I love sewing softies.
I love that softies are quick
to make and are a great first sewing project if you’re just getting comfortable
with a sewing machine.
Ducky Rattle made from my Animal Rattles pattern
I love that at the end of each project I have a little creature
on my desk looking up at me, something I can give to a child or a friend and
it’ll make them feel good.
I love that softie making is a thrifty craft. Most
projects require just a 1/4 yard of fabric and a few ounces of stuffing, and
that fabric can be almost anything. I can’t think of another area of sewing in
which literally anything goes when it comes to fabric choices. Fleece, felt and
cotton are the most common softie-making materials, but upholstery fabric, fur, corduroy, velvet…whatever little bits of fabric you've got stored somewhere can become part of a softie.
Selecting and combining fabrics is a big
part of the creativity of sewing a stuffed animal.
I have a new pattern coming that incorporates shiny fabrics, fleece, and felt. His name is Hadley the Horse and he's the next pattern in Six Months of Softies, a subscription club for people who enjoy sewing softies. Hadley is a 3-in-1 pattern. The instructions show you how to make a horse, unicorn, and zebra, too. The variations are primarily dependent on fabric choice.
A blog reader, Anjali Sastri, has a Six Months
of Softies membership.
She says, "I’m learning to sew, primarily by making toys. I joined Six
Months of Softies because I love the concept of trying out a ‘sampler’ of
patterns by designers whose work I admire. Honestly, I really look forward to
receiving each month’s pattern in my inbox. Like the magazine subscriptions
that I momentarily forget about between issues, when the new softie pattern
arrives it’s like getting a surprise present that I can’t wait to tear into."
Anjali’s been sewing elephants from Wendi’s pattern and I
think what she’s done exemplifies the creativity and freedom involved in
selecting fabrics for soft toys.
"Emile, the elephant, is made from a remnant of cozy gray fleece, printed
flannel, and embroidery floss for the eyes. For Marielle, the albino wooly
mammoth, I experimented with a piece of thrifted cream faux fur, coordinating
printed flannel, and black safety eyes. Currently I’m sewing up a third
elephant from a velvety leopard print that I spotted at a fabric flea market."
Erika de Niet-Winkles is a subscriber as well. She runs
Stitchee, a fabric and craft shop in the Netherlands. One portion of the
shop is devoted to handmade softies, and that’s where she’s put the toys she’s
made from the club.
Erika said, “I
love to learn about different designers and their styles. I visited all of the designers' blogs and was happy to see that they all had very different styles and
use different kinds of fabrics like fleece, felt, cotton and other fabrics.
Lovely! I wanted to try out the different styles so I signed up!"
Erika made the elephant, too, as well as the whale designed by Jen of Zooguu.
She said, “The thing I love about the whale pattern is that it comes with templates for three
sizes! How nice is that! I love the little whale and loved using my textured
blue felt. In my stash I have a beautiful purple and yellow checked fabric.
My next whale will be the big one sewn from that fabric.”
Mouse from my Cute Critters pattern
treasured bits of fabric is a big part of the fun of sewing softies. Whatever you have, whether it's an old sweater or scraps from making a quilt, or a thrifted pillowcase, you can make a stuffed animal you'll love.
excited to show you my pattern for the club on Friday. And if you’d like to
join us, sign up! You’ll get immediate access to all the patterns that have
been released so far and then Hadley the Horse will arrive in your inbox on
What kinds of fabrics do you like best for softies? Have you tried anything unusual? Any recommendations?