Friday, March 1, 2013

a whale of a…whale (free pattern)

it has not escaped my notice that, as an avowed hater of stuffed and plush things, i have made and blogged quite a few.
the irony.
but i guess when it comes down to it, i don’t necessarily hate all plushies, just the stupid, pointless, waste of space, free/hand-me-down/non-emotional-connection type. yeah, those.
anyway, after making the quanket for the Unnamed Baby my friend is expecting, i still had a good sized piece of minky fabric left.
obviously, it needed to be a stuffed animal. because misery loves company and all that jazz. (sidenote meg: you’re welcome, kiss kiss)
and then after i did one, clearly i needed to do a second. brother and sister whale.
matching whale-ies.
soft and huggable whales, with contrast fabric bellies—his to match the quanket, hers a piece pulled from the stash (you may recognize it from the owls)
obviously i’d like to think that the future loving sibling relationship between Mr. No Name and his sister is/will be due—in large part—to the common bond forged by matching sibling whales.
and if you can get that from a pair of stuffed animals/dust collectors, then maybe i need to rethink my stance.
want to make a whale stuffie for yourself? you got it.
+ 1/4 yard of minky or other soft fabric with a bit of stretch
+ 1/4 yard (or fat quarter, or scrap fabric) contrast fabric for belly
+ embroidery floss/needle for eyes
+ stuffing
+ for the “girl” a small piece of felt for the bow
cutting notes + i included only a 1/4” seam allowance on this pattern. that’s all i generally use, and if i went any bigger the main piece wouldn’t fit on one sheet of paper. keep this in mind while you’re sewing. you can always trace the pattern onto your fabric 1/4” larger, giving you a standard 1/2” seam allowance if you’re more comfortable with that.

the minky fabric i used had a lot of stretch. i cut my whale body pieces so the direction it stretched most was around the top of the whale. (in other words the stretch went from his belly on bottom up to the top of his head)

***IMPORTANT NOTE: ignore where i marked the “whale tail” as contrast or main fabric. cut it out of your MAIN FABRIC, not the contrast. sorry ;)

(right click pictures to save and print full size)
sew fins, right sides together along rounded edge.
clip curve, turn right side out & press
pin one fin on each whale body piece and stitch down.
place whale body pieces right sides together and sew along the top edge.
set that aside and grab your tail pieces.
place a pin in the center of the main tail piece (the one cut on the fold).
pin the other tail pieces on top, right sides together, matching the outer corners and working towards the center.
PIN ONLY UNTIL YOU REACH THE CENTER PIN YOU MARKED FIRST. you’ll have excess fabric on the 2 top pieces.
sew together, going from the center pin at the top around to the outer point and down to the intersecting corner at the bottom.
this gives you a 1/4 seam allowance on both top halves of the tail for you to attach it to the belly of the whale.
now grab your whale body, and match up the point at the back of the whale with the center pin of your tail piece. pin the seam allowance you left in the center of the tail piece to the two sides of the whale body.
whale pin
sew that “u” shape up from end to end. trim up the center where it gets a little bulky.
now you have the main body of the whale complete. (looks like a manatee to me, right?)
time to attach the belly.
center and pin the belly, right sides together, onto your whale body.
stop where the tail piece meets up with the body. you’ll have an extra flap of both belly fabric and tail fabric past that, which we’ll use to close up the whale at the end.
sew that up and turn what has now become a somewhat creepy whale skin right side out.
now stuff! and stuff! and stuff!! seriously—the key to getting all the puckers and ripples out and making a nice looking animal is to really, really pack the stuffing in.
(i actually should have put a little more in this whale before taking these pics!)
now all that remains is to close up the bottom. tuck in the belly fabric and fold the tail fabric over the top creating a nice edge, and slip stitch together.
if you have a tag this is a nice spot to stitch it in.
i used blue embroidery floss to embroider on simple eyes. for the “boy”, i went in at the top, did each eye and came back out the top. then i created small loops by tying knots and leaving excess floss.
for the “girl” i just did the two eyes and then stitched a felt bow on the side of her head.
and there you have it! whale plushies, to add to your collection! enjoy!
p.s. i turned word verification back on. SORRY!!! i know, it’s a huge pain in the tuckus. but the spam comments were getting IN.SANE. i’d still love you forever if you fought your way through to leave me a comment. ;) xoxo
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