Hey there!  Have you ever wanted to sew a stuffed animal but thought it would be too hard?  Let me show you that it can be easy peasy!

When it comes to sewing your own toys, it doesn’t have to be super hard nor super expensive!  If you want to make a stuffed animal but don’t want to purchase a sewing machine or perhaps you own a sewing machine but haven’t actually sat down to learn how to use it, no worries!  As excited as I was to get my first sewing machine, I was a bit intimidated so it took me a while to finally pull it out of the box and start learning how to use it!

I come from a long line of talented seamstresses who could sew and embroider everything from pillows to gorgeous wedding gowns.  So I assumed when I started sewing that those same talents would naturally come to me!  Right?  That’s how that works??


I struggled with each the simplest of sewing techniques when I first started sewing!  But practice really does make perfect.  So let me show you how easy this can be!

Let’s unleash those sewing superpowers!!

At the end of this tutorial, you’ll know how to make a stuffed animal without a sewing machine. We’re going to sew a stuffed animal using a simple whipstitch!

First, download either the whale or the owl pattern pages (or both if you’re feeling especially crafty!) using the links at the end of this post. Then download the paper instructions.  There is also an instructional video for the owl if that helps!

You can also download the owl and whale printables to make it even more fun!  If you’re sewing your owl or whale for your child, grandchild or other special little one, print out the coloring page and ask them to design how they would like their new pet to look.  Children love to be a part of the creative process.  You can print out multiple copies of the coloring page and ask them to color different versions and then pick their favorite. Of course, the trick will be finding the fabric to match their beautiful design.  🙂

There’s also printable maze pages and adoption certificates to make it more fun and interactive!

Before we start, here are some supply tips, suggestions and cheat codes:

I’m all about not spending money unless absolutely necessary so if there’s a “cheat code”, I’ll mention it!

With a whipstitch you’ll need to use a fabric that doesn’t fray along the edge.  Your two options are either fleece or felt fabric.  Felt works best because it doesn’t have as much pull but it’s not a very soft fabric and it’s also pretty limited as far as color or pattern selection.  It’s pretty much only sold in solid colors. Fleece is very soft so it makes the perfect fabric for a plush toy.  It’s also available in a huge variety of colors and patterns at any fabric store.  It’ll work with a whipstitch as well but you will just need to be gentler as you whipstitch along the edge.  Because of its softness, it’s easy to pull too hard and then the stitched edge doesn’t look as even.  But it still works so if you’re looking for softness and cuteness, this is the one you want to go with.  The other difference is price. Fleece tends to be a bit more costly so always shop on sale!  If you join JoAnn fabric’s email list there is always a coupon available that you can use for your fabric purchase.

Cheat code:  Do you have an old fleece shirt or jacket that you can cut up and use instead of buying fabric?  This is good if you want to try a practice run.  Just don’t use your husband’s favorite fleece even if we would all agree that it’s seen better days!  If you’re opting to use an old piece of clothing, you may need to shrink the pattern so make it smaller.  Just shrink the pattern pieces in a copy machine before you start cutting.

Polyfill polyester stuffing is available at most fabric stores.  If you have an old stuffed animal or pillow you’re ready to toss, use the stuffing or filling from there!  Garage sales are usually a great place to find cheap stuffed animals that you can break apart for the stuffing inside.

Embroidery floss is also available at most fabric stores.  Crotchet thread can also be used if you have some of that lying around!

For your needle, the needle eye needs to be large enough to fit the floss, which is thicker than regular thread.  Fabric stores sell embroidery floss needles.  But test out a needle that you may already have.  If you can fit the floss through the eye, it’ll work just fine.

So let’s get stitching!

First, download the pattern and cut out the pattern pieces.  The pattern prints on standard paper sizes so some of the pattern pieces print on multiple pages.  No worries, just use the letters as a guide to taping the pieces together and tape along the dashed lines.

Then download the instructions!

Questions?  Comments?  Suggestions?  We’d love to hear from you! Send us a picture of your new plushie so we can post it!! Send us an email at sewcutepatterns@gmail.com!!  Or leave a comment!  Don’t forget to share this free tutorial and pattern with someone who you think might also enjoy it!

For the owl you will need:

  1. Scraps of felt fabric for facial features in whatever colors desiredsew a stuffed animal, owl pattern
  2. Tiny pompom for pupil (or a scrap of felt fabric can also be used)
  3. Felt or fleece fabric for owl head
  4. Fiber-fill polyester stuffing
  5. Embroidery floss
  6. Embroidery needle
  7. Pins
  8. Scissors
  9. Pattern pieces
  10. Hot glue gun and glue sticks


For the whale you will need:sew a stuffed animal, whale pattern, pillow pattern

  1. Scraps of white and black felt fabric for eyes
  2. Felt or fleece fabric for whale body
  3. Fiber-fill polyester stuffing
  4. Embroidery floss in color of choice to stitch body
  5. Black embroidery floss for mouth
  6. Embroidery needle
  7. Pins
  8. Scissors
  9. Pattern pieces
  10. Hot glue gun and glue sticks

PDF downloads

Click on each link below to download your PDF.  You will need Adobe reader to open your file.  You can download a free version here: https://get.adobe.com/reader/

Owl downloads:

Whale downloads:

Hop over to our next post where we’re going to try a simple pillow set using a sewing machine.  Or you can stick with the whipstitch as well!

Till next time, happy stitching!!


sew cute patterns

Share This:

Sew a stuffed animal with no sewing machine! Free tutorial!
Tagged on:                                                                             

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *