Here are answers to some questions you might have about my plushie-making hobby, as well as some that should be useful to anyone who owns a plushie I made. I hope you find them helpful and if you have a question that's not listed here, feel free to ask and maybe I'll add it to this post!
I don't remember the exact date, but it was in November 2014. I was 18 years old at the time. Someone I was talking to at the time who knew how to hand-sew taught me how.
Well, I've actually been wanting to sew since I was very young but never thought about asking my parents to teach me how. I've always loved stuffed animals and wanted to make some of my own characters. That's why I began sewing!
Actually, no. Since making patterns and finding the right fabrics can be difficult, I've made more animals than characters. But I hope to be able to make some more of them!
Yes! I'm still learning at it, but I do make my own patterns. I also use free patterns or patterns I bought sometimes.
It depends on the difficulty and amount of detail, but typically anywhere from two or three days to a week. I haven't kept track of how many hours I spend on them, however.
Originally I only sewed by hand, but now I sew by machine whenever possible. Sometimes I do run into parts that cannot be sewn by machine and have to hand-sew them. The one part that is always sewn by hand still is the opening for stuffing.
My favorite fabrics are fleece, minky, and faux fur. I have used other fabrics before but find these the easiest to work with and the best quality. I stuff my plushies with polyester fiberfill and sometimes plastic pellets inside fabric "bags". Embroidery thread is used for hand-embroidered details (I do not have an embroidery machine) and regular thread is used for sewing and for fingers/toes. I use separate types of thread for hand-sewing and machine-sewing. Plastic eyes and noses are sometimes used.
It's usually easy to tell which one a fabric is by texture and appearance. Fleece has no pile or nap (direction of the pile). Minky has a very short pile; there are other types of minky as well that I use. Rose minky has a rosette-like design on its pile, and rabbit snuggle minky has a very soft pile running in different directions. Faux fur looks and feels like fur, as the name suggests, and has a longer pile than minky.
To be honest, I don't know how my plushies would handle a machine wash. Even though my sewing has improved greatly, I don't trust machine-washing and drying a handmade plushie, especially if there are hand-sewn parts. Plus, I am not sure if the fabric I use is machine-washable. So, I always suggest to carefully surface-wash the plushie and let it air-dry or gently dry it with a towel. There are also allergen-reducing sprays you can use to remove dust from them.
Only when I come to a part my sewing machine won't sew, like an oddly-shaped marking or an area too thick or awkward. I'm looking for a way to machine-sew fabric faces on instead of hand-sewing them.
The plushies I make now should be pretty safe. If I use plastic pellets, I put them in a fabric "bag" so they will not fall out. The plastic eyes and noses I have tried have very efficient washers that prevent them from coming out. Once the washer is completely attached, it's impossible to get it back off! I keep in mind who a plushie is for when I make it. My older plushies would be better for adult collectors since I was not as skilled back then, but right now all of those ones are still at my house.
It's a lovely Bernette Sew Pink and it's my first sewing machine! I bought it in July 2017 and it has been very useful to me since.
I have made a few things besides plushies before, like a table runner and Advent calendar. But plushies are my main sewing creations and the ones I enjoy the most.
Sometimes! There are even a few CF users who bought plushies I made.
Absolutely! It's a lot of work and takes a lot of time, but it gives me something to do and a way to be creative. And I get to make cute plushies that make people happy which is totally worth it.
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