Since I’d made my son a stuffed animal before Christmas (Stuffed Taggie Animals), I decided I should make a little something for my daughter too. I had purchased some fabric for bumper pads for her room. My mother-in-law graciously made the bumper pads and then she also surprised us with a gorgeous quilt for Christmas, using some of the same fabric. I decided to use the leftovers of those fabrics to make a stuffed sensory elephant.
I free-handed my design on cardboard and cut out the shapes I’d need.
I then cut my fabric pieces using these stencils.
The first step was to sew the ears. I pinned them wrong sides together (which was pretty easy since this fabric didn’t really have a “good” side), stitch along the rounded part, leaving the straight edge open.
Here comes the “sensory” part of this project. I stuffed this ears with “crinkly” (don’t think that’s a real word) material. I’d Googled this before-hand (because it’s important to do your research on these things! hehe), and it seems the most common material is good old celophane. I experimented with various types of celophane from different packaging we had around the house (reuse, recycle!), and I found one that was the noisiest when between the fabric.
Next, I stuffed the ears with the celophane. Enough to be crinkly but not so much that the ears were bulky. Then came type to sew the ears onto the body pieces. I pinned the ears along the straight edges between the head and body piece for each side of the elephant, right sides in. Then it was a simple stitch along the straight edge. I didn’t bother backstitching since the edges were going to be sewn to the other side. Repeat for the other side.
Here’s what it looks like once the ears are sewn on:
Next, I pinned the two sides, wrong sides together (so ears IN!). I added a tail using small binding by pinning it in place, long side in. I also decided at the last minute to add a loop of binding at the top for grabbing and for plastic rings (to hang off the car seat). Again, pin the loop between the pieces, loop IN the body. Then I stitched around, leaving an opening approximately 2 inches wide at the back to turn inside out and stuff. Note that the seam allowance here is very small, maybe 1/8-1/4 of an inch, so some of the turns were tricky, I just had to go slowly and breathe!
Here’s what it looks like once turned right side out:
Time to stuff! Use LOTS of stuffing – elephants are BIG! 🙂 I used polyester, hypoallergenic and washable batting. I used the eraser end of a pencil to get the batting all the way into the trunk. Then I hand-stitched the opening – I’m slowly getting better at that part.
Here’s the final product!