Introduction: Stuffed Pals for Lovely Gals
Here's a way to make an adorable little fuzzy pal, and in the somewhat altered words of Snoop Doggy Dog a la Lodi Dodi:
"For those who don't like it, eat a d*ck. But for those who with me, SEW that sh*t."
So you find yourself with a lovely girlfriend, but you live 236 miles away? Make her a plush friend to hold in your stead!
This isn't particularly hard to make, either. Just requires patience and time. If you hand-sew it for some dumb reason (like I did), then you can expect this to take at least 20+ hours. With a sewing machine, I imagine the process will be much faster.
You can make this with minimal sewing knowledge (basic sewing, making knots, tucking in/hiding knots, closing an opening) and relatively low costs (fabric, thread, and any sewing supplies you may need to buy).
Step 1: Design & Prepare.
First, make sure you know what you're going to make. Sounds simple, but all too often I start projects without a solid idea of what I'm doing. While that's not fatal or even problematic, it certainly helps if you have a clear image of what you're going for.
One very important thing to consider when you're designing your doll is that the entire doll has to be flipped inside out during its creation, so make sure you don't have any parts that will be impossible to flip. (For instance, the arms in this design was almost too large on the end.) On the other hand, it IS fabric so you do get some allowance with size.
- Marker/something to mark the fabric
- Fabric glue
- Two kinds of fabric (try to pick contrasting colors for visual impact etc.)
- Felt (for facial parts)
- Filling (fiberfill, old shirts, your annoying cat that won't stop messing with your project)
Optional Tools and Materials:
- Cardboard (for a pattern)
And of course, lots of free time.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE NECESSARY TOOLS & MATERIALS . (Hopefully that seems obvious to you)
Step 2: Trace, Pin, Trim.
Now that you have all the requisite tools and materials, it's time to make a larger template of your design! There's no picture for that particular step since it's entirely up to you what you make and how large you make it.
After you have your template, lay it down on your chosen fabric. Make sure the fabric is folded in half, wrong sides facing out, so you can pin and cut out both sides of the doll at the same time. Now pin everything down so it does not move around, and start tracing the pattern onto the fabric!
Done? Ok, now, make sure everything is pinned down, and start cutting around the lines, leaving about 1/4 in. allowance outside of it at the very least. Make sure you mark clearly the opening through which you'll flip the doll inside out, so you don't accidentally sew it shut. (Trust me, you want to make this VERY visible)
Step 3: So...sew.
First of all, if you're not sure how to sew, I recommend this instructable to learn yo'self some sewin'.
Now, once you've learned how to sew (or if you already knew how), sew the two pieces together along the traced lines.
WARNING: If you used marker or anything dark to mark the lines, make sure you sew on the inside of the lines, or the marks will be visible when you flip the doll inside out!
Again, make sure you DO NOT sew through the opening for the inside-out-flipping process . (By now the more astute readers among you have probably discerned that this is something I do all too often...learn from my mistakes, people.)
Step 4: Details 1
Now that you have the base of the doll done, it's time to start adding some details!
Follow the procedures used for the doll base to cut out various details and embellishments for the doll out of your other fabric.
Once you have the pieces of fabric, either pin them on or glue them on (i prefer to glue) and sew around the edges to firmly attach it to the doll. If you do choose to use glue, make sure you leave an unglued strip around the perimeter of the piece so you can hide the knotted ends of threads under it.
WARNING: Be careful not to sew through both layers of the fabric when sewing on the detail pieces!
Of course, another way of doing this, and one that avoids the other problem altogether, is to sew the details on before you sew the two pieces of the doll base together. However if you're not careful that can cause the two sides to no longer be identical in size and shape after the details are sewn on.
Be creative. Be REALLY creative. This is the step that really makes the doll your own unique design.
Step 5: Details 2
Once your first round of details are done, it's time to add the final bits!
I added a heart and various face pieces cut out of felt. Use similar methods to the doll base and detail pieces to make the felt pieces.
Again, glue and sew.
Of course, you can always go without sewing too, as I did for the face parts. Sewing around it just gives it a nice look, I think.
Step 6: Stuff & Close!
Now just stuff the doll to your liking (use a pen or a stick if you can't reach the narrower bits).
You can really stuff with anything (preferably soft and inanimate), but fiberfill is nice, soft, and not very expensive.
Once the doll is adequately stuffed, you must sew the opening closed.
I don't have a picture for this, but let me give you a brief description of how to close up a doll.
- thread your needle, knot the end, and push the needle from the inside side of the fabric to the outside.
- making sure to keep the 1/4-inch allowance, thread the needle from the inside-out from the front side of the doll, and then outside-in on the back side of the doll. Continue until the opening is completely closed.
- tie a knot around the last stitch, and then make a knot as close as you can to the stitch. push the needle through the seam and out somewhere else to pull the knot into the doll, and cut the remaining thread close to the fabric so the thread disappears into the doll.
Now sit back, and bask in the glory of a project well done. Give it a name, too, to prevent future identity crises should they ever gain sentience. This one was named Zeke.
Oh, and of course, give it to the lady. I know, you want to keep it because you put so much work into it, but that's precisely why it'll mean that much more as a present. I know buddy, I know. Parting with them is always the hardest.
Also, if anybody would rather just have a doll made for them, I'd be happy to help. Feel free to message me and we can work something out.