Introduction: Roadkill Raccoon Dog Pillow
A very odd discussion about what various pets like to sit on eventually led to the creation of this: the roadkill dog pillow. Because what puppy doesn't like playing with dead animals?
This raccoon is made with fleece so it's super soft and perfect for your dog or just your favorite chair.
- Grey fleece, about 1/2 yard
- Black fleece, about 1/4 yard
- Red fleece, about 1/4-1/2 yard
- White fleece, about 1/4 yard
- Pink fleece, about 1/8 yard or scraps
- Thread; black, white, pink, and red
*Disclaimer: The puppy is not actually mine, but was kindly lent to me for photos.
Step 1: Cut the Parts
First things first, cut out all the pattern pieces. The double arrows indicate the direction of the fabrics' stretch, but it doesn't really matter all that much. The dotted blue lines indicate roughly where to sew. Make sure to include the triangles for aligning the parts later on, although some of them may have gotten lost while I was tracing the scans. Also, feel free to add more/different guts and bones - I cut most of them without a paper pattern, so the only one I included is the intestine.
(Hopefully all the parts are there, but unfortunately I no longer have the original pattern pieces. If something is missing, the shapes are fairly simple so you can use the pieces you do have to figure out the dimensions.)
Step 2: Sew the Feet
Right sides together, sew the feet onto the body parts and trim off any excess seam.
Step 3: Sew the Tire Tracks
Using a zig-zag stitch (or a whip stitch, if you are sewing by hand), attach the tire treads to the top of the body with black thread. I found it easier to trim the ends of the black fabric after it was sewn down, rather than trying to align them when pinning.
Step 4: Add the Organs
Arrange the guts and bone on the blood pieces and sew them down using the same zig-zag stitch as for the tire tracks. I used pink thread for the organs and white for the bones so the stitches would be less visible.
Step 5: Sew the Body Pieces
Using the triangles, align the blood pieces with the various pieces for the underside of the raccoon's body. Pin them right sides together and sew the seam with a straight stitch (I believe I used black thread for this). Both the top and bottom of the pillow have three pieces; the top has one grey body part and two blood parts on either side, while the bottom has a single blood part in the middle and two body parts at either end.
Step 6: Make the Tail Stripes
Rather than fighting to align the edges of the tail pieces, I made a single sheet of striped fabric and later cut it into the shape of the tail. Place the right sides of the stripes together and sew along the long edge. Continue until all the stripes have been used and trim the seams to about 1/4" (or just under 1 cm).
Step 7: Cut, Sew, and Stuff the Tail
Cut the tail fabric that you just made, following the paper pattern. Sew the seams and turn the tail right-side-out. Stuff it lightly with the fiberfill, but do not sew the end closed (it will be sewn shut when it is attached to the body).
Step 8: Connect the Face
Start the face by sewing the two halves together down the middle.
Step 9: Add the Face Details
Add the mask using a zig-zag stitch (same as the tire tracks) and sew the nose parts onto the bottom edge of the face (same way as the feet).
If you want to add "X"s on the eyes, now would be a good time to do it. (I was indecisive and because of that waited until the pillow was nearly complete. That meant I had to hand sew them - if you do it now you can use the machine.)
Step 10: Close the Face
Sew the side seams of the face, taking care to align the edges of the nose. Finally, sew the seam down the middle/front of the muzzle.
Step 11: Finish the Head
Pin and sew the grey bands at the top and side of the head, then sew on the bottom piece.
Step 12: Sew the Ears
The ears are simple "U" shaped pockets of fabric - sew along the curved edge and turn them right-side-out.
(Do NOT attach the ears at this point - they are only there because I wanted to see how the sizing was)
Step 13: Put It All Together
Now that all the components are made, it's time to pin together the raccoon.
Put the tail between the two body halves and pin it securely in place. It should be inside the pillow at this point, so it will be on the outside once it is turned right-side-out. Pin around the rest of the body and sew, leaving the end of the neck open for the head, as well as a gap along the side for turning it right-side-out (I left about 6" along one of the blood pools - you could probably get away with a 4 or 5" gap).
The head is also pinned inside the body, and should be aligned using the triangles. Position and pin the ears between the head and neck, so they are sewn in place at the same time as the head. The fabric will be 6 layers thick at some points, so make sure to sew slowly to deal with the amount of material.
(If you do intend to give it to a dog, particularly one that likes chewing on stuff, you should double-stitch the seams where the ears and tail connect for extra strength)
Step 14: Trim and Turn the Body
Trim the seams down to a more manageable 1/4" wide. Then turn the whole pillow right-side-out using the gap that you left in the side.
Step 15: Finish the Body
Stuff the body with fiberfill, making sure to reach the corners of the face and feet. Once it seems stuffed enough (I chose to leave mine fairly squishy), pin together the gap and and sew it shut with red thread. The texture of the fleece will help hide the stitches, so don't worry about being too neat.
Step 16: Done!
Now that the pillow is done, go give it to your dog! (or just keep it for yourself)