Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sea Turtle Stuffed Animal

With being sick and just plain busy, I haven't been too productive in the crafts department. Instead, I've been spending most of my time reading (currently working on the first book of Game of Thrones and looking for a good book on the history of European Art) and brainstorming for project ideas. Today, I decided that I needed to complete a project, sick or not! I've been meaning to make some stuffed animals for Winston, because it seems like every week I'm spending $10 on a new toy. I wanted to make Winston something that was somewhat floppy so he can toss it around easily (he likes to play fetch with himself when I am busy). I decided to go with a sea turtle so I could do the flippers and flatter shell version. I created my own pattern for this and have included it in PDF format. It should print to scale. You can use whatever fabric type you prefer, but I used fleece.


  • When tracing the pattern pieces, be sure to add 1/2" allowance and to cut on the fold where instructed.
  • Cut the body pieces on the green fabric.
  • Cut one shell piece on the dark brown fabric.
  • Cut one shell piece on the light brown fabric.
  • Cut the pupils and eyes on the black and white felt, respectively.

  • Hand sew the pupil piece on top of the white piece as seen above.
  • When finished, do not cut the thread yet.
  • Trim the excess pupil fabric off so that the pupil is flush with the white.

  • Sew the eye onto the right side of one of the head pieces (be sure to stay within your seam allowance).
  • Repeat the previous steps on the other eye and sew to the head piece symetrically.

  • Place right sides together of each set of limbs, tail, and head pieces.
  • Sew all around and leave the straight ends open.
  • Cut notches on any concave curves before turning the pieces right side out.

  • Lightly stuff the flippers so they remain somewhat flat (you could probably leave them unstuffed too).
  • Stuffed the head tightly to get a rounded shaped.

  • Sketch a shell design on you top shell piece and sew with a contrasting thread.
  • It doesn't have to be perfect and you can use random shapes in the design. I went with the design above to make sewing easier. I sewed columns of zigzags first from the head to the tail end. Then, I rotated the shell on its side and sewed the straight lines (top and bottom of the hexagons). To save time, I didn't cut my threads after each straight line. After my backstitches, I just moved the shell over the next section and continued sewing.

  • Place the bottom shell piece right side up.
  • Pin the neck of the head piece to the top of the shell (the wider, flatter end). Make sure the top of the head is facing up!
  • Also, pin the flippers as pictured above.

  • Once all the body pieces are pinned, pin the top shell right side down over the ensemble. Remove the pins from the previous step as you do this.
  • Sew all around, but leave 4" open at the tail end.
  • Turn it right side out and stuff the shell. Sea turtle shells are flatter, so do not over stuff.
  • Pin the tail in place and sew the open shut with ladder stitches.

Winston has a new friend!

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