These petite stuffed animals-a Fair Isle lamb, a cable-knit chicken, and an argyle pig-are so cuddly and simple to make, you'll want a menagerie. The toys, which range in height from 5 to 8 inches, are each assembled from a few basic felt pieces and plumped up with batting. Appendages, such as floppy ears or wings, are easily added during sewing. Wrap up the woolly creatures to give to your favorite tots, or use them as stocking stuffers.
Before you begin, learn how to felt wool.
Stuffed Chicken How-To
1. Enlarge templates to desired size on a photocopier (for a 5-inch-tall chicken, enlarge 400 percent), and cut out. Using templates as a guide, cut out a side piece from felt; flip template, and cut out another side piece that's the mirror image of the first. Cut out underbelly piece. With right sides facing and 1/8-inch seam allowance, stitch one side to underbelly along lower side portion, from neck to tail, curving underbelly piece to fit.
2. Stitch other side piece to other edge of underbelly, sandwiching underbelly between 2 side pieces. Cut out wattle and comb from felt.
3. Pin wattle and comb, facing inward, between layers of head and neck. Stitch around top of chicken, leaving a hole for stuffing.
4. Turn chicken right side out. Cut out 4 wings. With right sides facing, stitch 2 wings together, leaving a small opening at the base. Turn right side out; hand-stitch opening closed, then hand-stitch to body. Repeat for other wing. Sew a handful of dried beans into a small sack created using a scrap from the sweater. Place inside chicken at bottom, to weight and balance it. Pull cotton or polyester fill into small pieces to prevent lumps, and stuff chicken. Slip-stitch back closed. Steam-iron the finished animal to refine its shape and loosen the stuffing.
Stuffed Lamb How-To
1. Enlarge templates to desired size on a photocopier; for a 6 1/2-inch-tall lamb, enlarge 150 percent. Cut out the templates. Using template as a guide, out the underbelly piece from felted wool. To make legs stand up, fold back each at solid lines, and stitch at dotted lines.
2. Cut out the side piece; flip template, and cut out another side piece that's the mirror image of the first. With right sides facing and 1/8-inch seam allowance, stitch one side to underbelly along lower portion, from neck to tail, curving underbelly piece to fit. Stitch other side piece to other edge of underbelly, sandwiching underbelly between the 2 side pieces. Cut out 2 tail pieces: Stitch, right sides facing, leaving a hole at the base. Turn inside out. and stuff with cotton or polyester fill.
3. Sew dart at mouth. Pin tail, facing inward, between the 2 side pieces. Sew side pieces along top portion of lamb, leaving a gap at the back and at the top of the head. Cut out 4 ear pieces and the top of head piece. Sew together two sets of ear pieces, right sides facing, leaving a hole at the base of each; turn right side out.
4. Cover head: Pin one ear and the top of head piece pointed end facing forward between the layers of the head. Starting in front, sew around the top of the head, stopping when you get to the back. Pin on the other ear, and continue sewing around the head. Turn lamb right side out. Rip fill into small pieces to prevent lumps from forming, and stuff. Slip-stitch the back closed. Steam-iron the finished animal to refine its shape and loosen the stuffing.
Get the How-To for the Pig