guest project // abby glassenberg's flying squirrel softie
When I think of cute soft toys, the first person who comes to mind is Abby Glassenberg. She has an amazing talent for creating adorable softies to hug and love, as well as passing that talent on to others through her blog and shop. In her book Stuffed Animals: from concept to Construction, Abby shares just about all you need to know to get making soft toys. Her designs are as thoughtful as she is, and I simply love her passion!
I'm quite giddy to say that she has designed something special for this month of the flying squirrel here on Wild Olive. I squealed when she sent me the pictures! And now, I'll turn it over to Abby.
Flying squirrels make excellent softies, mostly because they’re so cute! Here’s a simple pattern to make your own flying squirrel. You can sew him in about an hour and I think you’ll agree that this is one huggable squirrel.
The finished squirrel is 13 inches long (from the tip of the ears to the tail).
First, gather some materials:
1/4 yard of light gray fleece (you could also use flannel or a felted wool sweater)
a small scrap of dark gray felt for the feet and ears
a small scrap of pink felt for the nose
a pair of 8mm safety eyes
black embroidery floss, 12 inches
fiberfill stuffing, 1 ounce
coordinating all-purpose thread
an embroidery needle
a pair of small scissors
chalk or a disappearing fabric marker
Download the Flying Squirrel Templates.
Let’s get started! First, cut everything out.
From light gray fleece cut:
• 2 Bodies
• 2 Heads
• 2 Tails (reversing 1)
From dark gray felt cut:
• 4 Feet
• 2 Ears
From pink felt cut:
• 1 Nose
Transfer all of the markings to the pattern pieces using chalk or a disappearing fabric marker. Note that a 1/4 inch seam allowance has been added to all of the pattern pieces that require it. Cut on the solid lines and sew on the dotted lines.
Now, we’ll sew the tail. Place the two tail pieces right sides together. Pin. Stitch around the tail, leaving the straight edge open as marked. Clip the curves and turn the tail right side out. Stuff the tail lightly, leaving the inch closest to the opening unstuffed.
Next, prepare the face. Poke a small hole for each eye using the tip of a pair of small scissors. Insert the safety eyes and slide the washers on the backs of the posts until they’re secure.
Whipstitch the nose in place. Stitch the mouth with black embroidery floss using backstitch.
Flip one ear over so that you have two mirror image ears on your worktable. Fold each ear along the fold line and press. Place the ears on the face, folded side down, as marked, and pin in place.
It’s time to sew and stuff the head! Place the two head pieces right sides together and pin well. Sew around the entire head, catching the raw edges of the ears in the seam. On the back of the head toward the bottom pinch one layer of fabric and cut a small slit. Clip the curves and turn the head right side out through the slit.
Stuff the head firmly, being sure there are no hollow spots or lumps. Ladder stitch the hole closed.
Now let’s sew up the body. Place the feet on the right side of one body piece, as marked. Pin in place. Place the tail on the body piece and pin. Now place the second body piece on top, right sides together, and pin well. Stitch around the body, leaving the opening at the neck as marked.
Clip the curves and turn the body right side out. Ladder stitch the opening closed.
We’re almost done! Place the head on the body, as marked. Pin from the back to hold it in place. Ladder stitch the head to the body, going down the marked curve and then across the neck portion of the body. You might want to stitch around twice just to be sure the head is secure stitched in place.
That’s it! Give your flying squirrel a big hug!
Thank you so very much, Abby! Is it safe to say that everyone needs a flying squirrel in their life? I have a feeling that as soon as I make one, I'll need to make three or four more, because folks at my house will be fighting over them.
Be sure to visit While She Naps for more from Abby Glassenberg.