I have had this pattern for a while and felt like making something quick today and also felt another softie would be a nice idea to make for my niece she is currently 15 mnths old and the apple of my eye. After reading the accompanying blog post that accompanied the pattern I wasn’t so sure I would do that well but I think it turned out ok, what do you think?
And as there are no accompanying instructions for her, I thought I would add them here.
First you will need the free PDF pattern, that can be found here on Cicada Daydreams it was designed by and kindly made available for free by Michelle Engel Bencsko (thanks!) on her blog. I will re-iterate for those who don’t get it, I did not design this, I just used the pattern.
edited 23 May 2015 – I am the proud aunty to a shiny new nephew who has an elephant theme nursery and I thought I would come back and make a few boy versions of these only to realise that the blog I linked to is now private and the pattern is not accessible. (Sorry about that!). I am going to use this free pattern instead (Henry and Helga Elephant) – it is designed by Christina McKinney for Birch Fabrics, looks a little easier than the one by Michelle above, but just as adorable and Christina has a detailed tutorial, so no need to follow mine 🙂
There is also another free pattern and tutorial of slightly different elephants Endearing Elephants – designed by Sweetbriar Sisters for Camelot Fabrics. I am going with Christina’s version for my nephew but you may like the other better.
Note: All of the instructions below refer to the pattern by Cicada Daydreams – if you have an old copy of it, feel free to use the tutorial below, but as the pattern is no longer there I have added two different free elephant softie patterns above.
The pattern is larger than A4 size, but I reduced it to A4 and printed it out at that size, so my Pernellie is smaller than the intended version.
My instructions are just what worked for me, and not endorsed in any way by the pattern designer, if they don’t work for you, that is my fault and I apologise in advance. Let me know and I will add amendments.
What you need:
- Download the pattern from the link above and print it out
- Scraps of material (I used mostly charm squares, and if you printed the pattern at A4 size like I did, you need 2 pieces just bigger than charm squares (5X5 inch) for the body.
- sewing machine (optional)
- needle and thread
- small teeny pieces of quilt batting (if you don’t have any you can use felt)
- some twine or wool (for the tail)
- template plastic or baking paper or an additional printout of pattern for pieces
- oh yeah… stuffing
- I traced the pattern pieces onto template plastic (you can do it on any paper or plastic – this is usually done so you don’t destroy the original pattern – baking paper works ok if you aren’t so worried about reusing the pieces again). You will have 2 Face pieces, 2 Body Pieces, 4 Ear pieces, 4 Tusk pieces and 2 pieces of Ear cut out of batting as well as 2 pieces of Tusk cut out of batting. When you cut you will need to add on a seam allowance, I used maybe 0.5cm. Basically cut your material slightly bigger around the entire edge of the pattern.
- Make Some Ears (well only 2 are required)
a) Stitch one piece of batting to the wrong side of one ear piece – I cut 2 pieces in one fabric and 2 in another as per Michelle’s pattern, this means the inside of the ear is one fabric and the outside is another
b) Now place the piece of fabric with the batting attached, with the wrong side attached to the other side of the ear, so what you have is batting and 2 pieces of fabric with wrong sides facing. Stitch around the ear most of the way leaving a gap about the width of your finger.
c) Cut tiny triangles out of the seam allowance where the ear curves (this is so that the curves turn inside out properly)
d) Turn the ear inside out so that the right sides of the fabric are showing
e) Use whip stitch to close the gap on the ear
f) (optional) I then shadow quilted the ear (stitching inside the ear edge about 5mm away for the edge).
g) repeat for the other ear.
- Make Some Tusks
as for the ears above, repeat the process with the tusk pieces and batting, the only difference is that the tusk pieces are the same fabric on each side.
- Stitch Ellie’s Face to her Body
You will need to repeat this for each body piece. This is kind of strange to explain without pictures, so hopefully what I am saying makes sense.
a) Visually place the face piece next to the body so that it fits like a jigsaw piece
b) Now flip the face piece onto the body piece, and don’t freak out because now the edges don’t match (that is what I did, I did it for you, stoppit!) The idea here is to stich from one end of the curve to the middle of the curve, don’t think about the rest of it. (I know it feels wrong but clearly it worked right, there is a pic of the thing up there if you don’t believe me)
c) Now readjust and stitch from the middle of the curve to the other end of the curve.
d) Now flatten out your body and face and you should have your jigsaw puzzle pieces fitting nicely with a face and a body attached. Yay!
e) Repeat for the other body and face piece
- Make a Tail
a) Tie a big fat knot in one end or both ends of your twine or wool, use multiple pieces if you want to. Technically my tail effort is not appropriate for an elephant but I think people understand when they are made of funky fabrics that well, they are not _real_
– Read step 12 now and decide what you would like to do about that!
- Give me something to stuff already!
a) I didn’t pin, but if you really want to you can pin the 2 body and face pieces together with the right sides facing.
b) place your tail where it belongs, with one of the fat knots sticking outside of the body pieces and the other end of the tail inbetween the fabric, so you should only see the fat knot sticking out.
c) Decide where you are going to leave the hole for stuffing ( I chose the lower butte or upper thighs – between the top of the leg and a little down from the tail)
d). Start stitching on one side of the hole and stitch right around your body and face pieces and over the thread of twine or wool that is your tail. Do some reverse stitching when you start and end your stitches
e) Do the triangle cutting thing on the curves and corners (see 2c above)
e) Turn inside out so that you have the right sides on the outside and the tail sticking where it belongs. You can use the wrong end of a pencil to stick into the trunk bit to help turn that inside out if your fingers don’t reach or fit.
- Stuff it! – smaller bits of stuffing works better for uniformness (I read that somewhere it’s not something I came up with). Stuff the small spaces first (ie face and trunk and legs) – again I read it somewhere.
- Whip stitch the gap that you used to stuff it closed.
- (Optional) – I decided to make a saddle blankie as well – I used two half square triangles stitched together, quilted it and blanket stitched it to Ellie’s back with embroidery cotton on the diagonal)
- Stitch the tusks to the body (I only stitched a corner)
- Stitch the ears to the body ( I stitched from the top of the ear to just below the eye level)
- I realised that embroidering the eyes would probably have been better before stitching the Body and Face pieces, this is where I did it, so you can do it here to if you want to or do it at the preferred place which is between step 5 and 6. I used some colonial knots and just stitched around them till I was happy, I pulled the thread through the other side of the face, so that the eyes were level, and pulled tight to leave a kind of indent for them.
- I think you should now have a completed Ellie, if you don’t refer to the Disclaimer 😛