This was an exciting find this morning. I was actually searching for a small plushie for a lip balm holder to hang from my kids Christmas stockings this year. I stumbled upon this and I think it will be an easy conversion. Eeekkkk! Thank you Fluffmonger for this winter plushie sewing pattern and tutorial! I’m excited to test this one out!

This is more of a small craft sewing project and could be a great way to use up some of your scraps! Check it out and please share your finished version should you give it a try!

Below you will find the options for Doodles the Deer, but I think with a little tweaking on my own, I can use this template to make three different winter lip balm holders, one for each of my kiddos. Time shall tell!

My Tweak:

How do I plan to do that you ask? Good question! The idea is to get a lobster claw a.k.a. “clippy thing” to add between the ears or antlers and to add a little pouch to the tummy using a Chapstick tube to measure for size. The tummy pouch will be sewn on before the body is assembles, and the clip will be placed in during the assembly.

Not ready to make this adorable plushie yet? Save it here on Pinterest for future inspiration…


Free Christmas Plush Sewing Pattern and Tutorial – Full Size Plush and Ornaments

I’ve updated the Doodles the Deer pattern, so the arms, legs, antlers, and scarf can be interchanged among all the different animal patterns I’ve released.

The tutorial below includes photos and written instructions for making the new Doodles the Deer either with or without socks. It also shows how to make a scarf and add antlers to other animals in my free pattern library. You will want to refer to the respective tutorial for whichever animal body you choose to make.

If you want to buy kits directly from Fluffmonger visit their website.
Materials
  • Fleece in the indicated colors for your animal
  • 1/8 yard off-white fleece for antlers
  • 1/4 yard fleece or jersey knit fabric for cowl scarf
  • 1/4 yard jersey knit fabric for socks (optional)
  • Stuffing
  • Matching all-purpose thread
  • Marking tool
  • Scissors
  • Pins or clips

If you decide to sew your animals with natural fleece, I recommend using a 90/14 ball point needle; and if you sew with organic cotton thread, I recommend making your final stitch a stretch stitch (a stretch stitch is fairly permanent, so baste first when needed).

Printing the Patterns

If making a Christmas animal other than the deer, you will need to print both the pattern for the animal you wish to make and the antler and/or socks and legs from the new Doodles the Deer pattern.

Print pattern at 100%. (See a tutorial on printing and assembling patterns here.)

 Tracing the Pattern
  • Cut out pattern. I find it easiest to trace the stitch line for small pieces and sew on folded/layered fabric, so I’m using the arm, leg, ear, and antler pattern pieces with only the seam allowance at the very end (see first photo under ‘sewing the ears, arms, and legs’). The cutting layout below shows the body pieces for the new Doodles the Deer. Refer to the body layout for whichever animal you are making.
  • Line up arrows with grainline/nap direction of fabric. Trace ONLY the body pieces and transfer all markings. Detailed instructions for tracing the ears, arms, legs, and antlers will be provided in the steps below.
Sewing the Ears, Antlers, Arms, and Legs
  • Cut ear, antler, arm, leg, and tail pattern pieces so only the seam allowance at the very end remains. Option 1 makes a deer with skinny legs and socks. Option 2 makes arms and legs that match all of the other free animal patterns.
  • Trace stitch line of ears on folded/layered fabric.
  • Stitch around ears. Cut out with 1/8″ seam allowance. Turn ears right side out and run hemostat clamps/turning tool around the seams.
  • Press if needed. Baste stitch ears 1/8″ from bottom edge.
  • Fold outer edges of ears in toward the center at indicated markings. Baste stitch again to hold ears in folded position (you may need to baste by hand if making a tiny animal).
  • Trace antlers on folded/layered fabric, stitch along trace line using a shorter the stitch length for the detailed curves on the antlers, and cut out with 1/8″ seam allowance. Clip curves. If making tiny antlers, you may want to make a test antler. The organic cotton fleece I used for this tutorial turns easily, but some types of fleece may be difficult to turn right side out.
Leg Option 1 (skinny legs with socks)
  • Trace arms and legs on folded/layered fabric.
  • Stitch along traced lines. Cut out arms and legs with 1/8″ seam allowance and turn right side out.
  • Run hemostat clamps around the inside seams to help them fully open.
  • Stuff arms about 2/3 full. Wait until the next step to stuff the legs.
  • Baste arm openings closed 1/8″ from edge.
  • Press a 1/2″ hem along length of sock fabric.
  • Using a stretch stitch, stitch 1/4″ from edge. Fold fabric in half, trace the stitch line for the socks, stitch along traced line.
  • Cut out socks with 1/8″ seam allowance. Turn right side out.
  • Use hemostat clams to clasp the tip of the leg and slide leg into sock. Stuff legs about 2/3 full.
Leg Option 2 (wider arms and legs without socks)
  • Trace arms and legs on folded/layered fabric.
  • Stitch along traced lines. Cut out arms and legs with 1/8″ seam allowance and turn right side out.
  • Run hemostat clamps around the inside seams to help them fully open.
  • Stuff arms and legs about 2/3 full.
  • Baste arm and leg openings closed 1/8″ from edge.

Assembling the Body

  • Optional: At this point, you can make the eyes and nose, or you can wait until after stuffing (I like to wait until then end so I can needle sculpt the eyes). There are a few options for the eyes and nose below:
    1. If making a full-size animal, you can make the eyes and nose with felt and machine or hand-stitch them 1/8″ from edge. Also, if using the sewing machine to stitch in place, you will need to stitch them on before going any farther with the tutorial.
    2. If making a tiny size or full-size animal, you can use a satin stitch for the nose and make embroidered knot eyes with embroidery floss or yarn (here’s a video tutorial on embroidering eyes with a French or colonial knot). This can be done before or after stuffing depending on your preference.
    3. If making a full-size animal, you can use glass eyes if your animal is not intended for a small child. (I have a tutorial here for using glass beads for eyes.)
    4. If making a full-size animal, you can use a plastic safety nose and eyes. Note that safety eyes/noses are not intended for small children, and I do not recommend using them with natural-fiber fabrics, like organic fleece. (Safety eyes typically require a small amount of fusible stabilizer or Fray Check to prevent holes in stretch fabrics.) Inserting safety eyes/noses can be done at this point or right before turning the polar animal right-side-out.
  • With RIGHT sides together, stitch animal front to animal back, making a U-shape with openings for ears, antlers, and arms.
  • Insert the ears, antlers, arms, and cord (if making an ornament) as shown in “inside view. Depending on which animal you are making, you may need to move the antlers closer together to maintain the proper spacing for the ears (see ‘inside view’ below for antler spacing for deer, corgi, and raccoon).
  • Make sure the insides of the ears are touching the body side with the face. I recommend baste stitching the ears and antlers in place and turning your animal right side out to check their positions before making your final stitching. Stitch ears, antlers, and arms in place.
Finishing the Body
  • Stitch legs into place, leaving an opening for turning.
  • Baste the seam allowance around the opening. Clip curves and corners.
  • Turn animal right side out (if you haven’t made your eyes or nose yet, make sure you have their positions marked on the right side of the fabric before stuffing).
  • Stuff the body firmly. Be sure to stuff the corners above the legs well, and continue stuffing as you close with a ladder stitch. Here’s a video tutorial on how to ladder stitch. Remove basting stitches after closing the opening.
  • If you haven’t already, make the eyes and nose. For tiny animals, I recommend embroidering the nose with a satin stitch and the eyes with a colonial or French knot (in this detailed otter-making video, I show how to embroider the face at 1:06:32). If making a full-size animal using one of the organic kits, here is a tutorial for using glass beads for eyes.
Making a Cowl Scarf

If you’d prefer to crochet a scarf, I’ve provided crochet instructions for both a tiny and full-size scarf at the bottom of this section.

Sewn Cowl Scarf 
  • For a full-size animal, cut an 8.5-in by X*-in piece of fleece or jersey knit fabric with the longest dimension along the cross grain (so the cowl can stretch when going around the neck).
  • For a tiny size animal, cut a 3.5-in by X*-in piece of fleece or jersey knit fabric with the longest dimension along the cross grain (so the cowl can stretch when going around the neck).

*Measure the circumference around animal right under its nose. You’ll want your scarf to fit snugly under this area. Add half an inch (if using ¼-in seam allowance) to the amount you measured. We’ll call this final dimension ‘X.’ (My full-size deer measured 15.5-in around, so I added 1/2-in to get 16-in. So, for my deer, X=16-in.My tiny deer measured 7.5-in around, so I added 1/2-in to get 8-in. So, for my tiny deer, X=8-in.)

  • Fold fabric lengthwise with RIGHT sides together.
  • Using a stretch stitch or narrow zig-zag stitch, stitch along length of scarf with 1/4-in seam allowance.
  • Reach hand through the inside of tube, grab ends of opening and pull through until the seam allowance of both openings match up.
  • Pin edges, and stitch around open ends with ¼-in seam allowance, leaving a 2-in opening for turning (for full size scarf) or 3/4-in opening (for tiny scarf). This step can be stitched by hand using a backstitch if needed.
  • Flip right side out, fold raw edges of opening in with ¼-in seam allowance, and close with a ladder stitch.
  • Slip over polar animal’s head and the top of arms to hold them down. Scrunch scarf a bit.
Crocheted Cowl Scarf (Full Size)
  • Using worsted weight yarn and a G hook, chain 24.
  • Row 1: Starting in the third chain from the hook, double crochet in next 22 stitches, chain 2, and turn work.
  • For the following rows (you may need more or less depending on the stretch of your fabric and how much you stuffed your animal), double crochet BLO (back loop only) in next 22 stitches, chain 2, and turn work. When you get to your final row, either slip stitch the two ends of the scarf together or fasten off and sew ends together.
  • Slip over polar animal’s head and the top of arms to hold them down.
Crocheted Cowl Scarf (Tiny Size)
  • Using worsted weight yarn and an E hook, chain 7.
  • Row 1: Starting in second chain from the hook, single crochet BLO (back loop only) in next 6 stitches, chain 1, and turn work.
  • For the following rows (you may need more or less depending on the stretch of your fabric and how much you stuffed your animal), single crochet BLO in next 6 stitches, chain 1, and turn work. When you get to your final row, fasten off.
  • Slip stitch or sew ends together. Weave in ends.
  • Slip over polar animal’s head and the top of arms to hold them down.
Simplify it by ordering an Organic Fabric Kit ready to be assembled!

If you’d like to try sewing a Christmas animal or an ornament with organic fabric, I have fabric kits available with just the right amount of hand-dyed organic fabric to complete the project.

Joan Mantini

About Joan Mantini

After several years of being the Facebook page owner at Beginner Sewing, I noticed there was a desperate need to have a single go-to spot for members to be able to find answers to their common questions, get some useful tips & tricks, as well as find reputable places to purchase sewing products online. Taking my role as a trade publication editor by day, and combining it with my knowledge of frequently requested beginner sewing advice, I created www.beginner-sewing.com. An outlet that gives new sewists a free digital magazine geared for entry level sewing as an extra bonus!

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