again, he is baby safe, and so squishy and adorable. You can make your own using the tutorial found here.
Those are 18×24″ papers – he is nearly a full yard long! I love his squish factor and size. Squish factor is a technical term, of course.
I also made him a rather large buddy in a darker shade of blue.
You may be able to see, he is taking up nearly half of a six foot table.
I love how his eyes turned out, very expressive.
Here they are together. I am sure they will enjoy many hours of swimming together!
My favorite pattern I have made as part of this experiment has to be the foxes I made using this pattern. It is adorable, simple, and yet doesn’t look too simple. I am thinking about ways I can adapt this pattern to different animals – maybe a dog, cat, elephant? Who knows?
They are so cute, and I imagine they are best friends!
I really got quite a bit of experience with the applique setting on my sewing machine doing their faces. I decided to make them complimentary in color.
I think they both turned out quite cute. I am very pleased with this little experiment, and I am sure there are lots more to come. I just love working with new things and learning about new crafts. Ever since, I have picked up every stuffed animal I see (dog toys included) to examine their construction. Just like amis, they are basically a combination of simple shapes. I love to see simple things that work together and make a very complex whole. I hope you enjoyed this small stuffed menagerie.