Monday, December 13, 2010

Sewing a plushie toy (Pictorial tutorial)

I've been trying to sew stuffs to give away as Xmas presents....and while I'm at it, I thought that I may as well do some tutorials, which hopefully, could help other fellow SEWers :)

So the first step to making a plushie toy is to sketch out how you'd like your plushie to look like. If you are new to sewing.....go for simpler and more streamlined designs. My sketch pad is a mess.......

As I had settled for a very simple design, I drew the outlines (main body and hand) freehand using a thick marker on brown paper. If your design is more complicated, you can use a photocopier to blow up your drawing to the desired size and then trace it onto the brown paper. Cut out the designs.
Pin the brown paper onto your chosen fabric(s) and cut 2 pieces for the main body & 4 pieces for the arms. I used a thick colorful fleece fabric for my toy. Choosing the right fabric(s) is probably half the battle won.
I wanted a facial expression on my toy so I cut out little strips of black felt and pinned them onto my main body fabric (on the right side). You can also use other kinds of embellishment i.e. buttons, ribbons etc for the eyes/nose/mouth. But if the toy is meant for a young child, do avoid small decorative parts that could come loose.
To attach the "eyes" & "mouth", I used an applique stitch...... This is how the stitch would look like....
There you have it.....a smiley face!
Next I moved on to the arms. Pin 2 pieces of the arm fabric right side facing.....
Sew all around the "arm" except the base with a regular stitch......

From the base opening, slowly turn the "arm" onto the right side. BE VERY PATIENT.....if your arm is small and skinny...then it's gonna take more effort. Try poking around with a thin but blunt object.
Now that the arm is on the right side.....start stuffing it. I used poly-fil. After the arms are done, start piecing the main body fabrics and arms together as shown below. The right side of the fabrics should be facing inwards. The arms are to be "sandwiched" between the 2 main body fabrics.

And then piN, pIN & PIN all around the circumference of your plushie!!!! You'll need to leave a small gap for turning the fabric right side up as well as for stuffing. I decided to leave the gap at the side for easy sewing.

See the shouldn't be too big (otherwise you'll have lots to sew by hand) nor should it be too small (otherwise you'll have problems turning the fabric over or with the stuffing).
Flip your plushie right side out through the small gap. Again, please be patient and very gentle.
Woooohoooo, we are almost done. Plushie is looking good but flat!
Start stuffing your plushie up! Try to fill those awkward corners (i.e. ears/feet) first.....keep stuffing until you get the desired "feel".
Ok now your plushie is a little fatty.......let's deal with the HOLE now.
Using a slip stitch (refer to video link in my earlier scarf tutorial)....close up the gap. See, the slip stitches would be hardly visible.
At this point, you are DONE. But if you are still in the mood for more about dolling up your plushie a little? I cut 2 flowers off a piece of fleece fabric and sewed them onto my plushie for a tropical girly look. You can do whatever you please to give your plushie more character!
And finally......presenting Little Miss Psychedelic.....
Have fun designing and making your plushies. I'd love to see your creations. Feel free to leave me a message if you need help with your plushie.

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