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Strong-bodied Scrawno Plush Creature

Shawn Smith creates lovable plush creatures made from fleece and felt.

Project by Shawn Smith from Chicago.

Shawn lives in a world that is filled with quirky creatures of various shapes, sizes and colors, which he likes to call "Shawnimals." His quirky yet lovable demeanor is reflected in his creatures, which are such a hit that Shawn now teaches others how it’s done at his free, in-demand workshop in Chicago. Made of fleece and felt, this Scrawno is a plush friend with a ton of upper body strength but rather weak legs. That’s what he gets for concentrating on those arms and pecs during his long workouts!

Materials:

red, pink, off-white polar fleece
pilly purple berber fleece
white, black craft felt
sewing machine
thread
curved upholstery needle
embroidery yarn
plastic doll eyes

Steps:

1. Draw a small version of the creature in question to understand the proportions. Make a large version of this drawing that will essentially be used as a pattern (so make sure it’s as big as you want your stuffed thing to be), but this time draw each piece separately (arms, legs, fingers, head and body).

2. Cut out all of the pieces so you can use each part as a pattern. Remember to leave 1 to 2 additional inches at the end of each piece. Since the head will hang over the body, leave about 3 inches. Keep in mind that all pieces have at least a little bit of stuffing in them, so do consider where the stuffing hole will be for each, especially in the body portion.

Note: The body portion is the only piece that will have a viewable stuffing hole, as the other pieces will be inside of the body portion and sewn shut with the body portion seam.

3. Select the fabrics you’d like to use for the different parts. Remember that you’ll need two pieces of each piece of fabric since you’re going to be making a pillow-type object that you’ll then stuff. The size will correspond to the size of your pattern/drawing.

4. Prepare fabric for sewing by matching up the outward facing side of the fabric (remember: fuzzy is good!), and pin the patterns to the various fabrics.

5. Sew the pieces in the following order: fingers, arms (with stuffed fingers sewn in), legs, head (keeping in mind eyes will be placed before inserting into body), and body (with all stuffed parts inside).

6. Start sewing the fingers. Sew six fingers following the edge of the paper pattern pinned to the fabric.

7. Once complete, remove the paper pattern and cut along seam, leaving at least a 1/2 inch space.

8. Now make small snips perpendicular to the seam along the perimeter. This allows the fabric to expand around curves and once it’s stuffed. Turn inside out.

9. Put a small amount of stuffing in each finger, making sure the stuffing is even and squishy to the touch.

10. These basic instructions can be applied to all pieces except the body.

11. Once pattern is pinned to the paper, insert stuffed fingers between the two pieces of arm fabric. The fingers should be facing inward, since when the arm is turned inside out, the fingers will be facing the right way.

12. Sew two arms following the edge of the paper pattern pinned to the fabric.
Note: When you sew over the fingers, take it slow and make sure you have enough of the back end of the finger sticking out so it’s locked in with the arm seam.

13. Now make small snips perpendicular to the seam along the perimeter. This allows the fabric to expand around curves and once it’s stuffed. Turn inside out.

14. Put a small amount of stuffing in each arm, making sure the stuffing is even and squishy to the touch.

15. Sew head following the edge of the paper pattern pinned to the fabric. Once complete, remove the paper pattern and cut along seam, leaving at least a 1/2-inch space.

16. Now make small snips perpendicular to the seam along the perimeter. This allows the fabric to expand around curves and once it’s stuffed.

17. Before stuffing head, determine where the eyes will be placed and make1/4-inch slits in the fabric for the eyes. Insert the eyes in the holes and reach inside to set locking washer on stem of eye. Make sure this is on tight.

18. Put a small amount of stuffing in the head, making sure the stuffing is even and squishy to the touch. Be sure to leave extra space at the end of the head into which stuffing is inserted. Mouth and teeth will be applied during the final steps.

19. Sew two legs following the edge of the paper pattern pinned to the fabric. Once complete, remove the paper pattern and cut along seam, leaving at least a 1/2-inch space.

20. Now make small snips perpendicular to the seam along the perimeter. This allows the fabric to expand around curves and once it’s stuffed. Turn inside out.

21. Put a small amount of stuffing in each leg, making sure the stuffing is even and squishy to the touch.

22. Once pattern is pinned to the paper, insert all stuffed portions between the two pieces of body fabric. All parts should be facing inward, since then when the body is turned inside out, the parts will be facing the right way.

Note: If need be, insert each part one at a time to make sewing easier, and be careful not to sew over a part other than where needed.

23. Sew two legs following the edge of the paper pattern pinned to the fabric.

Note: When you sew over the different parts, take it slow and make sure you have enough of the back end of the part sticking out so it’s locked in with the body seam.

24. Once complete, remove the paper pattern and cut along seam leaving at least a 1/2-inch space.

25. Make small snips perpendicular to the seam along the perimeter. This allows the fabric to expand around curves once it’s stuffed. Turn inside out and make sure all pieces look right.

26. Put a small amount of stuffing in the body, making sure the stuffing is even and squishy to the touch.

27. When complete, take a 10-inch length of thick thread and sew stuffing hole shut with a loop stitch.

28. Cut a length of felt approximately 3 inches long and 1/4 inch thick, keeping the edge as straight as possible for mouth. Cut two 1" x 1" white pieces of felt.

29. Glue on mouth, making as straight or crooked as desired. Glue on teeth so they butt up against the bottom of the mouth.

Website: www.shawnimals.com

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