These are the items you'll need:
Light coloured fleece
Dark coloured fleece (this doesn't have to be in trad Panda colours)
Pure cotton/calico - patterned material is fine as long as it is 100% cotton
Polyester fibre filling (or a pillow you're willing to destroy)
Dry 'meal' filling such as flaxseed, uncooked rice, cherry stones
Dressmaker's pencil or Tailor's chalk
Matching cotton thread
Hand sewing needles
Air erasable pen or light pencil
Embroidery thread (optional)
The pattern I've provided is merely a guide, and it creates a Panda that's about twelve inches tall from top to toe.
Cut out the two pieces for the head from the light coloured fabric. Set aside for now.
Cut out the front body piece and the two back pieces ensuring that the top back body is cut from the dark/contrasting fabric. Set these aside, for now, as well.
Decide how much seam allowance you want around the pieces and cut out (I think 3 or 4mm is about enough for a medium weight fleece.)
Turn the ears right side out and set to one side.
Firstly, we need to bring the pieces we cut out earlier back to the table.
We need to start by sewing the head pieces to the front body and upper back body pieces.
Turn the raw edge on the upper body piece inside and sew down.
Pin everything into place, but remember to leave spaces for the limbs: essentially one at each corner.
Sew around the entire panda remembering to lock the stitches at either side of each of the limb openings.
Take more polyester filling and stuff the head until it reaches a suitable level of fullness.
Pin along the neck line then hand sew shut to keep the stuffing in place. (You will find that you can use the light thread to perform this task without it showing up on the darker fabric if you sew along the line created when the head and body were joined.)
"It's beginning to look a lot like Panda!"
Measure the dimensions of your panda's torso and add half an inch, all around, for seam allowance.
We now need our piece of cotton/calico.
You can either do this the regular way and cut out two rectangles and sew them together, leaving a gap of approximately 2" for turning. Or you could fold the cotton in half, chalk your dimensions on the fabric (as we did with the limbs and ears) and sew on the drawn line, also leaving a 2" gap for turning. Either way will work fine - just pick the one you're most comfortable with.
(Cook for between one and three minutes but always make sure that you place a cup of water in the microwave next to the pillow to stop the cotton from catching alight.)
This is where the (optional) embroidery thread comes in. If you don't have any, you can use regular thread doubled up (this is what I did, as my embroidery thread has gone walkies!) I wanted to keep the face fairly simple, as the panda's head isn't particularly large, but feel free to decorate the face as you see fit (felt is always great for creating eyes for cuddly toys.) I marked, with pins, where I wanted the features to go and used an air erasable pen to draw the face on before sewing his eyes and mouth. However, if you're a whiz at embroidery (unlike me) you can do the whole thing freehand!
And there he is. All ready for snuggling!