Basically, this is a tutorial on how to make a stuffed animal, and a baby blanket, with embroidery to personalize it for that special baby.
This instructable was made for and entry for the Etsy groups Sew Useful Contest. The finished blanket and donkey are for sale at the Etsy website at: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6099232
Items you will need: (you may choose your colors, but I'll mention the colors I chose)
*1.5 yards of blue fleece
*1/4 yard white fleece or felt
*blue embroidery yarn
*big enough needle to fit the embroidery yarn through
*blue yarn (to use with sewing macine)
*plastic eyes with washers for donkey
*blue double folded quilt binding (optional)
*Stitch witchery fusible hemming bonding web (optional with quilt binding)
*about 1/4 yards of fleece with Winnie the Pooh theme (optional)
Step 1: Getting Started: Cut Your Pattern Out.
Tip, you can print out the images posted here large enough on your printer and cut them off from that.
After you have the pattern cut out, place it over your fabric and trace around so that you can cut out the pices.
Check on the pictures how many of each you'll need in which fabrics. (The great thing is that fleece/felt don't really have a right and reverse side, so you don't have to worry about that.)
Step 2: Let's Get Sewing!
Ears and tail:
1. Sew one blue and one white part of the ears together. Make sure you leave the bottom unsewed so that you can next turn them inside out.
2. Next grab the tail and roll it up, sewing the rolled up edge to keep it from unraveling, set it aside.
3. Grab the blue body parts and sew the little form pleats in the butt.
4. Next take the white belly parts and sew the top seam, leaving an opening in the middle.
5. Now we can start putting the donkey together. Beginning with the ears. Fold the ear a little and arrange it on the right side of the body piece by the head. If it's easier pin the ear in place with the head slit. Sew the seam and repeat on the other side.
Step 3: Sewing the Rest of the Donkey
2. Now lay down the body and place the mane and tail where they belong. Fold the mane in half and tuck it inside the neck. (I had to cut the mane a little shorter to make it fit.) Flip the tail and tuck that inside also. When done sew the back seam from behind the ears to the belly piece.
3. Sew the little opening left under the chin of the donkey.
4. Turn inside out from the opening you left in the belly.
5. Eyes. You can buy plastic eyes like ones used in this demo with washers from well supplied craft stores or online (keyword plastic animal eyes). If wanted you could also substitute eyes for felt or buttons. But be aware of safety when given to a baby. For eyes with washers, cut a small hole in the fabric with scissors, and insert washer through the belly opening inside the head to match the eye piece. If you are using a button or felt, stuff the animal first.
6. After inserting plastic eye, stuff the donkey, starting with the head and legs. When done it should look like in this picture.
7. Pinch the belly closed and sew shut. You can pat yourself on the back, mr. Donkey is now done.
If you only want to make a stuffed animal you can exit this tutorial, otherwise stay tuned for the baby quilt.
Step 4: Baby Blankie
1. Take the left over blue fleece and cut it into a rectangle. You can decide what size you want for the baby.
2. Out of the remaning fabric, cut out a corner to fit over the blanket for the baby's head.
3. Optional. I used some fleece with Eeyore pictures on it to applique him onto the fabric. Take the extra fabric and cut around your character. Pin it down on the blue flece and sew around.
4. Optional. Cut pieces of blue quilt binding that are long enough to go all the way around your edges. If you dont want to go through the trouble of using the quilt binding on the edges, you can either leave the edges bare, since fleece doesn't fray, or you can stitch around the edges with a contrasting yarn, or you can cut a fringe on the edges with scissors.
Step 5: Embroidering the Name
What to write: For the purpose of this demo i will only embroider "baby". For a blanket that I have previously done, I wrote the name of the baby, and the birthdate. You could use initials, hearts, etc, get as creative as you want.
After you decide what to embroider, you can use the washable fabric pen to outline the letters. (My pen mark vanishes when I put some water on it.)
I used a stem stitch to do my letters. Tie a knot at the end of the yarn and stick it through the back at the beginning of your letter. See illusttration. Here is a website with instructions for basic stitches: http://www.embroiderersguild.com/stitch/stitches/index.html
After you are done stitching, sew the triangle in place. Note, if you decided to stitch around the edges instead, don't sew the triangle on separately. Just use the buttonhole stitch, from stitch library above, around all the edges.
Step 6: Quilt Binding
Since the fleece is a fairly thick fabric, I have found it easier to fasten the front of the binding on with tape before sewing. That way the binsing does not slip around so easily.
Take the first side of fleece with the binding and lay it flat on the board. I wrap the binding around the edge with the tape placed in between. Then iron the side according to the directions in the package. I ironed the binding all the way from corner to corner.
I sewed the two opposite sides first and then added the last two on in the same way. If you want to get more fancy, you can fold the ends into 45 degree angles.
After you are done, make sure you cut all the loose threads off, and voila! you ar done with the blanket.
Here is little donkey hiding in the corner pocket.
When you are done, you can wrap the donkey in the blanket and get some fancy ribbon to wrap around it. You could also get a nice basket or gift bag to arrange the presents into.
Imagine what an awesome and special present this could be for a baby, with their name and birthday embroidered on it!