How to design a stuffed animal?
October 2, 2007 7:06 PM   Subscribe

Sewingfilter: Please show me how to design a stuffed animal for my young niece. She wants a doggie doll, but I've never done anything with a snout before.

I've tried, unsuccessfully, to design a pattern on my own. I've botched several attempts and am running low on scraps. I have a specific idea in mind but I can't seem to transfer it to fabric.

Specifically, I want to design a dog shaped ragdoll. Dog head, human body. Something simple, classy, similar in shape to this but with a long, upturned snout. The 3D aspect is throwing me off. I can't seem to get the crest/top of the snout to match up with the sides of the face. Usually the head comes out too fat and the nose comes out too thin.

Can any crafty design veterans recommend how to approach this project? Or at least good resources online on making your own pattern? None of my searches have brought up much.

I appreciate any help you guys are willing to throw at me.
posted by apfel to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Browsing the softies group on flickr might be useful for seeing how other people do it. Here's a pattern for a, uh, teddy pig with a kinda similar snout.
posted by logic vs love at 7:20 PM on October 2, 2007

Have you seen this site? Using felt first is a good way to get an idea of the finished product.
posted by fish tick at 7:21 PM on October 2, 2007

Craftster has a Toys, Dolls and Playthings forum with both in-progress project sections and completed project sections. Look for threads that include the words "free pattern!" which will be either be a self-written pattern or a link to someone else's pattern.

You can also search for "dog softie" or "dog plushie" for example.

God, I love Craftster. This must be like the 4,000 time I've linked to them on AskMe.
posted by Brittanie at 10:25 PM on October 2, 2007

Use this pattern and elongate the snout a little.
posted by wsg at 10:46 PM on October 2, 2007

Are you sure you want to sew it from scratch? I made a "sock doggie" based on the Martha Stewart instructions linked here. And this is what he ended up looking like...
posted by web-goddess at 12:16 AM on October 3, 2007

Well, I've searched Craftster and Etsy long and hard to try to find something to go off of. In the end, I didn't find much that I consider a close enough approximation. I guess I'm very specific. Thanks for your posts so far though. Oddly enough, I never considered looking at a pig base for ideas. Seems pretty good actually.

I just wonder if anyone knows of any hard and fast rules to go by when aligning self designed pieces.
posted by apfel at 6:47 AM on October 3, 2007

Hillary Lang makes the best softies. Here's a photo of a fox that might help a bit. You could also email her and ask her for advice about aligning pieces.
posted by cooker girl at 6:58 AM on October 3, 2007

For about five bucks right now you can get a remaindered copy of Soft Animals A to Z from It includes a pattern for a little dog; it's more realistic than ragdollish, but I think it would adapt well.

I've played around with paper and tape. Now I think patternmaking is something of a black art.
posted by sculpin at 9:49 AM on October 3, 2007

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