Things You'll Need
- Brown paper
- 15-by-30-inch striped fabric
- Sewing machine
- Sewing thread
- Sewing needle
- Coarse thread
- 2 buttons
- Cotton filling
- Stuffing tool
Stuffed animals are an ideal gift for a loved one, especially a child. The soft friend invites children to use their imagination in play, while providing them with a bedtime partner. Creating a homemade stuffed toy allows you to tailor the project to the personality of the recipient for a keepsake gift. A gender-neutral animal, such as a tiger, can be fashioned with patterned fabric in their favorite color and enhanced with string whiskers and button eyes.
Draw the outline of a tiger body onto brown paper. The image should be 2 inches bigger than the desired size of the completed project. Include one front and one back leg, and the tail should curve down and then up.
Cut out the image and lay it flat on another sheet of brown paper. Trace the outline, and cut it out.
Lay one of the patterns on another sheet of brown paper near the bottom. Set your writing utensil at the back of the tiger. Trace around the bottom of the image, until you reach the chest.
Flip the pattern over, so the feet are now pointed up on the sheet of paper. Repeat the tracing process, beginning at the drawn line. The goal is to create the underside of the belly and the inside of the legs.
Cutting and Sewing
Place the fabric on a flat workspace and smooth out any wrinkles. Fit the pattern pieces on the fabric and pin them in place.
Cut around each of the pieces. Stack one of the full body pieces on top of the other with the good sides of the fabric facing each other.
Begin sewing at the chest of the lion, about halfway down and equal level with the belly. Sew 1/2 inch into the fabric, around the face and back to the backside of the tiger, lined up with the belly.
Open up the legs and smooth the fabric flat. The piece should remain inside out. Lay the third piece on top of the underside of the body, making sure the edges line up. Pin the piece in place.
Sew around the underside of the tiger, leaving a 3- to 4-inch gap at the belly. This creates spacing for construction.
Turn the tiger inside out. Thread a needle with sewing thread that complements the color of the fabric. Lay a small button for the eye in the appropriate place on the face.
Hold the needle and go through the belly of the tiger and stitch the eye firmly to the tiger. Repeat the process for the other eye.
Thread the needle again with 3 to 4 inches of coarse string for the whiskers, and make a large knot at the end. Go through the belly, and push the string through the underside where you want the whiskers to be placed.
Pull the needle all the way through, and cut the string off the needle. Repeat the process until you have about four to five whiskers on each side.
Push small tufts of batting into the belly of the tiger. Begin by stuffing the small crevices, such as the tail and face. Continue until the tiger is full, but not too tight.
Thread a needle with regular sewing thread. Fold the fabric ends together at the belly, and hand-sew the belly closed using small stitches.
This tiger is not suitable for children younger than 3 because of the button eyes.
- Soft Animals A to Z: Carolyn Vosburg Hall
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