Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Free Pattern & Tutorial: Henry & Helga Plushies

We are so lucky here at Birch Fabrics, to be able to partner with some very talented ladies from the crafting community.  Here we have an Elephant Plushie Pattern and Tutorial by Christina McKinney, a creative contributor to our Birch Fabrics blog, momma, photographer, and all around awesome person!  Check out her adorable pattern and tute!


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I’m so excited to share this fun tutorial with you!! Growing up, my mom collected elephants - so I have always loved them. These make great little snuggle buddies for little ones or decorations for a nursery. And since they come together so quickly, they make great gifts. The pattern is available in two sizes, large and small - so you can make one, or a whole little family of them!

Tips: Use a 1/4in seam allowance throughout. Read your pattern pieces BEFORE cutting, two of them require you to add a seam allowance along one edge. Pinning will really help keep seams matched up, but I DO NOT recommend sewing over pins! Press all your pieces well before and during sewing.


Supplies needed:

1 fat quarter in main fabric print
1 fat quarter in contrast fabric
scrap piece of iron on interfacing
polyfil stuffing
Printed pattern pieces




Fabric Shown: From Just For Fun Collection and Mod Basics 2 by Jay-Cyn Designs for Birch Fabrics Organic.


You need to add a seam allowance to a couple pieces. I don’t measure them exactly, eyeballing it is just fine! This is how mine are pinned - about 1/2 in between - then I just cut up the middle. (My fabric here is folded wrong sides together, so I’m cutting both the left and right pieces at the same time. I recommend doing this to keep the pieces exact.)





They should end up looking like this:



So, once everything is cut, you’re ready to go!

First, start with sewing each set of ears. Take two and put them right sides together.


You’re going to sew just the curved edge, leaving the straight side open for turning. Repeat with second set of ear pieces.



Turn your ears right side out and press.


Using your pattern piece as a guide, place one ear on one of the main body pieces. The raw edge of the ear will lay against the raw edge of the body piece.


Lay the corresponding face piece on top, sandwiching the ear in between. Pin in place and sew along the straight edge.



Repeat this step with the second ear, face, & body pieces.

Press your seam toward the elephants trunk. (It should naturally face that way when you flip the ear back.)


Using your face pattern piece as a guide, line up where your eye will be, and iron on your interfacing piece.



Just as a side note, there are a couple options for the eye. I use a stitch on my machine that just happens to look a little like an oval:


You could also stitch an eye by hand, or leave it off entirely. I strongly recommend the interfacing if it’s machine or hand stitched - otherwise the fabric could tear. (Since these are meant for little ones, I would avoid button eyes.)

Once I have the interfacing in place, I like to mark a small dot on the front where the top of my stitched eye will start. This helps keep things even!


Once the eye is stitched, I pull the top and bottom threads from the front to the back and tie a small knot. Since reversing/securing the stitch isn’t an option with decorative stitches, I do this to make sure it doesn’t pull out over time.


Then snip your threads


The front should look something like this:


Now, you need to stitch up your little tail piece. ***Quick note in regard to sewing this in the smaller size. I still cut the tail piece the same size and sew it the same way. I just shorten it when I’m finished.***


Fold over and press each long edge 1/4in.


Fold in half and press


Sew along the open side, staying close to the edge, but making sure you catch both sides.


As close as you can to one end, tie a small knot for decoration.


Using your pattern piece for placement, lay your tail piece in place and pin. Keep in mind that the tail will hang whatever direction you stitch it. So, decide if you want it angled up or down and place it accordingly.


Leave about 1/4 inch out, just to make sure it gets caught in the seam correctly.


Lay your second body piece on top, matching up all the edges and seams. Pin in place.


You’ll need to decide what edge to leave open for turning and stitching. A straight edge is ideal for this - much easier to sew up once you’re done. Mark your start and stop points with double needles or different colored pins.


Stitch around the edge taking care to follow all the curves. Take your time! Be sure to secure your start and stop stitches near the opening so it doesn’t unravel when you turn it right side out.


Before turning, snip the inner and outer curves. BE CAREFUL and don’t snip through your stitches!! The inner and outer edges of the trunk and belly are the most important curves to cut. (Though I tend to just snip almost the whole way around. It goes a long way in helping things lay correctly when turned.)



Turn right side out, poking out all the rounded edges and corners. I use a chopstick for this, it’s perfect!! (I don’t know about y’all, but I always have more than a few of those laying around! Take out anyone?)


Once all your seams are pressed, you can start stuffing! I like to take small pieces of filling and push them into the trunk first. I then use the chopstick to poke filling into all the nooks and crannies. Fill to your desired firmness. (I recommend less filling if it’s meant for very little ones. Far easier for them to hold on to!) Once you’re happy with the filling amount, sew up the opening with a blind stitch.



And you’re done! See? EASY!


All Photography and Pattern-work by Christina McKinney, for personal use only.  Not to be duplicated or sold. 



47 comments:

  1. The pattern pdf download isn't working

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  2. Sorry about that! Trying to fix the bugs now.

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  3. Okay, Sorry about that everyone! The bug is fixed and you should now be able to download the pattern from the link! Thank you!

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  4. Hello, You are so talented, what an amazing blog. I love your projects and your tutorials are awesome; I'm excited that I found you. Come visit my humble little blog while I'm having my Give-A-Way. I just purchased a new sewing machine and I was out looking for fresh ideas when I found your lovely blog.
    I can't find a box to click to follow, maybe you can help me. Until then I'm placing your blog in my blog-list, so I won't miss a single post :)
    Your newest fan, Connie :)

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  5. Oh these are just adorable, thank you for sharing the pattern :)

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  6. Thank you so much this tutorial is really well done
    This is a nice gift for a new baby, I love it! ^_^

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  7. lovely elephants!! thanks for the pattern!!

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  8. ohh! so cute! and they woudl be just perfect for baby boys. Its so hard to find cute gifts for them. Sharing on facebook and pinning it.

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  9. thank you so much for the pattern. my daughter loves elephants and I was looking for a pattern to make her one. Do I print the pieces at 100%. I have never done this before and want to get the right size.

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  10. This is adorable. But...The PDF link still isn't working for me. Is there something I'm missing?

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    1. I cannot get file to load either. This is soo cute would love to have the pattern plse. honey1@ameritech.net

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  11. Great instructions, thank you!

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  12. Hi, thank you for taking the time to create this adorable tutorial and pattern! I've been on the lookout for something very similar. I've printed the pattern and checked my settings but it is printing out very small. Can someone please tell me what the finished size is supposed to be? The small one seems like it would finish out at a small pincushion size and my settings say it is printing at 100%. I am using Firefox as a browser. Thank you!

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    1. I figured it out by printing it through Google Chrome.

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  13. Thank you so much for this charming pattern. I am going to make some of these for an orphanage in Haiti, because they can be packed together tightly for the journey. The kids don't have a lot a toys, and I know that a lot of them will enjoy carrying such a darling friend around with them.

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    1. What an awesome idea!! Glad it can be put to good use :)

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  14. Wow ! How I love these plushies. They are soooo adorable.Just wondering if the ellies can be done with 4 legs and if so will it be too complicated? I have never done any dolls before !
    They are such darlings ! and I will try the fish after this.

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  15. AWww..love this. Our oldest daughter was one very close to this when she was a baby (22 years ago)...it was pink and white and had 4 legs :) She still has it. Must try to make some for our younger girls. Very nice.

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  16. Don't see the link to the pdf pattern. Help!

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    1. Right under the supplies list there is a clickable link that says PRINT PATTERN PIECES HERE!. I use Firefox and once I clicked it, it started downloading. Good luck!

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  17. Hi please can you look at the link for printing the pattern pieces as it doesn't seem to be working again! Lovely work and thank you for sharing it.
    Amanda

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    1. Thanks I managed to download the pattern today, can't wait to start!

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  18. So what are the finished sizes for the Great Project? That would be a Must Know!

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  19. Gorgeous pattern and a perfect gift for a new baby girl or boy.
    Quick question - how do I make the smaller sizes?

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  20. The pattern pdf download isn't working. Please can you give me the pdf by email? Thank you so much. jolivet.g@gmail.com

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  21. I made the little Ellie last night for my grandbaby that will be here soon they are sooo cute thanks for such a detailed tutorial I will be making more of these!!

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  22. Thank you so much for this tutorial! It's a great information! I have done my own elephats based on your tutorial. I've mentioned in my blog: http://costureranovatilla.blogspot.com.es/2013/10/elefantes-para-todos.html

    Thanks! They are so cute!

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  23. Thank you so much for the great pattern and instructions!!
    So very generous.
    I'm going to make a few for my baby nephew's elephant-themed nursery~

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  25. Finally whipped one of these up this afternoon as a baby gift for a neighbour. It was quick, easy and the result was fantastic. Thank you for such an awesome pattern. You've made my day. Will be making more of these. :)

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  26. Just found this via Fabric Worm! Love this, pinned it & shared on Twitter too! Thx so much! I want to make two for my best friend's twin girls!

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  27. Thanks so much for this, my daughter keeps saying the only thing she wants from Santa is a red elephant, so hopefully this is exactly what she wanted!

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  28. The information in this blog is extremely useful for the people.
    free tutor online

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  29. I LOVE this pattern! It is so cute and yet so simple! Do you mind if I make some of these and sell them at a few craft fairs I will be attending this summer?

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  30. Thanks for a great tutorial. These are sooo cute and quick to sew up. I made some over night and love them. Are you ok with people selling the finished products made from your pattern?

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  31. Super cute, quick and easy. My 3yr old and I made one for her new baby sister. We added a rattle to the inside and made the ears crinkly by adding a layer of wipey wrapper inside the ears :)

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  32. What a delightful pattern! Thank you for sharing your talents with everyone. My grandson loves elephants, so after I finish his quilt, I will use the left-over fabrics to make an elephant or two!

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  33. Thanks for sharing ! They are soooo adorable ! Merci !

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  34. Hello there! I'm from germany and first I want to say, that I love your fabrics and designs - and also thank you for the wonderful free (!!) patterns!
    Yesterday I found this on the german "burda"-site: http://www.burdastyle.de/anleitungen/how-to/diy-fuer-kinder-suesser-kuschel-elefant-fuers-baby_aid_5204.html
    It is exactly YOUR elephant above, and the seller of the "ebook" is "retromama" on etsy! She wants about 6,00 EUR for "her" ebook! I think, this is absolutely NOT okay and you should know, that somebody sells YOUR pattern on etsy.
    Christine

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  35. Thank you....this turned out so cute! I used fleece and the 1/4 inch seams are questionable... I am going to make it again using flannel.

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  36. Thank you for the wonderful pattern, there are already severals Henrys and Helgas!
    http://nahtlokal.blogspot.de/2014/05/elefanten.html

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  37. Beautiful!
    I'm definitely going to make some of these for a few little people I know!

    Suggestion: To make it more interesting for little fingers I was thinking it would be nice to use different fabrics on the ears and maybe put some crinkly plastic (think crisp/chip packet) inside the ears too.

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