When company comes to visit, the favorite toy (and we have a lot of toys) is always our patchwork dog pillow. It’s been ridden, had tea parties, napped with and much, much more. It’s a simple craft that was made from old clothes, or fabric squares and can be assembled in less than an afternoon. Heck, you don’t even have to bust out the sewing machine if you don’t want to, pattern and details after the jump…
This plush canine friend is an easy one to assemble and there’s no tricky cutting, measuring or experience needed. It’s the perfect beginners craft and can make for a great addition to your home.
Here’s what you’ll need:
• 92, 3.5" squares of material. Each square is 3" once sewn, giving you a quarter inch on each side to sew together.
• 2 Buttons for eyes. You may sew on cloth eyes if you wish to eliminate the possibility of a choking hazard.
• Small bit of felt for a tongue. Cut in the shape of a letter U and sewn between seems on the snout.
• Basic needle and thread or sewing machine and pins to help keep things in place.
(You may use fusible webbing or craft glue if you wish, although in the long run, sewing will be a sturdier option)
• To start cut 3.5" squares from old fabric. It can of course be new fabric too, but we tend to gravitate towards horrible prints and patterns from the Thrift Stores. Please make sure to wash all fabric brought home from a thrift store before cutting squares. Having a dog made of vintage clothes, but smelling like them isn't as awesome.
• Now some of you might be able to gauge 1/4" by sight, but we're not that great at it. Using a washable marking pencil, mark 1/4" inch in around all sides of each square. You can of course do this step before cutting using a straight edge, but we like to do things the hard way!
• Next place squares in a pleasing manner wrong side down on a large surface (according to pattern). Pin pieces together along your pencil line, readying them for sewing.
• Repeat for opposite side of dog.
• Sew straight down your pinned squares, doing an entire row at once. It will give you the straightest lines and cause the least amount of confusion.
• Add on eyes, this step is easiest done by hand.
&bull: Next, sew the remaining 32 squares together in one long strip, each square only touching the next on one side so they make a straight line. This will be the piece that attaches the two sides together. (If you're talented enough to count where the tongue will be added in, please do so here. If that seems like crazy talk, we have a tip for you below)
• Pin your long strip of squares to the front of your dog (wrong sides together), turning the fabric as you go. Sew or attach together before adding second side.
• Attach second side (still with wrong sides out) in previous manner, leaving one or two squares unsewn (for stuffing).
• If your tongue isn't already in place, now is a great time to add it in, unless you want to skip it all together. Using a small scissor, snip a few threads where the tongue should be, sliding it through the fabric and reattaching with needle and thread by hand.
• Turn dog right side out.
• Stuff, making sure to fill all corners allowing the ears and feet to have enough fluff and finish the stuffing hole off by hand.
• Present to your kids and become their hero.
It's a great way to use up left over clothes, blankets, hand-me-downs and more! It is also perfect for vacations as it doubles as a toy and a pillow and squishes well into suitcases and carry-ons.