We had also acquired our first sewing machine. My sewing and fabric knowledge is very limited, and I wanted to teach myself on this new machine. I decided I would take the scraps of fabric and make a stuffed plush kitten—kind of like a "memory bear" for a theatre show.
Step 1: Gathering the Materials
I thought through a few options, and decided I would make a blue kitten with a plaid stomach and ears. I would use the batting to stuff it with.
Using a seam ripper, the layers came apart easily.
Step 2: Patterning, Cutting and Pinning
I knew I had to trace the pattern pieces on the reverse-side of the fabric. It's a tricky concept to keep straight in my head; luckily, the fabric I was using was identical on the front and back. I had separate pieces for the arms, legs, and ears; the head and body were a single chunk. Each element had two matching pieces cut out for the front and back. I even remembered to pay attention to which way the grain of the fabric was running.
When the pieces were all cut out, I pinned them together to prepare for sewing.
Step 3: Ironing the Seams Open
I stitched the ears, arms and legs first. I only stitched the outside parts, leaving open the side that will be attached to the body. This allowed me to turn the piece inside-out (so that it will end up right-side-out) and fill with stuffing. I kept it open, because it would eventually be stitched close when I sew the entire body together, which is coming up in the next step.
Step 4: Pinning It All Together
This next part was tricky for me. I had to sandwich all the ears, arms and legs between the the two pieces of body fabric and stitch the circumference of the body so that when I turned the body inside-out, everything would be facing the right way and in the right places. Like I said earlier, it was hard for me to visualize this. Eventually I figured it out.
You need to leave one section un-sewn so you have a hole to pull the little guy inside out and to fill it with stuffing. Once it's all stuffed, your only option is to hand-stitch the hole shut. All the other tutorials I looked at suggest locating that hole in the bottom so that the final stitch is in the least-visible spot. I ended up leaving the hole in the top of the head. The head I designed was so absurdly large in comparison with the body—I thought it would be easier to fill it with stuffing that way.
Step 5: Stuffing
I stitched up the top with a ladder stitch—this website explains the ladder stitch the best.
Step 6: Finished
Finally, as I thought, one of my cats instantly took to this toy.