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Toto Cushion

Toto cushion

This Tote Cushion project is an excerpt from Everything Oz, the follow up to the hit craft book Everything Alice written by Hannah Read-Baldrey and Christine Leech published by Quadrille Publishing. Buy the book here. 


This ultra-soft cushion puts to good use any old sweaters you may have lying around. Woollens with cashmere content are super snuggly.


Two 70 cm x 50cm rectangles of white fabric

for lining

70 cm x 50 cm woollen fabric, such as an old

sweater or cardigan, for outer cover

Matching sewing thread Tailor’s chalk or air

erasable fabric pen

Soft toy stuffing

Two 2cm circles of black or brown wool felt for eyes

Gingham scarf, cloth or napkin for bow

Toto Template

Note: If you are using an old sweater, cut away the neck and arms only to create rectangles of fabric. Do not cut down the sides of the sweater. Leaving the seams intact makes it easier to keep everything in place when sewing the cushion together.


 By making two cushions – one from lining fabric and one from a stretchy woollen fabric – you get a better shape dog.

Fold the white lining fabric in half lengthways, with right sides facing, and pin together. Using the template on page 128, trace the outline onto the fabric. Machine stitch around the outline, leaving a 10cm turning hole along the dog’s underbelly. Trim the excess fabric close to the line of stitching.

Make notches in the seam allowance of the fabric along the curves around the ears, nose, tail and legs. This will give a better overall shape and neater curves.

Turn the lining right side out. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, open out all the curves, such as the tip of the tail. Press.

Repeat the previous steps but this time using the woollen outer cover fabric. As the woollen fabric will be quite stretchy, stitch slightly inside the outline to avoid a mis-shapen Toto.

Turn the outer cover right side out and carefully insert the shaped lining. Make sure the ears, nose, tail and legs are all aligned and lay flat.

Firmly fill the cushion with toy stuffing, pushing it into all the extremities. Close both of the openings with neat hand stitches.

Add a small circle of black or brown felt to either side of the head for eyes.

Finally smarten up Toto by tying a gingham scarf, cloth or napkin into a pretty bow around his neck.

Photo © Verity Welstead