How to make a sweet stuffed toy from a vintage sheet

So this little guy was my weekend project. I know I normally post about altering clothing, but my cousin just had a baby girl and I spotted this vintage sheet in a local charity shop – well it was fate, right? No reason not to try my hand at stuffed-toy making.

  

I found the basic tutorial here, but changed it around a bit including the shape and the face. I don’t think it was as easy as I was expecting – especially finishing off the eyes, nose and ears. I am a disaster at hand embroidering. But I enjoyed making her and to be honest I’m quite smitten with her jaunty ears and kind eyes.

Scott thinks she looks like she’s just finished a gymnastics event… hey, whatever. Let’s see him try to make a stuffed bunny.

Making a stuffed toy from a vintage sheet

You will need:

a vintage sheet

alternate fabric for the inside ears (I used some scraps I had leftover)

a template (I based mine on one here)

thread

sewing machine

toy stuffing

embroidery thread and needle for eyes, nose and mouth

1

Cut out your templates and lie them flat on your vintage sheet. You need two bodies, four arms and two ears from the vintage sheet. Use some leftover fabric to cut out two additional ear pieces (these will be the inside ears)

 

2

Put the two body pieces together with wrong sides touching. Sew the body together from the ‘armpits’ down (marked on one side by orange pin) sewing about 5mm (1/5th of an inch) from the edge. You need to leave the armpits free for the arms and the stuffing. Notch the legs so the fabric doesn’t bunch.

3

Now it’s time to sew the ears. Put one ear piece form the vintage fabric onto the ear piece from the inner ear fabric,  wrong sides together. Sew those together, sewing about 5mm (1/5th of an inch) form the edge. Turn the ears inside out.

 

4

Fold one part of the head down. Place the ears right side up and flush with the top of the head. They will be inside the bunny – but don’t worry – all will be well! Fold the head back up and sew around the head and a little bit of the neck (leaving the armpits free – you’ll need these for the arms and stuffing!).

5

Turn the body inside out and you should have a body, two ears, and holes instead of arms. This is good. We are making progress!

6

Make the arms by putting two arm pieces together right sides together and sewing 5mm (1/5th of an inch) from the edge. Turn inside out. Repeat for the other arm.

7

Grab your stuffing and stuff the heck out of the beast. If all goes well, it should look like the picture above. Hooray!

8

Now finish off your creature by poking the arms into the body and sewing them on. I’m not very good at this part… so won’t be able to give you to many tips. I found this tutorial today which may be a good method for stitching on the arms invisibly.

9

Add the eyes, nose and mouth using embroidery thread and a satin stitch. And BAM! You have a new friend-o.

  1. Reply
    Michelle Y

    What a great present. I am sure your cousin's baby will love it. Looks just like the sort of teddy you carry around for years to come and go bumping down the stairs with.

  2. Reply
    I am Megan

    This is such a sweet thing to make, it will be cherished for sure! Handmade things have an extra specialness to them 🙂

  3. Reply
    thecupthief

    Oh I love this, he turned out great! The fabric is gorgeous, too. xo

    Laura

  4. Reply
    Niki

    My sister and I were inspired by this project and made our own bunny. http://nikis-notebook.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-bunny-bunny-woah-we-made-bunny.html
    I linked to you. 🙂

    Niki
    nikis-notebook.blogspot.com

  5. Reply
    Alessandra Less

    Hi everyone! I'm the cousin, Alessandra: nice to meet you all guys. I love love love this present, it's very special and unique for me. Elena is such a beautiful person, her amazing creativity reflects her soul and I love to read this blog.
    El you're so special and I love you and I miss you so much.
    Your Alessandra (Alessio+Bianca)

  6. Reply
    Tucker Inman

    “No reason not to try my hand at stuffed-toy making.” – Indeed! It is a refreshing change to do something new. Now, aside from sewing and making clothes, you can now create something wonderful from your spare fabrics. Why not make this craft in bulk? I’m sure many will love it!

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