It’s Easter, and it’s time to get sewing. I’ve always been interested in sewing toys and I had some experience with that too. I also set up my projector and had this bunny cut out as a first project to try. I made it quite large, but the cool thing about projectors is that you can make them as big or small as you like.
I found that great pattern in Pinterest a while ago. It looks really cute and sweet, but I didn’t see any instructions with that pattern. The instructions are mostly letters on the pieces that indicate what is connected to what, but no sequence or anything. Since I know Russian – I checked the original website. This PrettyToys website has hundreds of free toy patterns but no written instructions. So I decided to write the instructions myself!
I watched a bunch of tutorials online for teddy bears and I’ve got the high level concept – the bunny would be built in separate pieces. The hands and legs will be left empty and be stuffed when the bunny is assembled.
Let’s get started then!
I’ve added letters to the original pattern to make it easier to cut. Some of the pieces just indicate to cut twice but it’s supposed to be mirrored. I was using a fluffy fabric, so it’s important.
A – head, 2 mirrored pieces
B – forehead, 1 piece
C – stomach, 1 piece
D – 4 pieces overall: 2 pairs of mirrored pieces. Internal sides can be done with a different colored fabric.
E – internal part of hand, 2 mirrored pieces
F – external side of hand, 2 mirrored pieces
G – legs, 4 pieces overall: 2 pairs of mirrored pieces
H – feet, 2 mirrored pieces. Can be done with different color fabric
I – back, 2 mirrored pieces
J – palms, 2 mirrored pieces, can be done with a different color fabric
K – back of head, one piece
1. Close Darts
Close the darts on the stomach, back of head and legs (pieces C, K, G). The darts on legs will be on the inner side of leg, so each leg will have a darted pieces and a non darted piece. Make sure you’re closing the darts on mirrored pieces.
2. Make ears
They are slightly asymmetrical. Connect right sides together and sew around, leaving bottom open.
Flip inside out. Fold the corners of the ears to the inside and baste together.
3. Prepare Hands
With the thick side of the bottom, connect the palm to the inside of the hand (E+J)
With right sides together, connect the outside side of the arm to the inside, leaving the top open. Leave another hole on the side for stuffing.
4. Prepare Legs
Sew internal, darted, side with the outside piece, leaving 3 openings – at top, bottom and a hole for stuffing in the back (pattern pieces G).
Pin the foot to the leg (pattern piece H) with right sides together and sew around, carefully, not catching anything in the seams.
The pattern doesn’t come with a tail, so I made one. I sketched one on paper and cut 2 mirrored pieces.
I stitched them 2 sides together and stuffed a little bit. Pinned the opening so the stuffing will not escape.
Connect the more straight pieces of the back (pattern pieces I) together, sandwiching the tail in the bottom of the back. Leave a relatively big opening on the back, since we will be turning the bunny through that hole and also stuffing mostly though there.
Connect one of the A pieces with B, right sides together, connected at the “nose”. The flat side of B supposed to be at the top
Connect the other A part to the other side of B, right sides together.
Close the bottom sides of the two A pieces together. This will be the “chin” area. Make sure to keep the neck and back of head open.
At this point, the nose area will form a little triangle. We should add the facial features now – if you’re using safety eyes and nose. I embroidered the facial features. Embroidery can also come after stuffing.
Now we need to close the back side of the head, sandwiching the ears in between. Connect the flat, in-darted side of piece K with the flat side of B, sandwiching the ears in between. Make sure to secure the seams well, using a short stitch length and even running them a couple of times.
Now connect the long sides of the back with the openings of A, leaving the neck area open. Make sure to run it flat and not catching the ears in the seams.
8. Body (and attaching legs)
Now we will assemble the body, meaning connecting the stomach to the back, sandwiching the legs in the bottom. We will connect the legs perpendicular to the seams, so the feet will be pointing forward and not to the sides.
To avoid any mistakes with the directions, pin the legs to the right side of the stomach and check if it’s working when you straighten the legs.
Make sure you’re pinning to the darted side of the stomach!
Add the back on top, matching the tail side to the legs side, and sew around, leaving only the neck side open. Make sure to keep your seams flat, not catching the legs in the seams.
After you’re done, flip it inside out for a second to check if everything is connected well, you have no holes and nothing caught in the seams.
9. Attach Head (and hands)
The hands are attached to the neck opening. Turn your body inside out again and place the head and ears inside. I suggest to connect the hands to the head first so you will not make mistakes with directions. The head is not flipped inside out, since we are connecting right sides together. Match the back dart of the head with the back seam and start pinning around, moving the hands pins as well. This is the trickiest seam of the entire bunny, as we have the hands, ears and legs all inside of the bunny, so make sure not to catch anything you don’t need to.
Switching to a zipper foot can be useful here. It didn’t work for me as my fabric is very thick, but I did take out the accessories box so it will be a little easier to manipulate the seam.
Make sure everything is connected from both the inside and out, and turn your bunny inside out through the hole in the back.
You suppose to have a deflated sad toy like this now:
Start stuffing from the back. Make sure to get the head first and push the stuffing to the nose, to keep us firm. Make it as soft or firm as you want but take into account that it will deflate with time.
Close the stuffing holes with a hand ladder stitch.
Do the same thing with the legs and hands and you’re done!
Tips and tricks
- If you’re using a fluffy fabric like mine, it can be very forgiving in the seams, as it doesn’t show any minor imperfections. But the fluff can be trapped in the seams so you can use some sort of wooden or plastic stick to fluff the seams again.
- Putting the cut fluffy pieces in the dryer for a couple of minutes will remove most of the fluffies.
- Don’t use fabric softener on this fabric! Not in the washer, not in the drier. It turns the fabric into really coarse and it’s losing its softness.
- For slippery fabric like that, use a walking foot.
- Use a short stitch length to add strength to the bunny, especially if you’re planning to gift it to a child who likes to play rough.
- Also, don’t forget to backstitch on every start and end, especially in the stuffing holes.
- The seam allowance is flexible – use what you feel comfortable with, I used 1/4 inch approximately.