Thursday, February 6, 2014

Free Pattern | Whale Of A Time Plushie | by Christina McKinney

Our dear friend, Christina McKinney, is back with another amazing plushie tutorial!  If you were a fan of her adorable Pond Fishie Plushie, then you are going to love these adorable Marine Whales!  This PDF pattern, comes in two sizes, so you can create an entire family of marine whales for your little tot at home!  Now I'll hand the wheel over to Christina... Enjoy!

Howdy y’all! Sharing another fun tutorial with you today, inspired by the adorable Marine Too Collection by Dan Stiles. I actually grew up wanting to be a marine biologist, so ocean creatures have a special place in my heart. These sweet plushies come in two sizes and sew up really fast. They’d be a great nursery decor item, or a snuggly gift for a little one. You could even add a few ribbon loops around the edges and make it a taggie friend! Whatever options you may choose, I hope you have fun with it!

Tips: Use a 1/4in seam allowance throughout, unless otherwise stated. Read your pattern pieces carefully and assemble them along the indicated edges. (Refer to the piecing guide) 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 (for bottom section)
1 fat quarter in second contrast print (for fins)
Polyfil stuffing
Printed pattern pieces - GET THE PATTERN HERE

Finished dimensions:
Large - 13 1/2in wide by 10in tall
Small - 9in wide by 7in tall

Now lets get started!

With right sides together, sew each of your 2 sets of fins, leaving the top straight edges open.

Making sure not to cut your stitching, snip the curves to help the pieces lay flat when turned.

Using a chopstick or turning tool, flip the fins right side out and press.

Stuff each fin with a small amount of polyfil to desired firmness. Once stuffed, baste the straight edge shut.

Lay out your top and bottom pieces to determine placement for your fin.

With right sides together, match up the long edges of your main body piece and bottom piece. Your fin should be sandwiched in between the layers. Be sure to double check your fin placement so that you don’t end up stitching it in place backwards. Pin in place.

Repeat this process with the pieces for the opposite side and stitch in place. (Make sure to place your fins in the same place on both sides!)

Press your seam up toward the body.

Stitch this seam in place by top stitching about 1/8 from the edge of your seam. Use a contrasting thread for an extra detail. I usually extend my stitch length slightly for topstitching. Repeat this step for the opposite side as well.

If you plan to add the eye or any additional embellishments, you’ll want to do that now,

Lay your assembled pieces with right sides together. Be sure to flip the fins upward during this step to keep them out of the way while you sew. Pin around the edges, leaving a start and stop point along the bottom straight edge.

Stitch the pieces together, making sure to reinforce your start and stop points. Take your time sewing around the various curves.

It seems like a tedious step, but make sure to snip your curves before turning the piece right side out. It’s a little time consuming, but it makes all the difference in how it lays once it’s right side out. (Just be sure to not clip through your stitch line!)

Using a chopstick or turning tool, flip the whale right side out. Press one last time to get rid of the creases caused by turning. Stuff to desired firmness.

Close your bottom opening with a blind or ladder stitch.

And you’re done!

Ready to snuggle....or chew

Thank you Christina for this amazing free pattern!  Be sure to share these cuties with a friend, heck we're thinking about having a girls sew night to sew a few up for ourselves!


  1. Wonderful! Thanks! Making these for Summer!♥

  2. where did u leave the opening for the stuffing? its beautiful.

    1. I left a small gap in the straight edge along the bottom :)

  3. It is really cute, this post of your is perfect for I've been looking for a plushie tutorial to do well I never thought it is quite simple to make.

    Where to buy fabric

  4. Hello there! Thanks for the wonderful project! Loved the tutorial and the result. I'm adding bits to make the whale even more fun for the little ones such as ribbon tags on the top of the head (making the blow of the whale) and crinkle material in the tail and fins. Also, as much as I love the "original" flat whale in the tutorial I decided I really wanted a whale with a more realistic tail (horizontal) so I worked on the pattern and modified it a bit. It turns out a bit trickier to sew than the original, but still easy enough. Will post it if you're interested. :-)

    1. I would love to see your pictures. I have not made this yet. I don't really understand what you mean about the tail and the blow hole.

  5. Thank you for this wonderful pattern. Here is my version ->

  6. Thank you so very much! What a great pattern and instructions. How nice of you to share this with everyone! I just love it and really appreciate it. Can't wait to get started on one for my new grandbaby expected in April.

  7. The small whale I made for a baby shower turned out so adorable! I added 3 twisted ribbons for the whale's 'blow'! Thanks for the pattern and directions! Deana

  8. Hi I just love your whales however when mine printed I got the 9" wide X 7" tall
    and one that is much smaller I never got the 13 1/2x 10" no matter how I print the patterns I still only get the two not the big one
    Please help me
    Thank you Shelley

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  14. the pattern link is no longer working :-(