I’ve made lots of teddy bears, but I’ve never made any kind of plush bird before. When I spotted the Pudgy Plumes pattern, I decided it was worth trying out for my first plush bird. The pattern includes instructions for a Flamingo, Vulture and Ostrich; I decided on the vulture simply because the shape looked easier to try out, given that I’d also never made any of that designer’s patterns before.
I didn’t want to have to purchase more fabric to make the vulture, so I used the same faux fur for every part. Although this doesn’t make him overly realistic in his colouring, it saved a lot of hassle in needing to try and find multiple shorter pile fabrics!
The pattern comes with a choice of small or large wings, so naturally I went with the large – Vernon needs decently sized wings to be able to fly! I did make a mistake in attaching the feet, accidentally skipping past part of the instructions, however I was able to resolve that by hand sewing the feet in place. Because Vernon wasn’t made with the view to giving him to a young child, I’m not worried about the strength of my hand sewing, but if I was making him for a child, I’d make sure to follow the instructions properly.
Some of the fur is still trapped in the seams, but I struggled to tease it out. I think that’s a combination of the pile length and the short stitches. A lot of patience and a decent comb (or even a long pin) would probably work, although I’m running short on the patience right now!
I enjoyed making Vernon so much, that I have already planned to make another bird to keep him company. The only question is, should it be an Ostrich, or a Flamingo? What do you think?
Ok, I admit it – I like making plush bears! I ordered some faux fur from Fabric Land a couple of months ago, and couldn’t resist trying out the Belarius Bear pattern from Emma’s Bears. But I also added in a couple of variations – I didn’t have any toy joints to hand, so I made him unjointed, and I also added in a ‘giggler’ mouth!
There’s probably a “proper” way of making a giggler style mouth for a plush bear, but I just cut a piece of faux fur that was marginally smaller than the ear pattern piece, cut the same out of a red plush fabric for the inner mouth, stitched them around the outer edge (right sides together), then turned it right side out and added a very small amount of stuffing. I then hand stitched down the middle (from the front to back of the mouth), to create a tongue-like effect. The mouth piece was then hand stitched in place, and the fur under the muzzle was trimmed a little, to stop him having a hairy inner mouth.
While the ‘giggler’ style went well, I did make a mistake in attaching his limbs – I was certain I had the legs lined up, but once I’d turned him right sides out and added the stuffing, it was clear that Belarius is a rather active bear….
In fact, he seems to be permanently walking! He doesn’t stand unaided, and his uneven legs do make it more challenging for him to sit down comfortably, but I think he would make a great toy for a child who doesn’t mind him always wanting to go for walks!
Ok, I know it’s not Easter Sunday just yet, but Hoppy insisted on not having to wait another week to be featured on my blog!
Made from the same pattern as his furry brother, Hoppy has a totally different look due to the plush fabric I used instead of faux fur.
The dimpled fabric wasn’t the easiest to lay out without the dimples going flat, but it was a lot easier to sew than the faux fur. I used the same kind of fabric throughout, just changing colours for the paw pads and the underside of his ears.
Hoppy is thread jointed, so he can move his arms and legs. This was my first (proper) attempt at thread jointing, but it was surprisingly successful!
A little deviation from the bears I have been making, this is my first attempt at making Atilla the Bun by Emma’s Bears. The faux fur isn’t the greatest quality, but I wanted to try using a black pen to add some shading around his eyes and on his nose, so I didn’t want to use fantastic fur in case I made a mess of it!
I still haven’t stitched over his nose shading – I don’t know that it really needs that, as I think his nose looks pretty cute as it is 🐰
A tiny piece of white felt gives his eyes a bit of a lift, while his paw pads were cut from some faux suede, just for a different texture to the faux fur.
I didn’t add any toy joints into Atilla so he’s permanently in this waving pose. I think he came out quite well, although I don’t know I’d be in a hurry to use that kind of faux fur again!
Do you remember ages ago when I was working on the Jumbo bear pattern by Emma’s Bears? Well, I’ve finally got him finished!
Jumbo lives up to his name – he’s so big, he takes up the entire chair! So at the moment, he’s sitting on the floor, looking out of the window.
I didn’t have the right size eyes, so his eyes are a little smaller than intended, and I think I was a bit stingy on stuffing as his head really could do with a bit more padding in places. But for my first time sewing such a large bear (and having to hand stitch some seams because my sewing machine struggled), he’s come out really well!
Yes that’s right, the pear-shaped project is finally finished! Yay!
I machine stitched the arms and legs, but hand stitched the paw pads – they were just too small and fiddly to even attempt to sew by machine.
The main problem came when I realised I’d sewn the limbs ready to attach for a non-jointed bear, but had forgotten to add in holes in the body to sew them in (oops). I had to be creative with a way around that, which results in carefully trimmed the fur on the body where the limbs would be sewn on (the only way it’s possible to see the back of the fabric) and sew the limbs directly to the body.
Ok, I’m calling Willa “finished” but he still doesn’t have a nose…. he’ll get one (eventually), but for now he’s finished.
Think back to last year, and the fake fur I purchased ready for Christmas…. yes that’s right the green is the same as the bat I made earlier this year, and this is the project I mentioned that had gone pear shaped!
Willa is a smaller plushie than I’ve tried making before, and it’s proving more fiddly on the smaller pieces. The head was reasonably successful though, and I even attempted some fur trimming around the muzzle to try and get a better shape.
As usual, I’m leaving the nose and mouth embroidery until the very last minute…. that can make or break a plushie, which means it’s the most nerve-wracking part!
I finally finished the Forest Furry Bat without jabbing myself with the sewing needle too many times! It wasn’t the easiest of things to hand sew, given the thickness of the faux fur pile, but I think the end result was worth it.
I know it’s not really seasonal given that I’d chosen some Christmas fabric for the inner ears and wings, but I didn’t want to wait for December to share it!
I think if I make another bat in faux fur, I’d be tempted to use fleece or felt to make the feet so it stands up a little better! But it has given the bat a totally different look to the original design, which was definitely worth the effort.
Bat Pattern: BeeZeeArt
Faux Fur & festive fabric (wings and ears): Fashion Fabrics
Ok, so it’s not the fabric I was originally intending on using to make a bat, but the pattern is one of my ‘Nine to Try‘ for this year and after my original idea for the fabric proved a flop, I couldn’t resist trying to make a furry bat instead.
First things first, fake fur is a thick fabric. My machine can happily sew two layers together, but once you get to four layers…. yeah, there’s a lot of hand-cranking to get that sewn. In the end, I resorted to hand stitching a lot of the seams, which I do try to avoid with fake fur, as it’s quite challenging to see the fabric backing through the fur pile.
I chose to not make the feet – there was no way the fur would turn out easily for such an intricate shape, and sewing them into the seam would have ended up as a total nightmare. But other than that, so far the bat follows the pattern!
Batty is now stuffed, with some plastic pellets in his body to help him stand on the shelf (as a lack of feet mean he’d be prone to falling over otherwise), and just needs the final bit of hand sewing to get his body and head permanently attached!
Having struggled with the smaller faux fur bear I’d tried making before Christmas (that one is currently in my “semi-abandoned” bag), I wanted to give the Delight pattern a go. This pattern is designed for faux fur or a non-pile fabric, so I thought it might work in fleece as a trial run. Given that the fleece Delight was a success, I cut the pattern pieces from some very tactile purple faux fur.
This fur is considerably thicker than the fleece, so I trimmed the fur in the seam allowance to make it a bit easier for my sewing machine to handle. The bear’s limbs are sewn into the body rather than being jointed, which means they’re firmly attached! I did use a toy joint for the head, as I found it quite challenging to line up the seam accurate in order to sew it directly onto the body.
Normally I’d use toy stuffing with some plastic pellets to give the bear weight, but I had some bean bag filling in the cupboard, and thought it could be interesting to try that out instead. It was a nightmare to stuff into the bear, as the filling not only has a has a static cling but also doesn’t compress when you try pushing down on it, so it ended up everywhere (including all over the floor at one point)! But it has given Delight a lovely crinkly sound when you squeeze his paws, and he is actually quite ‘squishable’ which is a bonus too.
As you can see, Delight isn’t quite finished yet – he still needs his ears, and a nose & mouth; those are the features which really give the bear character…. and are also the parts which I find the most challenging, as if the ears or mouth are slightly lopsided it really looks odd!