At last! We've made it to the part where your plushie finally comes together. This section will cover sewing techniques and tips to help you in successfully making your own plushie.
Sewing on a machine with minky or faux fur can be tricky sometimes, as the fabric is thick and slippery. Set your machine to a straight stitch, refer to your machines manual for help in tuning the settings.
Pinning pieces or doing a running basting stich can help ensure that the fabric stays aligned during sewing. A basting stich is a loose stich that usually has 3/4 inch to 1 inch between each stich and can easily be cut and pulled out. Use a bright or obvious color for basting and place the basting stitch just inside the sewing line so you can sew next to it.
How to Pin Fabric
How to Bast Stitch
If you find places where the fur got caught, take a needle, and carefully loop under it and pull it out. Only do a little bit at a time or you’ll risk ripping the fur.
Pull Out Minky for a Smoother Look
Pulling Out Stuck Fur
Hand sewing certain areas may be easier, getting tight curves can be difficult to do on a machine, especially if you’re a beginner. The make sharp corners or harsh curves easier, you can clip the seam allowance; it allows it to be more flexible.
You can also trim excess seam allowance after sewing for small or flat pieces such as ears and feet. It will prevent chunkiness and show its true shape
While there are many types of stiches, the easiest and strongest ones are the double running stitch and the backstitch. When doing either, make sure that the stiches are small, no more than 3mm apart. A running stitch is essentially a tight basting stitch, to make it a double you just go back over the empty sections.
Single Running Stitch to Double
How to Backstitch
A way to check if you have a strong stich is to pull along the seam and check if you can see the threads. This method is useful for hand and machine stitching.
Make sure to leave a hole for stuffing, chose a spot that will give you easy access to the entire plushie.
This is a good time to install eyes or noses, you can also do it earlier as soon as the head is sewn. When installing eyes, it’s useful to have long needles to make sure you have them aligned before putting on the backings or cutting holes.
Only make a tiny snip in the fabric once you’re sure it’s aligned, push in the eye, and press on the washer. You should hear a satisfying snap once it’s on.
Once your plushie is put together, it’s finally time to stuff. It can take some time to stuff, but it’s one of the most rewarding parts of making a plush. You get to see it finally come to life!
Only put in a little bit at a time, maybe a golf ball sized piece. This is especially important for smaller places like heads and legs/feet, putting in large amounts can make it look lumpy and uneven. Don’t ball or roll the stuffing, keep it fluffy so that it adds smoothly.
Be generous with stuffing, continue to add small amounts and check the firmness as you go. Remember that the stuffing will ‘deflate’ overtime, so when it’s at the perfect firmness, add a bit more so it stays that way.
Depending on the size of your project, you may need a lot of stuffing. You can also use poly-beads to help weigh down feet, or have them just be beads, like beanie babies. One 11’’ horse requires about 9oz of poly-fill.
Once you’ve finished stuffing, it’s time to close up the hole. The easiest way to do this is with a ladder stich. It’s very similar to a running stich, but you can do it from the outside.
Thread and knot your needle and cut off excess thread.
Thread the needle at one end of the hole and loop under it to hide the knot.
Fold the seam allowance in and start to ladder stich but don’t pull the thread tight so you don’t lose your place.
Make the stiches as small as you can since you won’t be going back over them.
Once you have your ladder, start pulling on the thread, don’t try to pull it all once. Do it gently or you may break the thread. Make a knot at the end and find a place to pull the excess thread through.
Use your needle to find a place that feels loose and as close to the knot as possible, push in the needle and pulling it out nearby. Pull it tight and feel if the knot has gone through, once it has, keep the thread taut and carefully cut the thread.
How to Ladder Stitch
Congratulations! You made a plushie!
However, there are some final touches you can do to really enhance the look of your plushie. Pinching or tying certain things into place can help you fix or hide certain things.
My favorite thing to do on plushies is to pinch the eyes. This is easiest to do with a long needle.
Thread the needle but don’t make a knot.
Push the needle in as close to the eye as possible, you may have to wiggle the needle around the washer.
Thread the needle through to the other eye at the same area, then thread in back to the other side.
Take the thread and loop it once and begin pulling, figure out how pinched you want it.
With one loop you can adjust the tightness.
Once you’re happy with the look, make a second loop and pull tight.
Now that you have a knot, you can hide it easily by pulling it into the fabric.
How to Pinch Eyes
Are the ears droopy? Not a problem!
Take the ear and play with it to figure out the proper position, note where it needs to be.
Thread the needle into the ear and then into the side of the head, make a basic knot with thread and pull it tight.
Align the thread and cut them even, thread the needle through the pieces and use the same method of hiding the knot by pulling it into the plushie.
If they turn out in the wrong place, you can cut the thread and try again.
How to Pinch Ears
Welp! This is the end of the tutorial, I hope you learned a whole bunch and are excited delve into the world of plush making.
Let me know if you've got questions, I'm happy to help!
Thanks for reading.