By Nikki Scheel
• Needle and thread
• Pattern paper (such as wrapping or packing paper)
• Straight pins
• Sewing machine
• Stuffing material (such as fiberfill)
• Toy squeakers
1. Decide on the shape of your toy and draw your pattern. Begin by drawing a small sketch of your idea by hand on a notepad and then redrawing it on a larger, thicker piece of paper, which will actually become the pattern. You can use wrapping paper or packing paper—anything that will stand up to being stuck through with a few needles. Your pattern needs to be about an inch or two bigger than your intended shape. This leaves room for a quarter-inch seam and space to grow when the toy is stuffed.
2. Select your fabric. The best choice of fabrics are tough and made of natural fiber, such as canvas or twill.
3. Pin your pattern to your fabric and cut out your shapes. If you are using a one-sided fabric (such as a print pattern), one side will need to be cut out with the pattern side face down and one side will be need to be cut out with the pattern side face up.
4. Pin your pieces together inside out and begin sewing. Sew your seam about a quarter of an inch in around the edge. Leave a hole about 2 inches wide for stuffing and inserting the squeaker. Be sure to double stitch for durability.
5. Once you’re finished sewing, turn your creation right side out using the hole that you left open. If you have trouble getting corners to turn out, try using the tip of a pencil or a butter knife.
6. Stuff your creation with fiberfill and insert your squeakers. Replacement squeakers can be found at pet stores such as Petco or Petsmart or purchased in bulk online through websites such as Ebay. If you’re having trouble inserting the squeaker, try folding it in half and squeezing the air out before inserting it.
7. Sew the hole closed. Because this toy needs to be tough, machine stitch the hole closed. Leave the hole where you want the ears to be. After stuffing, insert the ears and sew them into place. This way, the ears flop over and cover the stitching. Voila!
Note: Pets should always be supervised while playing with stuffed toys. If toy begins to come apart (i.e. the stuffing and/or squeaker is revealed), please remove the toy immediately so the pet cannot swallow any of the contents.
Photograph by Vanessa Davies, used with permission.
Learn to make this adorable overnight bag and more stylish clothing and accessories for your pet in the book Canine Couture by Lilly Shahravesh (St. Martin’s Press). Shahravesh detailed step-by-step instructions (complete with photographs) are easy to follow, making it the perfect guide for all skill levels.