Stuffed Rat Bag (draft!)


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Introduction: Stuffed Rat Bag (draft!)

Costume designer and theater tech in-training. Maker, puppeteer, Furby modder, and apparently now d…

(DRAFT! I'M STILL COLLECTING THE PICTURES!)

I first had the idea to make this rat bag as a dice bag for my D&D and MTG dice and counters. The zippered opening would be in the belly and the lining would be red satin for extra cursed factor. It was a challenge but a lot of fun and a lot of people liked it!

Recently someone (hi Daisy!) showed me a similar thing by the company Dollskill, but with the opening in the back and a strap to carry it as a purse. They really wanted one but didn't want to support the company and its questionable morals. So I cleaned up the pattern and adjusted the instructions to also work for a purse style, and figured if I'm going that far time to make an instructable too.


In this Instructable there will be three versions, the open belly dice bag rat that I first made, the open from the top purse rat from Dollskill, and a plain stuffed rat for all your rat stuffie needs.

Supplies

2 sheets of body color felt, I'd recommend high quality stuff, or an equal amount of your fabric.

1/2 sheet pink felt or an equal amount of your other fabric, for the tail, feet, and ears. If you're choosing other fabrics, I'd recommend something thick for the feet, even still going with felt if you can

Fabric for the lining if you're making a bag

Needle, pins, and possibly a sewing machine: if you're making it out of felt like I did, it's easier to hand-sew almost all of it since it's so small. I only machine-sewed the wider parts of the body, along the zipper, and my lining since it was a different fabric that liked to fray. With other fabrics you might want to machine sew almost the whole thing.

Thread, body colored and foot colored: we'll be using the foot thread to mark the toes so it will be visible.

Would recommend a chopstick for turning things inside out

Black embroidery thread for the nose and whiskers and embroidery needle

Two buttons or safety eyes for the eyes, or more embroidery thread

Scissors, anything you need to sew

Stuffing possibly

Any hardware or straps if that's what you're going for

Step 1: Cutting the Pieces

I'm working on making the patterns into a shared folder, for now just screenshot them or something. The square is 1/2 inch for scale.

Cut out everything according to which style you're making (see below) with at least a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Mark the lines for all the darts and the dot for the eye.

Open-Belly:

Cut all the pieces as instructed, instead of cutting the belly on the fold cut two mirrored and add a 1/2 inch extra for the zipper. Also do this with the belly lining piece.


Open-Back:

Cut all the pieces as instructed, except add 1/2 inch seam allowance to the two pieces of the body, along the back side (H to G). Also do this to the body lining. For the belly lining, cut it as one piece along the straight line fold.

Normal Rat:

Naturally, don't bother with the lining pieces.

Step 2: Legs and Tail

Pin the mirrored leg pieces right sides together and sew along the two straight sides. Make sure to keep your front and back legs separate. Sew all 4 like this.

For the feet, sew two pieces together right sides in, then turn inside out and poke the toes out with a chopstick. Stuff with a little bit of stuffing and sew the top closed. I've copied over some directions from my Furby tutorials on how to make the feet, since the technique is the same. The only difference is the placement of the end of the thread, which will be shown in a picture of the finished rat foot.

Stick the feet into the top of the leg so the ankle of the foot lines up with the ankle of the leg, with the foot inside the leg. Sew right across the ankle. Turn the leg inside out and you should have a leg with a foot.

For the tail, fold the tail piece in half and sew along the side. Carefully turn it inside out with a chopstick. You can stuff it if you like.

Step 3: The Head and Ears

Pin and sew the head darts. (Also refer to the picture above) these darts were made to be sewn with 1/4 inch on either side. Fold the dart on the line, mark 1/4 inch down, and sew a diagonal line from the spot along the edge to the inner tip of the dart line.

Pin and sew the two sides of each ear together and turn inside out. With the inside facing you, fold the two corners (W and X) to the center (Y). Pin and sew just enough to keep in place.

For the head, first sew the two chin pieces together along the straight edge (U to V), then the two head pieces together (U to S). Attach the head and chin pieces together (U to T) on either side to make a weird cone shape with the tip of the nose (U).

We're going to use embroidery thread to make the nose and whiskers. Start from the inside so the knot is hidden, and do several stitches wrapping across the tip of the head so it bunches up a little. Tie it off inside. For the whiskers, simply start a knot on the inside, thread it through, and tie a knot at the length you want them to be. Cut the thread after the knot.

Sew or insert your eyes on the dots

Step 4: The Body Pt.1

This is where paths start to diverge depending on what sort of rat you want to make. The first steps for the two bagged ones stay the same, and for the normal plush one just ignore the belly seam and only leave a seam open in the back for stuffing.

First, sew the darts in the two halves of the body.

Group your two halves of the body: each group will have a front leg, a back leg, a body piece and a belly piece with the head facing the same direction. Line up the (F, A,B,C, and D) spots on the body and belly pieces and sew (F to A) (B to C) and (D to E). You'll have two holes left to insert the tops of the legs into, (Q lines up with A, O with C). Make sure that you insert the legs from the outside so all the seams are on the same side. Sew around the top of the legs.

If you have a lining, sew each belly and body lining together in a similar way (J and K match up along the body's straight edge and the belly's curve). It won't line up perfectly, the pattern hasn't been perfected, but it's okay it's a lining.

You should now have:

1 head

2 ears

1 tail

2 mirrored body halves

2 mirrored lining halves

And it's time to start putting things together!

First, sew the two body pieces along the back from (H) to (E),
inserting the tail into the seam at the base of (E). Remember you're sewing this inside out so the tail should stick inward into the center of the stuffie. Next sew an inch or so along the back from (G) inward to complete the circle of the neck.

Pin the ears to the base of the head, right at the dart (or wherever you like them) and pin the head to the neck, matching up the center seam on the head and the body. Sew them together. You should now have an inside-out rat with a hole along the back and and an open seam along the belly. Turn it right-side out through one of the holes.

Step 5: The Body (open Belly)

This is the version I made first so it's going to be the best out of the tutorials until I experiment more.

Putting in zippers is hard just bear with me here, I'll get pictures soon.

You have to think about this like a banana. Your zipper banana will be
sandwiched by two pieces of fabric "peel". The pieces will be sewn with the zipper hiding, but then we fold the "peel" and reveal it. When you peel a banana, you see the inside of the peel becoming the outside, so you always want your fabrics to be facing the zipper when it's being sewn.

I repeat: you want the rat to be right-side out.

As shown in the beautifully drawn graphic, align the zipper with the seam of the belly with the teeth facing away from the seam and the outside with the pull facing down. Line it up so that the drawn line of the belly lines up with where you want the edge of the zipper to be, essentially how much fabric do you want on either side of it. Next align the corresponding half of the lining on to of that, with the nice side facing downward towards the zipper. Sew along this line, as close to the zipper as you want to be. Next, open up the zipper as much as you can, (use a safety pin to keep it from opening fully and losing the pull) pull the lining through it, and pin it over on the opposite side of the belly seam, mirroring what you did on the first side. You'll have to sort of turn the zipper inside out for this step, this is where you benefit from having a zipper that's a little too long. Align it as evenly as possible and align the other half of the lining on top if it, mirroring the other side as best as you can. You may need to work through the hole in the back to get this sewn, but as long as you pinned it right you'll be a-OK.

Next, stuff the lining through the open zipper and into the body of the rat. Fold the seam with the zipper so the teeth stick out towards each other and pin it flat. You'll have to hand-sew a line along here to keep this seam flat and everything in its place, about 1/4 inch from the fold. Once you're done with that you can zip her up and take a loot at the seam from the inside (through the back hole). You may have to add a couple hand stitches to either end of the zipper to make it look nice and clean, and cut off the extra (but not the pull!).

Pull the two halves of the lining through the hole in the back, they should now be right sides facing inward towards each other. Pin them together and sew to create a closed pouch, the only opening will be where the zipper is.

Now you can skip the other body section steps and move on to the last ones!

Step 6: The Body (open Back)

I haven't made this yet so I'm riffing it but it should be a lot like the belly seam ones, you just use a different seam!

Putting in zippers is hard just bear with me here, I'll get pictures soon.


You have to think about this like a banana. Your zipper banana will be sandwiched by two pieces of fabric "peel". The pieces will be sewn with the zipper hiding, but then we fold the "peel" and reveal it. When you peel a banana, you see the inside of the peel becoming the outside, so you always want your fabrics to be facing the zipper when it's being sewn.

I repeat: you want the rat to be right-side out.

As shown in the beautifully drawn graphic, align the zipper with the seam of the back with the teeth facing away from the seam and the outside with the pull facing down. Line it up so that the drawn line of the back lines up with where you want the edge of the zipper to be, essentially how much fabric do you want on either side of it. Next align the corresponding half of the lining on to of that, with the nice side facing downward towards the zipper. Sew along this line, as close to the zipper as you want to be. Next, open up the zipper as much as you can, (use a safety pin to keep it from opening fully and losing the pull) pull the lining through it, and pin it over on the opposite side of the back seam, mirroring what you did on the first side. You'll have to sort of turn the zipper inside out for this step, this is where you benefit from having a zipper that's a little too long. Align it as evenly as possible and align the other half of the lining on top if it, mirroring the other side as best as you can. You may need to work through the hole in the belly to get this sewn, but as long as you pinned it right you'll be a-OK.

Next, stuff the lining through the open zipper and into the body of the rat. Fold the seam with the zipper so the teeth stick out towards each other and pin it flat. You'll have to hand-sew a line along here to keep this seam flat and everything in its place, about 1/4 inch from the fold. Once you're done with that you can zip her up and take a loot at the seam from the inside (through the belly hole). You may have to add a couple hand stitches to either end of the zipper to make it look nice and clean, and cut off the extra (but not the pull!).

Pull the two halves of the lining through the hole in the belly, they should now be right sides facing inward towards each other. Pin them together and sew to create a closed pouch, the only opening will be where the zipper is.

Step 7: The Body (normal Plush)

After sewing the legs to the belly, you'll end up with one piece of body-belly-body fabric with legs, and the head and tail. Sew the rest as Step 4 says, leaving you with a fully inside-out rat with aback seam. Turn it right-side out again through this hole and you're ready to stuff!

Step 8: Stuffing?

First, add any accessories you want to while there's an open seam. Believe me it will be a lot easier at this point. If you want to add a strap, sew a couple of D-rings where you want it to connect, and really go over those things with embroidery thread so they stay.

My first rat bag was stuffed in the head and a little around the body. This may have been a mistake as the stuffing made it harder to put stuff in, even when I sewed little tacks to connect the lining and outside and hopefully keep the stuffing in place. I would recommend stuffing the head and adding little tacks along the neck to keep the lining in place closing off the neck. Make sure to get some stuffing in the legs as well, and close them off in a similar manner.

If you're making a normal plush, just stuff it normally until you're satisfied.

Sew the open seam closed with an invisible stitch, and you're done!

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    4 Comments

    0
    dunkiejunkie
    dunkiejunkie

    3 months ago

    This is so cute! Where did you get the cute little rat babies?

    0
    Look_I_Made_A_Hat
    Look_I_Made_A_Hat

    Reply 3 months ago

    Thank you! They're actually LEGO rats ordered from by-the-brick websites.

    0
    mcgurkryan
    mcgurkryan

    1 year ago

    This is awesome, I've recently watched a video about secret agents using rats to conceal live drops.

    0
    randofo
    randofo

    1 year ago

    This is weird and wonderful! :)