Sunday, 15 May 2011

Plush Dinosaur with Sewing Pattern

Finally the long awaited stuffed/plush dinosaur (brontosaur (Apatosaurus) vs diplodocus continues!) tutorial with sewing pattern! I've wanted a dino plushie/stuffie for a long time so I made three! :)
Edit: Click here to see Dino's people have made with this tutorial. Thanks everyone!

For this project you will need:

  • Paper pattern pieces cut from the Stuffed Dinosaur sewing pattern Page 1 of 2 and Stuffed Dinosaur sewing pattern Page 2 of 2. To print properly to a full A4 you need to Download the images then print them. Each of these pattern pieces is an A4 or standard letter size sheet. Join the sheets along the dotted line and cut the pattern pieces. A seam allowance of 0.5cm (1/4 inch) is given, add more if you like.
  • Fabric- I used good old quilting cotton here but any non-stretchy material will do, although heavier upholstery type fabrics will be harder to turn right side out. Use a fun contrasting fabric for the scales along the back or even a multitude of colours.
  • 1 pair safety eyes- these are easy to find in craft store, fabric stores and on the net but you could replace them with felt eyes, fabric paint eyes, buttons etc.
  • Stuffing- I used fibre fill but old pillow stuffing, sewing scraps etc could be substituted
  • Scissors
  • Thread
To begin:
Cut all your pattern pieces like so-
Note the blue scales at the bottom are two pieces of fabric each. For the scales I used three of the larger scales, two of the medium and one of the smallest. Remember to cut two of the sides of the bodies and only 1 of the underside of the body. You'll need four of the circles for the pads of the feet.
With the fabric wrong sides together, sew the all scales along four sides only, leaving the bottom edge unsewn to enable turning right side out, as shown below:
This seam allowance is only 0.5 of a cm else the scales get too bulky. At each corner snip away the fabric as shown so that the corners are pointy when we turn them right sides out.
Turn all the scales right sides out (and press with an iron if you wish) and place to one side.
Next take the underside of the body piece and fold the leg sections towards the middle of the piece. Then sew a shallow arc as shown in the photo- this will enable the legs to stand underneath the body instead of splaying out to the side. Do this for each leg. Do not worry if there is not very much left of the "belly" material left. It'll work.
 Next by matching up the leg pieces and starting at the feet sew the underside of the body to the side of the body. Note- DO NOT sew up the bottom of the feet. The photo below shows the three seams- front leg to chin, back of front leg to front of back leg and finally back leg to underside tail. Also note that the underside body only reaches to the chin and stops before the end of the tail.
Sew the other side body to the piece created above using the same method of starting at one of the legs. Here is a detail shot of what should happen at the the tail. It looks very similar at the chin. DO NOT at this stage sew along the back or around the head, Only sew the underside of the body to the side pieces. Not the side pieces to each other.
Another detail look at those legs before  sewing all together- as you can see the arcs on the lower body will make those legs sections shorter. That is OK! Since I can't regulate how shallow or deep your arcs will be this is variable so I made the legs the same length and you can trim them to the same length.
That is the underside of the body complete.
Take your scales and line them along your dinosaurs back. I placed mine largest to smallest.
Flip each of the scales towards the inside of the body, sandwiching each scale between the side body pieces. Pin these in place since they tend to move about.
I didn't get any photo's of the next few steps.
Sew the body closed by starting at the chest where the underside of the body piece ends, around the head and to the tail. The only opening should be the undersides of the feet. Sew three of the four feet circles into three of the four leg tubes to complete them. For help on this see "Making the Feet" in the Baby Elephant Tutorial. Use the remaining open foot to turn the dinosaur the right way around.
At this point  I loosely stuff just the head to get a feel for it and mark where I want the eyes to be. Then I remove the stuffing and insert the safety eyes according to their instructions. You can skip this step if painting or sewing on the eyes later
Beginning at the head and tip of the tail stuff the dinosaur firmly. If he is too soft his neck will flop from side to side. Once the stuffing is completed sew the last foot pad circle into the last open leg to close it.
That's it! Make an army of colourful dinosaurs and have a congratulatory cup of tea!
(The dino on the left was my prototype is a slightly different shape)

Please leave me a comment if you liked this project or, if you've made one, I'd love a link and perhaps I'll show it to everyone else in an update! Happy sewing!

PS Two of these Dinosaurs are available in the Little Black Teapot Shop 

Edit: Here is a quick sketch of how I close up the seams that are left using a whip stitch:
The "right side" of the fabric is the patterned side and the wrong is the other side. I have shown where the thread goes using dots but the dotty art will not be seen.
Hope this helps :) 

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Thursday, 5 May 2011

Single Sock Dog Update

Single Sock Puppy is a favourite of the peeps who visit here and so I thought I'd add two photo's that people have been kind enough to send me of their versions of the puppy.
First from Emma over at
She made a standard one and then a dragon from the same idea. Love it!

These three were made by user Kantia and her daughter and a friend.
She was kind enough to repeat my tutorial for a single sock puppy on the website and show other users her results
Pam over at kindly pointed me to hers in my comments. One is a mouse but I think he is super cute!

Thank you to everyone who visits and posts comments! It really helps to know that people are positive about my/our work and that I'm part of such a bright and vibrant community :)

Manic Mobiles

What I should never do is stand in the shower and think about how happy and blessed I am. This is apparently like honey to bad luck flies. Seriously, a close family member dies, husband changes jobs (not for good reasons) and then husband slips a disc in his back and is bed ridden for three weeks.

But the interesting thing is this- it turns out I craft to relive stress. So there has been oodles of crafting- it's just that blogging is not stress relieving in the same way,so the proof of all the crafting starts now!

I had to make a mobile for my then soon-to-be-born Godson. I made many different its before settling on one idea but the others are still around and I'll sell them in my shop on Folksy. One of the ideas not to make the cut was this steam punk type airship:

I am particularly fond of the little patches on the balloon part. Oh! and the propeller. I didn't think the fins would turn out to look so convincing.
Next I tried a little floating house- which was too uncomfortably like the "Up" house (which I haven't seen but it seems my my sub-conscious has!)

But, finally, this is the pattern I liked the most although this one was a bit too big.
Eventually I got what I was looking for. What so much felt had to die for!

It was a wrench to give it away but since I made so many I'm fairly confident I could redo it in my sleep now!
Hope these brightened your day (they brightened some dark hours for me making them).
Stuffed dinosaur tutorial soon- just sketching out the pattern to be able to be downloaded. Sleep tight!

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