When the insanely adorable Thicket collection by Gingiber (Stacie Bloomfield) arrived in the shop I just knew we needed samples because it’s so hard to see their cuteness potential on the bolt. Kym whipped these up in no time, but the bolt of Large Critter Panels she used sold just as fast! We’re sharing this tutorial because you can still make darling cuddly critters with the Little Critter Panel or apply this tutorial to any other soft toy project your heart desires. Take it away, Kym!
These new Critter Panels are so sweet! And they make it super simple to make soft toys. This project is perfect for beginners and a nice quick make for a more experiences sewist. Here is a quick tutorial for you sharing my method…
You will need:
*The Critter Panel animal of your choice. I’ve started with the fox.
*A fat quarter of fabric to use as the ckcking, I chose Thicket – Dashes in Black and Natural
*A water soluble pen or another method of drawing lines on your fabric
*General sewing supplies: Fabric scissors, Pins, Sewing Machine, Iron, Hand sewing needle, Coordinating thread.
Start by giving your fabric a quick press to eliminate any annoying creases. Then working on the wrong side of your animal panel and using a water soluble pen, draw a line marking your finished size and shape. This is the stitching line. Be sure to test your pen first to make sure it rubs out!
When you are happy with the shape, draw another line about half an inch away on the outside of this line. This is the cut line. Your panel should now look like this…
Cut around the outside line.
Place your backing fabric right side up and then lay your cut out animal on top right side down. Pin the two layers together and cut around the shape.
Starting at the bottom left side of your panel stitch around your stitching line using a straight stitch. You may find it easier to reduce the stitch length on the tighter corners.
Stop stitching at the bottom right side of the panel so there is a gap of about 4inches for turning and stuffing (see picture below, the gap is between the two pins). Make sure you back/lock stitch at both ends to prevent your stitches from coming loose when stuffing.
Trim down the seam allowance to reduce bulk and clip into the tighter curves to help give a flat finish when turning. You may wish to turn it to the right side first to see which corners need to be clipped.
Snip off any loose threads and turn your soft toy to the right side. A point turner like the one I’m using from Merchant & Mills or a chunky knitting needle may be helpful here.
Give the seams a press and press the seam allowances on the gap so they sit inside the toy. Fill with toy filling, making sure to push the stuffing into any awkward corners first before filling up the body. Again a knitting needle may help here.
Sew up the hole by hand using Ladder Stitch.
When you get to the end of the hole finish the thread by tying a loop knot and then pass the needle through close to the knot, pushing it through the toy so it comes out in a totally different place. Pull the thread through and cut close to where it exits and it will pop back inside and secure your stitches further. Remove any visible pen lines with a damp cloth.
Give your toy a plump up like a cushion and you’re done! I also made the Bear Critter to keep Mr Fox company in the shop!
These lovely creatures could be used as soft toys or cushions. Or why not add a weight to the inside of the bottom and use them as a door stop! You could also add embellishments in embroidery, beads, ribbons or anything you fancy to personalise your Critter.
I can’t wait to see what you make with these cuties! Share your makes with #thevillagehaberdashery and #tvhhaul!