Sophie surrounded

Sewn, stuffed bunnies

Sophie makes a hutch full of stuffed bunnies

Every now and again I get a client who really wants something that doesn’t seem to exist. Never one to back away from a creative challenge, I am usually able to come up with some sort of way to make the non-existing item, often to the detriment of my tireless team. Case in point: the infamous sewn “faceless” bunnies.

A sweet four-year-old girl requested faceless bunnies for her party so she and her friends could personalize them and make them outfits. It was a wonderful idea! The only problem was I couldn’t find a high-quality, low-cost, 16 inch stuffed bunny anywhere, not even a pattern for that matter. And the party was a week away!

Now, my mother is an amazing seamstress. She has spent a lifetime sewing: clothes, quilts, purses, a plethora of amazing Halloween costumes, and she’s even currently making my sister’s wedding dress. The woman can sew! Her specialty has always been creating anything my sister and I could draw. When I was a child I had the best Barbie wardrobe in town; 50% of it created from patterns my mom would make out of newspaper. I, on the other hand, am not the best seamstress. However, I knew this was important to this little client, and so I set about trying to channel my mother.

The makings of a lot of stuffed bunnies|

First, I had to get together a sketch of the basic look of the doll. From the child’s description, I came up with a pear-like form for the body so the bottom could be weighted and our little friend would easily sit upright. I also wanted the legs and arms to fall and have some weight, so I designed those with a teardrop shape so I could fill the tips of the hands and feet with rice.

The pattern used to create the bunnies|

This is the pattern I came up with. I needed to cut two body pieces, four arms, four legs, and four ears.

Bunny pieces cut out of fabric|

The fabric had two sides: a soft side and a coarser back side. After cutting the pieces, I pinned the ears, arms, and legs together with the back side of the fabric facing out, and sewed them together, leaving the points of the teardrop open.

Teardrop shape|

Use rice or fluff to stuff the parts|

I used a pencil to turn the arms, legs, and ears inside out. I filled each limb with a tablespoon of rice and then used a pencil to push a small bit of stuffing into each. I made sure to leave about 2 inches at the end unstuffed. I only put a wee bit of rice in the tips of each ear, then used the pencil to lightly fill the ears with stuffing.

The body of the bunny stuffed and ready|

Once the extremities were filled, I laid out one side of the bunny body with the soft side facing in. I then laid the ears out where I wanted them on the body and pinned them in place. I did the same with the arms and legs. I then folded them in on themselves so they were all enclosed within the perimeter of the body. I laid the other side of the body on top of this and pinned that in place. Note: this is why I left 2 inches unstuffed on each limb!

Stuff the legs of your bunnies|

It was a bit tricky, but I then sewed around the perimeter of the body, including the extremities in the sewing. I left a hole in between the legs. Next, I turned the bunny inside out via the hole between the bunny’s legs.

stuff all of the appendages of the bunny|

assemble the parts and finish stuffing|

It was starting to look like a cute stuffed friend! I really wanted this doll to sit up on its own so I took a sock, filled it with dried pinto beans, and rubber banded the ends of the sock so it was a nice little oval beanbag. I did this because I didn’t want the beans to “travel” through the bunny with time, and end up scattered all around. The sock ensured that the beans would stay put in the bunny’s butt! After stuffing the body with fiberfill, I inserted the sock-ball of beans and stitched the hole between the bunny’s legs shut. The end result was a basket of fun friends ready to fulfill a child’s birthday dream!

Bunny completed and closed|

I wish I had photos of the decorated bunnies, but as often ends up happening at my events, I was just too busy to take photos! But I can promise you, the bunnies were adorable. Each one had its own personality to match its creator.

A basket of bunnies ready to be decorated|

Wouldn’t you know it, this same client then asked me to do a similar thing for her older daughter, only with horses... I let my mom handle that one...

Sewing is not my favorite thing to do|