Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday - Eli the Elephant

Happy Tuesday! Or Happy Tutorial-ing... uh? Not sure if that one works, but in any case I'm happy to have you here this Tuesday. I'm really excited about today's tutorial because it's the first one I've done start to finish without an outside pattern or anything. And he's just so stinkin' cute!



Meet "Eli"
He's an elephant, just waiting to meet your little one. 
{even if your "little one" is a dog, it's still a fun project!}



OK, here's what you need:

12"x12" fabric of your choice
needle & thread or sewing machine {I used to be a needle & thread-er, I feel ya guys!}
coordinating piece of felt, or felt scraps
polyfill


Start by pressing out your fabric so it's nice and smooth...



Then, fold your fabric in half with the right sides facing each other.
Draw your elephant shape. He doesn't have to be perfect, he's plush!



Next, sew all around your outline. 
I used the wonky looking zig zag, but I like to see the thread on the outside all "rustic style."
I would suggest pinning your fabric together so everything stays straight.
 {I didn't pin but I used flannel, and it sticks to itself pretty well.}



Be sure to leave an opening to turn inside out. {see pin}
I like to use the space at the bottom because it's less noticeable when you have to sew it back up.



Now cut out your shape! 
I use pinking shears to keep things from fraying {just in case}, 
aaaaand I like the way the little zig-zaggy edges look. Never said I wasn't a dork!



Now get to turning!
{I find that it helps to start by pushing the trunk out first, since it's furthest from the hole.}



Now it's time to stuff him! 
I got this little chopstick-y thing in a bag of polyfil, I'm pretty sure they all come with one, but you can use a chopstick or even a pencil to help get the stuffing in all the little corners and crannies.



Ta DA! All stuffed and ready to sew. I don't usually stuff them too full, just because little baby hands can grab on and chew on it a little better when it's not sooooo full.



I don't know if this stitch has a name, but I stitch in kind of an X pattern. 
It's easy, sturdy, keeps the fabric flat when I'm finished, and goes along with my other rustic edges.



Now for the ears...
Cut ears from your scrap of coordinating felt. 
Mine are about 2 inches long, and just kind of floppy looking and oval shaped.



You can sew these on and they'll turn out great. 
However, I do something a little different...I use embroidery floss 
{because it's heavier duty and you won't run the risk of those sweet little baby hands pulling an ear off} Loop it all the way through the elephant to the other side so his ears are "tufted" to his head like a pillow.
Just pin both ears down to it's head, and it will be easy-peasy.



And here you are! A little Eli the Elephant of your very own. 
{Of course, you can always make him girly and name her Ellie. I don't mind. :) }



OH wait!! 
And if you partner him up with a matching burpie, bib, and jingle block, 
you've got yourself a rockin' baby shower gift set in no time flat! ;)



I hope you all enjoyed this week's tutorial! If anyone makes their own Eli/Ellie, be sure to show me! I love seeing what everyone's adaptations are. :)

Come link up your projects for the week below, I can't wait to see what you've been working on!! Feel free to grab a button if you're linking up!



XOXO



28 comments:

Ashley said...

love this!!! totally gonna try:) will be my first stuffed animal

Sarah @ Sarahndipities said...

Too cute!!! Love that fabric!

Lana @ SweetJilliBeanz.com said...

Very cute! This looks like something I could handle...I can make clothes, but my last stuffed animal didn't turn out too pretty!

Rachael @ The Little Birdie said...

You can totally do it!! My first one was terrible too... it was a bunny and was waaaaaay too advanced & complicated. This little fold over & sew number was MUCH more manageable, LOL!

Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims said...

Eeeck! He is soooo cute. I love it.

PS- I'm doing my first every giveaway on my blog and I'd love for you to stop by and enter! Check it out: http://mygirlishwhims.blogspot.com/2011/02/my-first-giveaway-and-introducing-your.html

Lil Wildflower said...

Wow Rachel!!! Your pictures are so detailed and I can't believe you are already doing curved corners (omg) with your new machine!!! :) I am scared of curves :)

Rachael @ The Little Birdie said...

@ Rebecca, definitely going to check it out!

@ Tyia, haha! Chalk it up to "ignorance is bliss" I guess! I don't have any kind of sewing training, I just sort of jumped in head first, lol. If I can do it, {not knowing any better, ha!} then you can totally do it! :)

glamourpuss said...

I love this!! Awesome sewing curves too! That is my next thing to tackle lol!!

radn said...

eli is adorable! The whole set would make a great baby gift!

OceanBelle said...

This is so adorable!!! I will have to try it for my cousin who little one will be making his/her debut in August!

sarah said...

Love the fabric, great gift idea! homemade is better : )

Michelle said...

THIS is seriously cute!! I love the way it came out! I am visiting from Someday Crafts and I am a new follower!
Have a great day!
Michelle
www.delicateconstruction.blogspot.com

Rachael @ The Little Birdie said...

Thanks to everyone! I just love this little guy! :) Is there any interest in a pattern? I've never tried to upload one of those, but if you guys want it, I'll be happy to scan it and post it! :)

Lauren @ YoungNester said...

How adorable! I can't wait to make one for my niece! I would love for you to link up to my Ten Buck Tuesday link parties!

Lisa said...

Well done! Where was this little guy one month ago when I was scouring the web looking for a little safari animal softie pattern!!!! Found you via the Young Nester.

jbr said...

What a fun baby shower gift idea. Great Job!

Chrissy Harris said...

Love the whole set! A great, sweet shower gift even! Thanks for sharing ~

http://pumpkinsphotosandpinots.blogspot.com/

CraftyMama said...

Great tutorial!! :)

rachel.mathai said...

Love him! Too cute! Thanks for the tutorial!

Kelli said...

This is so cute! It's perfect to add to a baby present which I need a lot of those this summer. Thanks for sharing!

Rachael @ The Little Birdie said...

Haha! Yes, it's getting to be that "baby shower" time of year. Thanks to all for the compliments! I'm working on getting the pattern up to share with you all. :)

Jamie said...

What a cute little elephant. I'm your newest follower. I would love it if you linked your project up to my link party on Monday.
More The Merrier Monday.

http://diyhshp.blogspot.com

And the next thing on my list... said...

SUPER cute! I already made 2 up for my little ones and linked to your tutorial! Thanks for the idea!

Yolanda @ Miss Refashionista said...

Adorable!! I'm yOur newest follower!!

LillyBunnsBoutique said...

So cute Rachael! I'm making one for a good friend's daughter this week!

Jess said...

SO Cute! My son's name is Eli (17 mo) and his favorite noise to make is the elephant. One of these adorable little guys might just have to find it's way into his Easter basket this year. Thanks for the Tute!
I will have to catch your linky party next week. Loving the blog! Adding you to my google reader!!
http://www.karlencreates.com/

Rachel at Sun Scholars said...

That is adorable! Great tutorial!

Thanks so much for linking up with For the Kids Fridays at Sun Scholars. I can't wait to see what you have to share this week! I'll be posting the next party later tonight. Hope to have you stop by!

:)rachel @ SunScholars.blogspot.com

MJ said...

I linked back to your post here: http://mybusycraftlife.blogspot.com/2011/04/twin-baby-clothes-part-3.html, I didnt make the elephant - I made some dice LOL

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