Alexa Kalist, one of our 2014 Cantik Batiks Youth Challenge winners, had a wonderful idea for teaching youth to sew. Make a simple stuffed animal (stuffie). They’re easy, fun, and quick. They can be stitched by hand and/or machine and the project is suitable for all experience levels. It’s a great way to unleash their creativity and build confidence.
Alexa designed an original stuffie and wrote the following tutorial. I’m thrilled to share it with you.
I made my own stuffie, using Alexa’s pattern. You can see him below and in the step-by-step photos. His name is Mulligan. He likes to collect lint and has a knack for finding lost pins and needles which makes him a handy fellow to have around.
I’d like to challenge our youth to make a stuffie. They can use Alexa’s pattern or design their own. Send your photographs, and the story of your stuffie, to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to share them on this blog.
Please leave a comment at the end of the post so Alexa can see how much we appreciate all her hard work.
How to Design and Make Your Own Stuffie
By Alexa Kalist
1. Start by figuring out what you want your stuffie to look like. You might want it to be big, or really small. It’s totally up to you.
2. You can use the pattern that I’ve provided or you can make your own. Here’s a link to my pattern:
Here’s how to make your own pattern:
STEP 1: Start by folding a piece of paper in half. You can use a simple sheet of printer paper if that’s the size that you want your stuffie to be, or you could use a bigger piece if you want a bigger stuffie.
STEP 2: Starting at the folded edge of the paper, draw half of what you want your stuffie to look like.
STEP 3: Keep the paper folded and cut out your ‘half shape.’
Now, when you unfold the pattern, you’ll have symmetrical shape that looks like what you want your stuffie to look like.
3. With the paper unfolded, pin the paper to the wrong side of your desired fabric. Draw around the shape, take off the paper, and with an adults’ help, cut out the shape. You can now repeat these steps on the fabric that you want for the back of your stuffie.
4. Now you’re going to want to make some eyes for your stuffie. Cut our some round white circles, the size that you want for the eyes, and some smaller black circles for pupils.
*TIP: You can use the lid from something in your fridge to make these circles.
5. Sew the white circles onto the piece of fabric that you want to use as the front of your stuffed animal. Put another piece of fabric on the wrong side of your stuffie shape under where you want to put the eyes. Make sure that you’re sewing the eyes on to the right side of the fabric.
6. Now that you can sew the black part (pupil) on top of the white part. You can also sew on a smile with some red thread or embroidery floss. You can add any other embellishments you’d like.
*TIP: You can use a glue stick to help the whites and pupils, of the eyes, stay where you want, while you are sewing them on.
7. You now get to sew the two sides of your stuffed animal together. Make sure that you face the fabric right sides together while you sew, otherwise, your stuffie will be inside out! Use a simple running stitch, and leave a gap of about 2 inches un-sewn.
8. Now that it is sewn all the way around, except for the gap that you left open, turn your stuffie outside-in, and stuff with polyester filling, or whatever you have on hand to fill it with.
*TIP: You can use the end of a pencil to get the stuffing into all the tight spots like arms and legs.
9. You’re almost done! Just sew the gap closed that you left open with a needle and thread, and voila!!
You have yourself your own personally designed stuffed animal.