I like foxes a lot. (And dragons.) After a sadly failed attempt at a dragon plush, I decided to try my hand at a fox. Luckily the fox turned out right.
This is more of a soft sculpture or an art toy/plush/doll than "normal" plush. In other words, you can't really squish it and hug it...you just put it on a shelf or your desk so you can have staring contests all day. As you can (hopefully) tell from the fifth photo, the fox is also rather small, about 6 inches from nose to tail.
Step 1: Materials
- fabric (main color and contrasting color)
- fiberfill or stuffing
- sewing thread
- embroidery floss (black and one or two accent colors)
- pipe cleaner/ chenille stem (any color)
- sewing needle
- embroidery needle
- fabric scissors
- marker/ pen/ pencil (for tracing pattern)
- paintbrush/ chopstick/ anything long and skinny (helpful in flipping the legs right side out)
- pattern (below)
Most fabrics should work fine, but due to the size of the fox (and therefore his legs), thick fabrics such as fleece or canvas probably won't be very suitable.
Step 2: Cut Out the Pieces
At this point, if you haven't already, it would be ideal for you to print the pattern and cut out the pieces.
Now, cut out the pieces from the fabric. I just hold the paper pattern pieces onto the fabric while I trace them with a fine point Sharpie. If you're using to different colored fabrics, make sure that underbody and the tail tips are cut from the contrasting fabric color.
If the pattern indicates you need two of a certain piece, trace the pattern normally to create the first piece, then flip the pattern over and trace to create the second piece--the two pieces should be mirror images of each other.
Step 3: Sew Tail
Gather the tail and tail tip pieces. Cut a length of embroidery floss and pull the thread apart so you have two strands with three threads each. Then, using one of these strands, embroider the tail tips onto their respective tail pieces using small running stitches or seed stitches to attach the pieces together.
After you're done embroidering both sides of the tail, sew the tail pieces together. See the illustration? Sew along the areas with the red line. You should have a small gap so you can actually flip the tail right-side out. Then (gasp!) flip the tail right-side out, and stuff. Using a ladder stitch*, sew up the little section of the tail from where you left off to the large-ish red dot.
*also known as blind stitch or invisible stitch, but these names can also refer to methods of hemming...so I stuck with ladder stitch. If you're still clueless, check out the illustration (5th picture)
Step 4: Sew Darts
Get out the underbody piece. It's now time to sew the darts onto the fox so he will be able to stand up straight (you can see how the darts will look in the 3rd picture). If you didn't do this, the fox would end up kind of bowlegged or something.
Basically take the piece, fold a leg over, and sew. Repeat for the other three legs. The illustration shows much more clearly what you're supposed to do--hey, a picture's worth a thousand words, right?
Step 5: Sew Head Pieces Together
Moving along to the head. Get the head side pieces and the body side pieces, and match the respective head pieces to their respective body pieces. Then sew the little section below the ear on the head piece to the similar section on the body piece. Again, take a look at the illustration since I'm probably confusing you. Do this for the other pair of pieces also.
Once you're done, flip the pieces over so the right side is facing you. Pull both sides of the ear out so they're facing the right side. Hold the sides together and trim about 3/4 of the (already minuscule) seams off so the sides of the ear are exactly the same size. Then, using embroidery floss, whipstitch or blanket stitch around the edges of the ear. Repeat for the other side and its ear...but you already knew that.
Step 6: Sew Body (And the Rest of the Fox)
Now get all the pieces of the fox. First, get one of the body side pieces and sew it to the underbody. Next take the head top and sew it to the underbody and then the body side. Get the other body side piece and sew it to the underbody. Sew the tail onto the fox's rear (Place the tail inside the fox so it's in the right direction and the side you didn't sew is between the sections of the body side indicated in the illustration, then sew through all four layers.) Lastly, sew the head top to the second body side piece, and sew down the foxes back some ways. The illustration shows what to do more clearly.
Yay! Your fox is almost done. Now flip the fox right side out, starting with his legs. A paintbrush/ chopstick/ pen will come in handy here, mostly with the legs.
Get your black embroidery floss and embroider two eyes onto your fox (unless you want him to be an eight-eyed spider fox). I just made three small stitches with almost the same starting and ending points. Then, using the contrasting color embroidery floss, embroider a nose onto the fox.
Step 7: Stuff and Create Armature
Or, Innards & Skeleton.
Get the pipe cleaner and fold a tiny bit of the end down so it won't poke through your fox. Measuring roughly against the fox's front legs, bend the pipe cleaner into a "U" shape about the length of a front leg + underbody width + another front leg + a little bit more. Cut off the excess pipe cleaner and fold the little bit at the end over. Stick the "U" into the fox's two front legs as shown. Repeat with the leftover pipe cleaner to make a "U" for the hind legs.
Now stuff your fox. The pointy instrument you might have used in the last step (a.k.a. paintbrush, etc.) will again come in handy in stuffing the legs.
Step 8: Sew Fox Closed and Finish!
Now simply ladder stitch up the gap you left in the fox's back. Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a miniature fox.
(as you can see from the photo, my fox turned out slightly lopsided, probably due to my adverseness to using pins....hopefully your fox didn't)