Leggi questo post in: Italiano
My daughter was obsessed with Clifford the Big Red Dog when she was little, so I started making a bunch of little accessories for her toy Cliffords. I made him clothes and I made him toy leashes. And finally, I made him a stuffed animal dog bone or two.
I’d been wanting to share my pattern for these toy bones for years, and am finally getting around to it now with the excuse of the 2018 edition of Sew A Softie! This movement was created a few years back by Trixi from Coloured Buttons to help spread the fact that children are more than capable of picking up thread and needle and sewing themselves something fun!
This year the entire month of July is filled with adorable stuffed projects that are simple enough for kids or non-sewing adults to create, with at least one new tutorial every day by a different blogger! Check out all the amazing tutorials here!
And so today I am sharing my stuffed animal dog bone free pattern and tutorial, with a couple of sewing variations. They can be sewn by hand or by machine. In addition, you can choose to sew, turn and stuff for a more polished look, as my 11-year-old Sofia did (seen on the left above), or simple sew around the shape without turning and trimming off the extra fabric, as my 7-year-old Nicholas did (seen on the right above).
We gave our Clifford toys away to other children a few years ago, so these bones are modelled with Nicholas’ stuffed dog “Giallo” (which means “yellow” in Italian) that he snuggles with every night as he falls asleep. I’d say that he likes them even more than Clifford did!
Does a child in your life have a much loved stuffed dog toy? Sew him up a stuffed animal dog bone as a gift or, even better, propose that he sew it himself!
- Dog Bone pattern (my free patterns are available to all Cucicucicoo Newsletter subscribers. The Newsletter is sent out every two weeks and you can unsubscribe whenever you want. Sign up for the Newsletter here for access to dozens of free downloads, templates and patterns!)
- Cereal box (optional, to make the pattern more rigid)
- Fabric marking pen with water soluble ink*
- White fabric (felt, fleece, quilting cotton, or repurpose white clothing scraps. My favorite for this project are old polo shirts.)
- White thread
- Hand sewing needle (or sewing machine)
- Stuffing (Polyester Polyfill is the easiest and cheapest, but try to use something more natural. I am dying to try this organic cotton stuffing* out!)
Download and print the pattern file (which is in both English and Italian) choosing no scaling. (Read this post to find out more about printing PDF patterns.) I like to glue small pattern pieces onto cereal boxes to make them more sturdy and easier to trace around, but you can omit that step.
Cut out the pattern along the inner dotted line (“stitching line”). If you prefer to sew considering a seam allowance, cut along the outer line and sew with a 1 cm seam allowance.
Simple Stuffed Bone (no turning):
This is the easier way for new sewists to sew their stuffed animal dog bone. There is no clipping into corners/curvers or turning involved.
Pin two layers of fabric together, wrong sides facing. (Here I am using scraps from a white polo shirt.) Trace around the bone pattern with the water soluble marking pen*, making sure to mark the two ends of the opening (shown above by the arrows).
1. You want to hide the knot, so insert the needle from between the two layers at one of the opening marks.
2. Use a running stitch or, even better, a backstitch to start sewing around on the line.
3. Make sure to sew right into the corners.
4. My son is a leftie, which I wasn’t sure how to deal with, so we experimented with him working “backwards,” with the needle in his left hand.
5. Sew all the way around to the other opening mark.
6. Trim around the whole bone, leaving a bit of fabric edge. (There’s no need to tie a knot and cut the thread, because you will continue to sew as before.)
7. Stuff the bone through the opening.
8. Pinch the opening shut and continue sewing it shut.
Ta-da! Super easy for super beginners with needle and thread!
Now rinse the bone under water and the markings will disappear.
Turned Stuffed Bone:
This version is slightly more complicated because you have to trim and turn the fabric carefully, as well as use a different stitch to close up the opening. I suggest this version for sewists with slightly more experience. You can also easily sew the bones this way with a sewing machine, which is what I originally did for my first stuffed animal dog bone years ago.
Pin two layers of fabric together, right sides facing. (Here I am using scraps from a white polo shirt.) Trace around the bone pattern with the water soluble marking pen*, making sure to mark the two ends of the opening (shown above by the arrows).
1. This bone will be turned right side out, so there’s no need to hide the knot. Insert the needle at one of the opening marks.
2. Use a running stitch or, even better, a backstitch to start sewing around on the line, making sure to sew right into the corners.
My daughter had already had practice with the running stitch, so she tried out the backstitch, and loved the extra strength that it gives and that it doesn’t leave “holes” between stitches.
3. Sew all the way around to the other opening mark. Tie a knot and cut the thread.
4. Trim around the whole bone, leaving a bit of fabric edge, making sure to cut right into the corners.
5. Turn the bone right side out through the opening and gently push out all the curves.
6. Stuff the bone.
7. Pinch the opening shut and sew it shut with either a whipstitch (top) or the ladder stitch (bottom). The whipstitch leaves a bit of a bumpy edge, so I highly recommend using the ladder stitch, which is completely invisible when done properly. If you aren’t familiar with it, read my ladder stitch tutorial here.
And there we have our two kid-sewn stuffed animal dog bones! Just rinse them under running water to remove the ink, let them air dry, and they’ll be ready for your favorite stuffed puppy!
Giallo loves his bones! Good thing he was wearing his sewn collar and leash so he couldn’t get too out of control! Haha!
It turns out that one of our cats also really likes these bones, but I do not suggest giving these to a real live animal unless you’re ok with it ripping it apart and potentially swallowing the stuffing. (I’m not, so I immediately removed these bones from the cat after taking this picture.)
Now that your child’s stuffed doggie has some tasty bones to chomp on, why not sew him a nice collar and leash set for more fun imaginative play?!
Don’t forget to look at the other amazing Sew a Softie tutorials here or by searching the hashtag #sewasoftie on social media!
And of course, don’t forget to Pin this fun toy project and kid activity!
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