Friday, 18 November 2011

sewing a crocodile and rhino softie tutorial

I thought it was time to share another lovely, easy softie tutorial with you gorgeous crafty people. This time I will show you how to sew a taggie snappy crocodile softie and a taggie cute rhino softie. They belong to the same family as the giraffes softies I posted earlier this year. My children love their crocodile as they can just grap it in their little hands, and they enjoy their rhino as a lovely little pillow.

Don't sweat if you are a novice in the sewing world! These cute softies are really easy to make, and they don't take a lot of time either. I included a lot of pictures to help you get through the project! Get your happy fabric out of the cupboards, and let's get started!

 You can get your free crocodile pattern here and your free rhino pattern here

I don't want to be a nag, but please, only use this pattern for PERSONAL USE ONLY. I am very grateful to you! Thank you love!

These are the items you need for your softies

* A piece of the fabric you love and like. It should measure approximately 50 * 50cm (20 * 20inch).
* Labels, ribbons, lace, whatever you like to use as a tag for your softie. About 6 for your crocodile, and 2-3 for your rhino.
* Embroidery thread for the mouths
* Dolls eyes (if you don't have these, don't worry, you can embroider the eyes on as well)
* Scraps of felt for the eyes
* Filling

Print your copy of the pattern you wish to make and cut the pieces out. Tape the two pattern parts together so you get either a rhino pattern or a crocodile pattern. Place the pattern pieces on the fabric and cut them twice from your fabric.

I will explain how to add the doll's eyes to your softie. You can skip these steps if you decide to embroider your eyes onto your softie.

Draw on a scrap piece of paper the outline for your eyes, and cut these from felt.

Now punch some holes in the middle of your felt eyes. I you don't have a nice tool for this, use  sharp scissors or a sharp knife. Be careful not to tear your felt then.

Now you can decide where you want to place the eyes on the fabric, and with a pen or pencil, mark the hole on the fabric. Be careful to leave some distance between the eye and the seam. You don't want your eye to disappear in the seam later on.

Now punch holes in the fabric, where you marked your eyes. Again, if you don't have a nice tool to do this for you, use sharp scissors to make a tiny hole in the fabric. Just big enough to get the pin for the eye through.

Now it is time to give your softie some eyes! Place the eye through the hole in the felt and then through the hole in the fabric.

Then place the cap for the eye over the pin at the back. Push the cap down, and done. Your softie has eyes now!

Now you can add the ribbons, lace, tags, whatever you would like to use. Get creative, use bold colors, children love them. Be careful not to make your tags too long, they might get stuck in the seam later on. Fold your tags double and pin them where you would like them to appear on your softie. Pin them inwards on one piece of pattern, as shown in the picture below. For the rhino I like to add a tail, and for the crocodile I like to add a red ribbon as a tongue.

For the rhino's ears, I take a longer piece of ribbon, and fold them into double ears. Your rhino deserves to have two ears, doesn't he?!

Now you can place both pieces of fabric right sides facing each other, and pin around. Make sure that both pieces for the rhino horns and the crocodile's tail align.

Time to get the sewing machine out! Sew around your softie, but remember to leave an opening of about 8-10cm (3-4 inch). For the rhino I leave the opening at the belly between the legs, and for the crocodile I leave the opening at the bottom of the tail. If you use light fabric colors, you might want to match the color of the sewing thread. Because when you stuff your softie, the sewing lines will show through the fabric a little. I used a dark color on the pink here to make the lines show up nice nice for you to see.

I am kind of lazy, and I like to use pinking shears to finish my raw edges. You can choose to use them too, or you can use your zig-zag stitch or serger. I always zig-zag the ends of the ribbons though, to keep them from fraying. Some ribbons fray easy, and I rather not pluck them from the softie after finishing up. So don't cut them with your pinking shears.

Yeah! It is time to see what your crocodile or rhino looks like. Turn your softie right side out. I will show you a little trick for the tail of the crocodile. At the tip of the tail, you take both pieces of fabric apart. Then you put the back of a pencil or pen (anything long and blunt) in and push the pencil through the tail towards the opening. You can do the same with the nose if that gives you problems.
If you are working on the rhino, I found it easiest to start with the horns, then the mouth, and the rest will come easily.

To make the seams nice nice, roll the seams between your fingers and they will come out. The horns of the rhino and the corners of the legs might need a little help from a needle or pin. CAREFULLY (I always hate it when I damage my fabric after all my good work) use the pin to pull the seams in the corners as shown in the picture below.

Your rhino and/or crocodile might look nice, but a little puff might be nicer, don't you think? Get some filling (I buy fiber fill continental pillows to stuff my softie projects - pretty boy and pretty girl love to make snow with them :-D). I use the back of my good old pencil again to fill the tail of the crocodile and the horns of the rhino. For these parts, I use small amounts of filling to get a nice and even distribution of the filling. Once I get to the rhino's tummy I can fill with big hands full, but only after the smaller tiny parts are filled nice and thick.

When your softie is nice and full, fold the seams from the opening inwards, and pin closed.

Slipstitch the opening closed. Below you find some pictures of how to do that. This way you won't be able to see where you closed your beautiful softie .

Gorgeous already neh?! Just hang in there a little more, you are almost done. 

It is only a little extra, but it just gives your softie that extra coolness. Adding the mouth with embroidery thread. I draw the contours of the desired mouth to my softie.  I use one of my pastel color pencils because that wipes off really easy. Then I sew around the contours, and CONGRATULATIONS!!!! you're done!!!!!

Don't you just love your self-made cute, adorable softie?!

Thank you for visiting my tutorial. Please let me know if something is not clear, or if a link isn't working. If there are any other questions, I am looking forward to hearing them.

I would LOVE (yes really, I would!!!) to see what you have made. Please send me your links to your work. I would feel honored.

Have a lovely day!

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  1. wow, they are so cute!!! Very happy that i can access your blog again :-)

  2. Thanks Jutta! Happy to see you back here then!

  3. Hello
    Just wanted to let you know that I have mentioned this post on my blog. If there is anything you would like me to remove please let me know. Cheers

  4. Lovely!!! But I'm afraid the pictures are "currently not available" (Flickr) ?


How I love to read your comments. Thank you so much ♥

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