Start Off The Week with a Free Sewing Pattern!

6 Sep 2010

The holiday weekend is over, but hopefully this free sewing pattern will ease your transition back into the work week! I must confess, I never fully recovered from my childhood fondness for stuffed animals, and I returned from the Quilting Arts TV taping overflowing with creative juices thanks to all of the inspiring artists and projects that I encountered. I’ve also always had a weakness for elephants—and all of these influences combined to inspire me to create this little patchwork stuffie. This is a great project to personalize for a friend—or, of course, yourself. I think mine will reside on my bureau; seeing him every morning will surely brighten up my day. This little stuffie also as simple as can be to whip up in an afternoon—and all the directions are below!

First, click here for the Patchwork Elephant Pattern Pieces: 4628.Elephant_Pattern.pdf


  • ¼ yard main fabric (I used a striped gray cotton fabric)
  • Scraps of patterned fabrics for the patches
  • Sewing machine
  • Hand-sewing needle
  • Tapestry needle
  • Matching and contrasting thread
  • Grey yarn
  • Two small blue buttons
  •  Fiberfill  stuffing
  •  ¾ cups of rice


Note: ¼" seam allowances are used throughout. Press all seams as you go.

1.   1. Print out the pattern pieces and use them to cut out the required pieces of fabric. Note that the bottom and head pieces are the same, but you should cut the two head pieces along the dashed line.

2.   2. Cut up lots of little squares/rectangles from your scraps of patterned fabric, with edge lengths ranging from 1½" to 2". Arrange these on top of the right side of the main piece fabrics until you are pleased with their placement. (Keep in mind the ¼" seam allowance when placing these pieces.)

Pi  3. Pin each fabric piece in place and, using the machine and contrasting or matching thread, edge stitch each fabric piece in place. I didn’t sew any patches onto the nose, hands/feet, or face.

3.   4. The arms and feet are the only tricky construction in this project. First, fold the arm/leg pieces in half so the short sides aligned and the right sides are facing, then stitch the short sides together. You now have a small fabric tube. Pin one of the circular raw ends of this tube around the perimeter of one of the arm/feet pieces. This is a little finicky (and may be easier to stitch by hand), but if you go slowly and precisely, adjusting as you sew, it will come together. Don’t worry too much if you don’t end up stitching an exact circle—imperfections just add character.

4.    5. Sew the front and back body piece together, right sides facing, leaving about 2" open at the top. Stitch the bottom of the body to the bottom piece in the same way you stitched the arms/legs to the hands/feet.

5.   6. Stitch the two nose pieces together with right sides facing, leaving the top of the nose (the end that will attach to the face) unstitched. Trim the seam allowance down to a scant 1/8". Turn the nose piece right-side out through the opening, using a blunt-tipped object to press out all the edges and the tip of the nose. Do the same for the two ears and the tail.

6.   7. Place the two ears on the right sides of the face piece according to the ear placement marks.

7.   8. Place the other head piece on top so the two head pieces are laying with their right sides facing and the ears in between. Pin around the perimeter and stitch the pieces together, leaving the bottom open. Turn the head piece right-side out; the ears will now be secured in place.

8    9. Stitch the two small buttons onto the face for the eyes.

      10. Stuff the arms/legs, head, and nose (no need to stuff the tail). Leave a bit unstuffed at the ends of each piece to allow for easier slip stitching. I placed approximately ¾" cups of rice in the bottom of the elephant body so he would sit sturdily, then stuffed the rest of the body with fiberfill.                                    

      11. Slip stitch the nose to the center of the face. Pin the arms and legs in the desired locations and slip stitch them in place as well, then slip stitch the head to the body

      12. If you would like to add yarn to the tail, thread an approximately 2" strand of grey yarn on a large tapestry needle. Tie a knot at one end of the thread and pull it through the tail, from the inside and out through the tip. Repeat with two additional strands of yarn, tie the three strands in a knot at the tip of the tale, then trim them to about ½".

13. Slip stitch the tail to the back of the body.

Give your little patchwork elephant a name, and enjoy!

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