This toy bunny project is an extract from Sewing for Babies and Children by Laura Strutt for Cico Books. It is a book bursting with things to make for children up to the age of 5, read our full review here.
This sweet rabbit toy is cute and quick to make and is sure to become a firm favorite with little ones. Create a mini quilted bed to make this the perfect nap-time toy.
YOU WILL NEED
For this toy bunny project
• Fat quarter of light brown baby cord
• Scraps of print cotton
• Child-safe toy stuffing
• Brown embroidery floss (thread)
Rabbit: 12½ in. (32 cm) long to tip of ears
Take a 3⁄8-in. (1-cm) seam allowance throughout, unless otherwise stated.
TEMPLATES REQUIRED (click to open printable pdfs)
HOW TO MAKE A TOY RABBIT
TIP A “fat quarter” is a yard or meter of fabric that is folded in half both horizontally and vertically, and then cut into four along the fold lines—so you end up with a piece measuring 18 in. high x 22 in. wide (50 x 56 cm), compared to a normal quarter yard or meter, which measures 44 x 9 in. (112 x 23 cm). Fat quarters are sold in quilting stores.
1 Make paper patterns from the templates. Using the patterns, cut two bodies, four arms, and two ears from the brown baby cord. Also cut two ears from the print cotton.
2 Zig-zag stitch all around each piece to secure the raw edges. Press each piece.
3 Pin two arm pieces right sides together. Set your machine to a straight stitch and stitch around the curved sides, leaving the top (straight) edge open. Snip small V-shapes in the seam allowance to ease the curve when turning through, being very careful not to cut through the stitching. Turn right side out and stuff lightly with toy stuffing. Repeat to make a second arm.
4 Pin one print cotton and one baby cord ear right sides together. Stitch them together in the same way as the arms, snip the seam allowance, and turn right side out. Repeat to make a second ear.
5 Using all six strands of a length of brown embroidery floss (thread), neatly embroider the eyes and nose onto the right side of one of the body pieces, using the photograph as a guide.
6 Place the ears on the head, with the print cotton side facing the embroidered section and aligning the raw edges. Baste (tack) them in place within the seam allowance. Pin and baste the arms to the sides of the body in the same way.
TIP Ensure that all seams are stitched securely and always use child-safe toy stuffing for children’s toys.
7 Pin the remaining body piece right side down on top of the embellished front part, aligning all the curves and raw edges. Stitch the rabbit front and back together, leaving a gap of about 2 in. (5 cm) on one side unstitched, for turning through.
8 Snip small V-shapes in the seam allowance to ease the curve when turning through, being very careful not to cut through the stitching. Turn right side out, using a knitting needle to ease out the legs.
9 Stuff the rabbit with toy stuffing, working with small pieces at a time and pushing it into all parts of the body, legs, and head. Around the gap, tuck in the seam allowance and slipstitch the gap closed.
TIP Using a knitting needle helps with turning through the smaller sections of the toy, and is also useful for pushing in the stuffing.
In the book there is also a pretty quilted bed you can make for the toy bunny to sleep in.
MAKE IT YOURS
Adapt the pattern pieces to create your own menagerie of soft plush toys. Why not create a bear, fox, or raccoon?
Read our review of Sewing for Babies and Children here.