Did you hear the news? There’s a brand new Sewing Toys booklet coming soon to Simply Sewing, so we’ve put together this beginner’s guide toy making – including toy sewing patterns, tips, projects and kits to show you the ropes. We’ll be adding our favourite free toy sewing patterns to this post to help you start making super cute softie toys for the children in your family, and read on for our pick of the best toy sewing kits too if you want to make your own toys but like the sound of starting off with all your materials measured out in advance for you!
For more project inspiration, order your copy of Simply Sewing issue 78 to get your hands on Sewing Toys special bonus booklet today. And if you’ve got your copy already got your hands on a copy of the booklet we’ve included handy links to all the sewing templates you need at the bottom of this post. You can also see a taster of project pictures to get an idea of the toys you can make inside it.
Sewing toys for kids – your complete guide
- Sewing Toys Reader templates
- 5 free toy sewing pattern ideas
- Best toy sewing kits
Sewing Toys: templates for readers
The templates for your projects were first published in our Simply Sewing and Love Patchwork & Quilting pattern collection PDFs. You can find all the links to the free PDF templates below – simply download, print and find the toy you want to make.
- Bear puppet sewing template (labelled “workshop”)
- Bunny toy sewing templates
- Unicorn toy sewing templates
- Dragon toy sewing templates
- Tiger cushion sewing templates
- Pencil toys sewing templates
- Puppy dog sewing templates
- Butterflies sewing templates
- Fox toy sewing templates
- How to make a felt doll family
- Free owl toy sewing pattern
- Free robot toy sewing pattern
Top tips for sewing toys
The key to giving a handmade toy personality and a cute expression often relies on internal stitches within the head that manipulate the features into position, which are made by hand after the toy is assembled. These face-shaping stitches are usually worked between the eyes to bring them inwards. They can also be worked between the corners of the mouth up to the eye above to pull the mouth into more of a smile and give the cheek more definition. Face-shaping stitches really can transform the finished look of the toy.
So much of a toy’s appeal depends on its eyes, so more often than not there will be internal shaping between them. The two main options for toy eyes are plastic safety eyes or embroidered eyes, and, whichever option you prefer, face-shaping stitches can be used to perfect their position.
Plastic safety eyes
Plastic safety eyes are available in various sizes, give a good finish and are easy to use. They must be fitted following manufacturer’s instructions. With plastic eyes, it is important to mark on the fabric pattern pieces the position of the eyes prior to sewing as it is difficult to position them both correctly once the toy is sewn together.
These are not limited by size, style and availability like plastic eyes and can be stitched to the exact requirements. They are the safest option for a toy intended for children under the age of three. Embroidered eyes can be made by backstitching the outline of the eye and then filling it in with satin stitches or by using an embroidered knot such as a French knot or a colonial knot. Stranded cotton is ideal for stitching eyes as you can vary the number of strands and it lies flat on the fabric.
Working the shaping stitches
If enough thread is left over after embroidering the eyes and it hasn’t been cut off, then the same thread can be used for the internal shaping stitches. If you’ve used plastic eyes then the stitches can be made using thread that coordinates with the fabric around the eye.
5 Toy Sewing Patterns to Try
If you’re looking for inspiration for what to make children and babies in the family, try a few of our favourite free tutorials from here on Gathered…
Sew an owl softie
Hop to it! Free rabbit sewing pattern
Make your own spring bunny with our Rabbit sewing pattern.
DIY robot toys!
We’re absolutely smitten with this pair of softie robots! Find out how to make them here – free robots sewing pattern
Make a sweet baby comforter
Make your own teddy bear!
One of our most recent additions to Gathered’s collection of free toy patterns, our cute teddy DIY is fast becoming one of our most popular projects! Give it a go today – Free teddy bear sewing pattern.
DIY penguin softies
We love these wintry makes – whip up your own penguin toys with our DIY penguin softie toy pattern.
How to make a giraffe rattle toy
These scrap-busting giraffe softies are the perfect way to use up odds and ends of fabric from previous projects that you can’t bear to throw away. How to make giraffe rattles.
How to make unicorn toys
Make magical softies with Jo Carter’s free unicorn sewing pattern.
Best toy sewing kits
And look out for our tips for the best toy sewing kits to make – we’ll add them here soon!