Ok, so this isn’t actually a plushie, but it was made for a friend’s plush bear so it still counts! I didn’t want to try resizing a standard hoodie pattern, so I used the Apostrophe Patterns MyFit Tee for the bodice. You can enter the measurements of whoever (or whatever plush / doll) you are making for, and the pattern is generated for you, with your chosen seam allowance!
That bodice would give a t-shirt or a sweater, but my friend wanted a hoodie for their bear. So, I printed off the hood from the 12 months Ellie & Mac Around the Block Hoodie at 75% and removed some of the height of the hood to fit the bear’s head.
Having made two bears and two penguins from ‘tried and tested’ patterns, I thought I’d dive in with a pattern I’d downloaded but never actually made before.
Choly Knight’s Owl Plush pattern is a relatively simple shape, but the main feature is the applique face pieces. I used some black felt I had lying in my sewing box for the pupils, but all the white detailing is the reverse side of the fleece.
Ok, my last penguin was a little bit of mess in places! But I didn’t want to leave it as a ‘failed’ make, so I decided to make a 150% sized penguin to prove that it is possible for me to make one properly from this fabric!
Enlarging the pattern worked perfectly, and my penguin actually came out almost how I expected it to. It does have a twist to the tail but I think that adds some quirky character, so I’m not too worried about that.
Following on from the two bears, I wanted to make another penguin from a pattern I’d used before. This one wasn’t so successful, and resulted in a lot of frayed tempers and arguments… never argue with a plushie penguin – somehow you will never manage to win!
Head on over to Minerva to check out the full details of my make
I wanted to do something different for my latest Minerva Brand Ambassador project, so I decided to see how many things I could make from a metre of fleece. I started with two bears, using the white reverse of the fabric as a contrast for the ears.
I had the opportunity to sew something from this amazingly warm fur-backed fox sweatshirt fabric. Of course my thought immediately went to another hoodie – but then I realised that what my winter wardrobe was really lacking, was a pair of warm joggers for winter walks.
This was my first make using the Apostrophe Patterns My Fit Joggers pattern, which probably was rather reckless given that I didn’t even make a muslin first. But I’m pleased with how they came out, even though I do need to adjust the elastic a little, as I think I was a bit too generous on the waistband measurements!
I’m sure you’ve realised that I really enjoy sewing bears – especially ones from the Polar Bear pattern that was in Simply Sewing several years ago. I was offered the opportunity to make something using this faux fur, and it just had to be two brown bears!
These bears were made at 200% sizing, which was just the right height for this one to try helping to sew his brother!
I’d crocheted these mugs and cakes several years ago, and they seemed the perfect photo props to use for these two bears.
Not long after these photos were taken, these two bears went on a little adventure of their own, moving to live with an old school friend’s two sons.
Head over to the Minerva site to find out more about these really cuddly bears I made.
I’ve never made plushie frogs before, but when I had the opportunity to make something from Velboa, it seemed a natural choice!
I’ve sewn with various styles of faux fur before, but Velboa is totally new to me. It does have a nap (so the fur can be brushed in one direction), but this particular velboa has an abstract pattern where the nap changes direction multiple times. This meant it was a bit more challenging to lay the pieces out, but I tried to just get the background nap in the same direction at least.
I wanted to try out the glow in the dark fabric paint I bought in the sale from Minerva a couple of years ago, so I used that on the white felt eyes for two frogs. It does give them a bit of a strange look in daylight, but the glow works perfectly once the lights are out at night.
As you can tell from my stack of frogs, there’s also a Manta Ray lurking with them. I had enough fabric left over after making those four frogs, and thought a Ray would be a good companion for them.
It was almost impossible to look at sewing posts last year without seeing at least one face covering, or a pattern for one. Some people were making hundreds of them to give away, others made hundreds to sell, and for a while I felt that I was “failing” for not making them or scrubs!
However, I eventually came to accept that while I have the skill to be able to make things and I also liked the idea of helping out charities and local organisations / the local doctor’s surgery & hospital, the whole ‘production line’ way of making multiples of the same item like that, just isn’t something I am able to do.
I didn’t actually make any face coverings until the first mention that they were going to be essential to wear when entering a shop – so I made my first few for my parents.
A little while later, another relative requested masks for their family members which included a 5 year old child. By this point I was feeling comfortable with the adult patterns I was using, but what was I going to do for a child’s pattern? The first pattern I found was marked as age 2-5 and age 6-10 – how on earth was I going to know which would work the best, given that the masks were going to be posted?
In the end, I made three different child’s masks (one of each size, and another from a different pattern) in the hope that at least one would work well. I made the two different sized ones in totally different fabric (the foxes and dinosaurs on the bottom right of the photo above) so it would be easier to work out which face covering actually fitted the best.
Spurred on by my success, I made two matching masks for a friend’s birthday (who would’ve thought that a face covering would be a suitable birthday present?), picking the same adult patterns I’d used previously. Again, I wasn’t too sure which that friend would find most comfortable to wear, hence the two different designs. These were made from a fat eighth that I’d won as part of a bumper prize from Sew Magazine a couple of years ago.
Of all the masks, the pleated ones were the hardest to make as threading the elastic through the tunnel with all those pleats in place, was almost impossible at times. So for my next batches, I stuck with the shaped masks. These two went to a friend in Norway, while the ones below were sent to a friend in America. You can just about see the same fox fabric on the lining for the right-hand mask – these work really well for using up those smaller pieces of fabric that you’re not quite sure what to make from!
More foxes! I used the same foxes for the lining on the right-hand mask, which probably wasn’t overly intelligent – while the shaped mask is reasonably clear which way round it goes, having a different pattern to the lining (or even a plain fabric) makes it really clear for those “not quite awake” mornings when you need to go grocery shopping!
I also added in a little waterproof ripstop carry bag for the face coverings – the ring on the edge means you can clip it to your keys, or into your bag so you should never be caught out without a mask!
And finally, I had another request from the same relative for some Christmas-themed masks just to make work seem a little more fun in the run up to Christmas last year. They also requested a couple of matching sets to include a children’s mask.
I not only made the Christmas themed ones, but also added in some more spring and summer face coverings just to give them something fun for the warmer months when Father Christmas and snowmen didn’t quite seem ‘right’.
And just to try out a different pattern, I made one of the 3D Masks for myself. I didn’t get the topstitching quite as close to the fold, so the shape feels a little smaller than I think it should, but it does feel pretty comfortable.
I used the same thin elastic for all my face covering makes, as I felt that thicker elastic might cause a problem if it caught the back of the glasses arm behind the ear.
If you’re reading this today (Saturday 13th March 2021) then Minerva are holding one of their special discount days for Craft Club members today! Craft Club membership is £20 for the year, and gives you 10% off all purchases year round, plus a couple of these special 20% off days in the year.
Offer valid Saturday 13th March 2021
But “what can I make from Minerva fabric?” I hear you ask – here’s a selection of my makes but I’m sure you would be even more creative.
This cotton linen blend was crying out to be a skirt & jacket combination and the contrast facing & cuffs really help to lift it from being just plain purple.
My first time sewing with Scuba fabric, resulted in this top & trouser combination. I could’ve made the top a little larger to compensate for the fabric being more structured, but the trousers worked particularly well.
And speaking of trousers, these jeans were made from a super stretchy fabric which removed most of the jeans-fitting problems I’d had previously. I do need to add some elastic to the waistband though, as I made it a little too generous on the sizing!
Onto a more summery make, with this nautical polycotton. I made this dress and a pair of shorts from this fabric, which definitely helps liven up a dull rainy British summer’s day. I did line the shorts with some plain white polycotton just in case this was a little see-through, and they’ve held up to multiple wears on long walks so far.
Typical British Summer’s weather means I really needed a decent waterproof coat to wear. I really never thought I’d ever sew myself one, but this memory raincoat fabric (lined with a spotty polycotton) was perfect! I used the Tilly and the Buttons Eden jacket pattern for this, with no alterations.
Another pair of jeans, this time in an embroidered cord fabric. These are made from the Megan Nielsen Dawn jeans patterns, with a few alterations (I think I still need to tweak the pattern to get the best fit for me). It was an experience sewing with embroidered cord, but once I had a new denim needle in my machine, it was pretty easy to sew.
It’s not just clothing – I made a family of three bears from some Christmas cotton fabric! I would normally pick stretchy fabric for bear-making, but this cotton worked really well. The advantage of this fabric is that the pattern is non-directional, so it didn’t matter which way up I had the pieces.
My most recent Minerva make is this Halifax Hoodie from a textured knit fabric. I’d never sewn with textured knit before, so I was wondering how well it would work. I’m pretty pleased with the end result!
And finally, this is a bag which will (eventually) be a tutorial here. It’s made from ripstop fabric which is showerproof and also can be wiped clean. The bag can also be folded up to fit in a trouser pocket, so it’s a great reusable alternative to plastic carrier bags.
I hope that’s given you some inspiration for what you could make – why not check out what Minerva have available (even if you miss the 30% off day, it’s worth just browsing their fabric and sewing supplies)?
Offer valid Saturday 13th March 2021
* aff – The banner link at the top & bottom of this post are affiliate links. This means I get a small amount of commission if you click through my link then go on to purchase anything from the Minerva website. It does not cost you anything extra to use these links, but does help fund my next fabric purchase!
I am a Minerva Ambassador, which means that I have the opportunity to get a piece of fabric for free, in exchange for photos and text to feature on their website. Some of the makes in this post were done as part of that role, and others are made from fabric I purchased myself.