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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Photobucket

68 comments:

  1. Absolutely Darling! Thank you! I will be adding them to the list of makes i will be doing for the Christmas Charity that i do for each year.

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  2. I've made a bunch of these guys and will be featuring this on my blog on Monday; I wanted to get your permission to use one of your pictures? (and I'll of course link back here!) thanks,
    AmberLou
    heers04 at msn dot com

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  3. That would be lovely! thanks for the link back.

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  4. Love it!!! Thanks for sharing, I can't wait to try it out.

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  5. Love these!! My little sister LOVES dinosaurs, I need to make one of these for her!

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  6. OMGosh, how cute!!! My cousin is having her first baby and guess what? She's doing the nursery in dino's! This would be perfect! Thank you so much for sharing!!

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  7. superbe j adore et m inscris a ta newletter bisesssssssssss

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  8. Loved this so much, I featured it today!! Check it out at the link below:

    http://superstinkyboys.blogspot.com/2011/06/dino-rama.html

    Feel free to snag my I Was Featured button and link up to Mad Skill Monday linky party! Hope you'll visit soon!
    xoxo
    Ginger
    SSB

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  9. Thanks Ginger! much appreciated :)

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  10. Thanks so much for posting!! My son is turning 3 next month and said he wanted a dino party and I'm trying to make a few as party favors. You can check my first one out at my blog if you'd like!

    http://redhottmamma.blogspot.com/2011/07/look-what-i-can-make.html

    I did post a link back to this page.

    Thanks again!

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  11. Feel free to use my pics on here! I've already started making another one, I'll prolly post some more photos of the finished dinos when the party gets here :) Thanks so much!

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  12. Thank you so much for sharing this adorable pattern! (I found you on Pinterest.)

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  13. Just had the dinosaur party! Thanks again for the tutorial the kids really loved them :)

    You can see some more dinos on this link.

    http://redhottmamma.blogspot.com/2011/08/dinosaur-birthday-party.html

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  14. They are adorable...thanks for the tutorial! I am your newest follower.

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  15. I'm making one right now!

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  16. Thank you for posting the tutorial. i doubled the sizes of the dino patterns to make them squishy cot buddies and they work fantasicly!! your sock doggies will make wonderful stocking pressies! tiggz

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  17. Your dino's are soooo adorabl!!. Here's my <a href="http:angelheartscrafts.blogspot.com>stegosaurus plush</a>

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  18. bonsoir,

    adorable ce dinosaure et merci pour le partage,

    bonne soirée
    sarvenaz

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  19. Hello. I am opening an Etsy shop as a fundraiser for our next adoption & I would love to feature your little dinos. No pressure at all, just checking.

    Thank you! :)

    Our blog is www.ourghanaadoption.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. hi patty. I am intrigued- please email me at gekkogirl@btinternet.com so we can discuss :)

      Delete
  20. Love these - will definitely be giving these a go soon. Thanks for the tutorial.

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  21. I like the dinosaurs they're really cute. I was a little disappointed to see that you don't have the amount of fabric that you used and to what scale they are. I can print the pattern on one sheet of paper or two, I'm guessing that it's two so that it isn't shrunk. What are you're views on doing this in flannel or fleece?

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    Replies
    1. Hi! The patterns you download are best printed without scaling, so each sheet is printed on a single A4 piece of paper.
      The amount of material is the equivalent of two A4 sheets so they will fit on a fat quarter (but I haven't checked if it works for directional fabric).
      I imagine flannel and fleece would work but you would have to be aware that they could have a stretch (often in one direction) which could make your dino "fat" in one direction when you stuff him.
      I haven't tried and would love to see photo's if you succeed! :)

      Delete
  22. It is adorable! :) I just finished it and it looks fantastic. My son loves it! Though, I am a beginner, and the last leg looks quite... bad. How do you finish the last leg?!

    Thanks in advance!

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  23. Hi! It does take some practice to make small neat hand stitches so that the last leg doesn't look too bad :)
    I use a whip stitch to get it closed. I have edited the above post to include a small diagram to show how I do it.

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  24. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about doing a stuffed apatosaurus! Lo and behold, this was the first site on the google search. This is incredibly helpful, AND it's adorable! ♥♥

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  25. This pattern is fantastic! Thank you very much for sharing it. I made one to use as a drop for the Toy Society. http://www.flickr.com/photos/70952905@N07/7229568848/in/photostream Definitely going to put the pattern in my tried and liked bookmark folder, and the next one will have crinkly plastic in the spines on its back!!

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  26. Hi, thought I would drop you a line to say i think this tutorial is amazing and I hope you don't mind that I have created a post on my blog about your animals. Feel free to pop over and have a look....

    http://prettyshabbyuk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/collection-of-stuffed-animal-tutorials.html

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    Replies
    1. Ooooh! love it! thanks so much for the love :)

      Delete
  27. My daughter made one of these tonight, but we ran into a problem that no one else seemed to have: the legs on the baby elephant and constructed differently than these, and we couldn't figure out how to get the "feet" sewn on using the machine. Did you do the stitching by hand?

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    Replies
    1. Hi! yes, for the elephant you sew the completed legs to the underside of the body by hand. For this dinosaur you can sew the sides of the legs using amachine but sometimes the underside circle "pads" of the feet are a bit small to sew to the legs to close off the tubes. If I'm feeling lazy I struggle to do it with my machine, even when they don't come out perfectly circular. But I think the best results would come from sewing around the circles by hand. Hope this helps :)

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    2. Thank you so much for your quick response! Have a great Monday!

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  28. can i sell my finished softies using your patterns?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Renee
      please send me an email at gekkogirl@btinternet.com so we can discuss. In general I let people use my patterns to make handmade items for craft sales etc. I already have a store presence on Folksy and Etsy and would not like to be competing with myself so I don't let people sell them there.
      But! All situations are different and perhaps we could come up with an arrangement or licensing of some sort depending on you plan.
      I look forward to hearing from you.

      Delete
    2. Hi,
      I'm a novice at all this so forgive me if this is a silly question.

      I saw you said in the tutorial that your dinosaur pattern suits non stretchy fabric. I have some babygrows of my son's that I would love to turn into a stuffie for him as a keepsake but they are all jersey knit - is this a complete no-no? Would this be a complete disaster in a stretchy fabric?

      Thanks for any advice.

      Emma

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    3. Hi Emma
      As far as the material goes I would advise caution and perhaps try it on an old t-shirt of similar stretchiness to the clothes you want to use, so you don't use up your keep sakes in your trial.

      The reason I don't advise it is that the stretch is going to distort the original shape. You get fabric for clothes (t-shirts and baby grows etc) -mostly called jersey knit- which can stretch in just one direction (confusingly called 2-way stretch) and some that stretch in both directions (4-way stretch) [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stretch_fabric]. So, if you choose a 2-way stretch then the dino may end up very loooong or very taaaaall, depending on the direction of the stretch in relation to the direction of the dino pattern. It would stretch from nose to tail or from underside of feet to top of back.
      With a 4-way stretch the way you stuff the dino will greatly influence its shape, since it'll distend in all directions.

      Hmmmm. I suppose you could create a non-stretchy layer underneath the stretchy one to sort of contain it. So, basically cut all the pieces twice- one in the stretchy and one in a plain cotton without stretch. If you have a fabric spray fixative (like they use in quilting) you can attach each non-stretchy to its sister stretchy piece and then carry on as if they were one unit. That way you have stopped it stretching. You could tack them together and remove the tacking stitches when you are done too. The non-stretch cotton will be inside the dino, preventing the stretch, and your baby clothes will be on the outside. You may need to enlarge the pattern a bit to make this work as a few double layers are going to make some of the seams and corners tight.

      If you do manage, please let me know and possibly send me a picture! I'd love to see and you may be inspiration for another mum who love to create such a special thing for their children :)

      Delete
  29. Dutifully linking my completed version here for ya: http://flufflestuff.tumblr.com/post/27194488830/dinosaur-raaaarrr-i-made-it-for-a-friends I made it for a friends kid as a present. I think it ended up well, although the pattern was a little odd on my printer for some reason. The legs didn't quite match up, but I sorted it out.

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  30. Made this for my son...he loves it

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  31. Hi! first of all thanks for this tutorial. i tried to make this dinosaur but unfortunately it did not turn out 100%. i had a rough time with the feet and also attaching the tummy to the body. Should i have enlarged the pattern? everything was so tiny that i couldn't work on it with a sewing machine that well. Maybe i need some sewing classes lol!

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  32. Hello, I'm French. I realized your dinosaur. it is very cute. The first was a bit difficult but the second is very successful. Thank you very much for the tutorial. Marion

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  33. Hi, these are fantastic, my friends and I are making our Christmas presents for one another and these are perfect, thanks!!

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  34. Thanks so much for the tutorial! I made one of these for a present for a friend's baby...you can see my finished version here -
    http://www.flowerflame.com/2012/10/my-creative-space-orange-dinosaur.html

    Thanks again!!

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    Replies
    1. good job! I like him very much! ;)

      Delete
  35. Hi There

    So cute! What would be involved if I was to use your pattern to make these to say for my small WAHM business in New Zealand?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Bronwyn
      please send me an email at gekkogirl@btinternet.com so we can discuss. In general I let people use my patterns to make handmade items for craft sales etc. I already have a store presence on Folksy and Etsy and would not like to be competing with myself so I don't let people sell them there.
      But! All situations are different and perhaps we could come up with an arrangement or licensing of some sort depending on you plan.
      I look forward to hearing from you.

      Delete
  36. Waaah, they're sooooo cute!!! :D I absolutely adore them!

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  37. Hi. Re the debate diplodocus or not, my son informs me Diplodocus is a term used by people who don't know which of the larger herbivorus dinosaurs they are looking at. It could be a variant of an apatosaurus, brachiosaurus or any of their relatives. He also says that the dinos with plates aren't 'diplodocus' types but are related to the smaller stegosaurus and its relatives.
    So there you go. Out of the mouths of babes...
    Love the pattern, am gonna see if it can be adapted along with careful stitching and padding to accomodate a brick for aforementioned son's door which slams shut of its own accord on a regular basis; hope you don't mind.

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    Replies
    1. Well there you go! Thanks for the info- I'm still stuck in the Jurassic, so I can't be expected to understand ;)
      Of course you should try adapt it:
      I can think of two ways:
      1) just don't sew the arcs on the legs of belly piece. I think this will make them splay out instead of standing straight. Then you can add a brick to the tummy. I think you'll have to enlarge the pattern a bit to fit a hole brick in though.
      2) Fill the legs and tail and belly with lentils or rice or even large grained sand. It starts to weigh enough very quickly.

      Happy crafting and I'd love to post a photo here, if you'd let me, of your finished creation.

      Delete
  38. I love this pattern - I wanted to make a dinosaur for my friend for Christmas so this pattern was perfect - you can see the finished result here:

    http://bozrena.deviantart.com/art/Bob-338421393

    Thank you :)

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  39. This site has given me two ideas for Christmas Presents!! THANK YOU! I am about to make a dino. I love to handsew and will be getting a sewing machine for Christmas. Would you reccomend back stitch or oversewing? >^..^<

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    Replies
    1. I think with the cotton I would overstitch- unraveling will be a big issue with some cottons and you need strong seams that have a good double layer of sewing if you are going to submit the dino to the games of a child!

      Delete
  40. Make that 42 million ideas. :):):):):):):)

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  41. I can't get the first page of the pattern to open. Is there a way you could email it to me? I would love to make one for a friends child for Christmas!

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    Replies
    1. oh no! I have checked the links myself and they seem to be working, but here are the pieces:
      https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/5qqnl4sD5s-Gy1Zz5-q7f9MTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink
      and
      https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/jAMmkgwflOS85pGxxiyOItMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink
      hope this helps :)

      Delete
  42. hi,i loove these little guys, i used flease for the body and for the spikes i used felt, also i didnt put on the little feet disc's and they game out just fine, every one loooves them. I even did them in two tones, one was yellow body and black belly, and was called bumble bee dino

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  43. Thank you so much for the idea. I didnt download the pattern but tried to follow your instruction. You made making the dinosaur so simple. I am a total beginner of sewing machine. Though the stitches was terrible, the dinosaur does stand up fine !! I am stuffing it now ! Hope my little girl will like it !! thank you so much !! (Yuko)

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  44. Thank you very much for the pattern :) You can see your/my dino for 3 years young boy who loves dinosaur here:
    http://wiedzma-domowa.blogspot.com/2013/03/dinozaury-jady-szyszki.html?showComment=1363594668176#c6637910294911406060

    Thank you :)

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  45. Beautiful. Love them

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  46. oh dear. all of the plushie projects on your site look way too easy and fun! my baby is going to have more stuffed toys than he knows what to do with!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! That is very sweet to say!

      Delete
  47. hello I was wondering if you have made any other types of dinosaurs?

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  48. Looking forward to making this for my nephew who is due in September. I made my niece a bunny when she was born and think that this little dino s perfect for a boy. Thank you.

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  49. I really love this dino!! Thanks for the tutorial.

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  50. The links to the pattern pieces don't seem to be working. Might it be fixed soon?? I was planning to make one of these as a Christmas gift.

    Thanks for this amazing pattern!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Emily
      They work for me (and I'm not signed in) but try these as the direct links:
      https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/5qqnl4sD5s-Gy1Zz5-q7f5ZyLePooCXj-OowTMgv0B8?feat=directlink
      https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/jAMmkgwflOS85pGxxiyOIpZyLePooCXj-OowTMgv0B8?feat=directlink

      Delete
  51. Very nice tutorial and pattern, easy to follow steps, and adorable creature as a final product. I made my dinosaur using your pattern for my 3 year old niece and i think she will love it because she adores dinosaurs with long necks :D
    Here is a link to my stuffy that i uploaded to my pinterest site.
    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/474777985688444743/

    Thank you again for great tutorial, and keep your great blogs and ideas coming.
    Linda from Slovakia

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  52. You wouldn't happen to know where I could find a Triceratops pattern would you? Or maybe you have one?

    ReplyDelete

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