Children love cuddling up to a special pillow at home or in the car, and this cute puppy with his floppy ears and an eye patch could easily become a new favourite. Especially as it's handmade with love.
- Sewing pattern - download your copy here.
- 30 x 75 cm (12 x 29 inches) plain fabric for the head and one side of the ears.
- 25 x 30 cm (10 x 12 inches) spot fabric for one side of the ears.
- 13 x 13 cm (5 x 5 inches) floral fabric for the eye patch.
- 13 x 18 cm ( 5 x 7 inch) piece of fusible web.
- 5 x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch) scrap of black wool felt.
- Sewing machine and thread.
- Sewing needle.
- Black embroidery floss.
- Fine black marker or air fading fabric marker if you have one.
- Toy stuffing.
1. Cut Out the Pattern Pieces
Download the sewing pattern and print out two copies. From one copy cut out the head pattern piece. From the other copy cut out the ear and the mouth.
Fold one end of the plain fabric over and place the head pattern piece with the straight edge on the fabric fold. Pin the fabric together.
Trace around the head pattern piece.
Cut a second head piece in the same way.
Fold the remaining plain fabric in half and cut out two ears in the same way. Repeat with the spot fabric.
You'll now have two head pieces, two ears from plain fabric and two ears from spot fabric.
Trace two eyes and a nose from the sewing pattern onto the smooth paper side of the fusible web.
Place the fusible web rough side down onto the felt.
Place a piece of scrap fabric over the fusible web and felt (to protect the felt) and iron them together.
When cool, cut the shapes out. Round off the corners of the triangle.
2. Add the Nose and Eyes
Place the head pattern piece onto one of the head pieces to use as a guide.
Peel the fusible web paper off the back of the nose piece. Position the nose on the fabric.
Remove the paper and iron the nose in place, using a piece of scrap fabric to protect the felt from the iron.
Cut the mouth out of the sewing pattern, as shown below. Place it under the nose and trace around the under side of the pattern piece.
Place a piece of fusible web rough-side down onto the back of the floral fabric. Iron them together.
When cool, draw a freehand circle onto the fusible web. It's not meant to be a prefect circle.
Cut out the shape and peel off the paper backing.
Cut the eye shape out of the head pattern piece and place the pattern piece onto the front of the head.
Peel the paper backing off the felt eye and position it onto the head. Remove the pattern piece and using a fabric scrap to protect the felt, iron the eye in place.
Flip the pattern piece over to the right hand side of the head. Slip the floral eye patch under the pattern piece and position it. Remove the paper pattern piece and iron the eye patch in place.
Repeat step 4 to position the second eye.
On the sewing machine stitch around the edge of the eye patch, just in from the edge.
3. Embroider the Mouth
Thread the needle with three strands of embroidery floss.
Tie a knot in the end of the floss and starting at one end embroider the mouth using back stitch.
The needle comes up through the fabric at position 1, then back down through the fabric at position 2, under the fabric, and back up and through at position 3. Repeat.
4. Sew the Ears
Place one plain and one spotty ear piece right-sides together. Make sure all edges are in alignment.
On your sewing machine, sew around the edge of the ear using a quarter inch seam allowance. Start at the top of the ear and sew down and around, leaving the top open for turning. Do not sew across the top of the ear.
Clip V shapes out of the seam allowance around the curves. Be careful not to cut the stitches.
Repeat to make the second ear.
Turn the ears out the right way through the opening at the top.
Using your fingers or a chopstick push the ears out into shape.
5. Attach the Ears
Place the ears on top of the head front. Position them so that the inner edge is vertical and the inner top point is touching the edge of the head shape. The ears should just be covering the eyes.
Pin in place.
Fold the ears inwards so they are contained within the head shape.
6. Assemble the Pillow
Place the back of the head on top of the front of the head. The right sides of the fabric pieces should be facing each other.
Note: Below the ear on the left-hand side, leave a gap of about 9cm (3.5 inches). This gap will be left open for turning and stuffing.
Sew together using a quarter inch seam allowance.
Begin sewing just below the left ear. Starting with a few back stitches, sew across the top of the head and all the way around, stopping at the pin that indicates the beginning of the 9cm (3.5 inch) gap. End with a few back stitches.
Turn the head the right side out. Use your fingers or a chopstick to help get the shape right.
Iron all the creases out.
7. Finish the Pillow
Insert small handfuls of soft toy stuffing into the pillow. Push the stuffing over to the furthest side of the pillow and hold it in place with one hand while you add more small amounts of stuffing with the other hand.
Stuffing the pillow this way will result in an evenly stuffed shape without puckered edges.
Turn in the edges of the opening.
Thread a needle with thread that matches the plain fabric and using small ladder stitches close the opening. Ladder stitch is a strong and invisible way to sew up the opening. Stitches go under the top layer of the folded seam and across the opening. So the needle starts inside the pillow and comes up and out of the fabric at position 1. Then across the opening and down into the fabric at position 2. The dotted line indicates the needle and thread running under the fabric from position 2 to position 3. it comes out at 3, across the opening and down into 4, etc.
Stitches should be 2-3 mm (less than 1/8 inch) long. Pull the thread tight every few stitches to close the opening.
Finish with a double stitch.
Give the Puppy Pillow to a Little Person
Watch that little face light up when you give them this cute puppy pillow - handmade with love by you.
In this tutorial, we’ve shown you how to make a sweet pillow softie. You've learnt how to use fusible web to applique fabric, how to embroider back stitch, and how to close a softie with invisible ladder stitch.
If you've enjoyed this tutorial you might like to try making a whole menagerie of pillow softies. Add some embroidered whiskers and pointy ears to make a kitty, or big round ears to make a mouse. You might receive a request for a favourite animal.