Right before Christmas, and after months of valiant service, poor Moriarty the Moose finally got entirely disemboweled by Boomer. She loves having a cuddly toy but dog toys are pretty expensive, so I decided to make her a new one out of scraps of fabric.
I noticed that with poor Moriarty, his ears and fluffy bits were the first to get chewed off, so I designed Penelope as one piece and using cotton, to minimise the number of bits that could be grabbed and torn.
I also wanted to be able to stuff the toy but avoid having Boomer pull the stuffing out, so I made two layers – a plain inner layer that contained the stuffing, and an outer layer with the cute fabric and applique bits. I was pretty pleased with how Penelope turned out, so here’s how to make your own.
1. Decide on a shape and make a template on a piece of paper. Use your template to cut out 4 pieces of fabric – 2 for the inner layer, and 2 for the outside.
Don’t forget to add a seam allowance when you’re cutting. I thought it necessary to make the inner pieces smaller than the outer pieces, but when I put the thing together this turned out to be a mistake. Make them all the same size.
2. If you’re adding any kind of embroidery or applique to the toy, now is the time to do it. I used some scrap sweatshirt fabric and embroidery to add a tail, paw/ear bits and a face.
3. Sew the inner layer together, leaving a small opening for the stuffing. Stuff the toy firmly and close the opening. I harvested the beanbag that were poor Moriarty’s innards and used that in Penelope, too.
I didn’t bother about turning the thing inside out to hide the raw edges, since this whole thing will be on the inside anyway. I did go for some pretty sturdy stitching, though.
4. Now this is the tricky bit.
Pin the outer layer pieces right sides together and sew together carefully around, making sure you leave enough room to get everything else inside. I left the whole top of the head open. Now turn it right side out and insert the inner layer. Finally, fold the edges over to the inside and pin around. Sew the head shut. This will be pretty fiddly if you are using a sewing machine but I managed it. Make sure there are no holes or gaps anywhere, and you’re done!
Now give your puppy her delightful new toy and hope it doesn’t get destroyed within a week.
Boomer likes Penelope a lot.
Happy crunching everybody.