Little sleepy bunny – a simple pattern for beginning toymakers

sleepy-bunny-1-1k

Here’s a little pillow-shaped rabbit  (12″ long x 8″ high) that’s made out of the softest imaginable fur fabric, specifically designed for comfort and cuddles. The pattern includes step-by-step photos and illustrations, so it can be confidently made by anyone with just basic machine- and hand-sewing skills.

An easy gift to make for a new baby, the sleepy bunny makes an adorable nursery decoration until the newcomer is old enough to sleep safely with a toy. As always, pillows should not be used with sleeping babies for safety reasons. A simple embroidered face and soft, satin-lined ears guarantee the bunny will be ready for naps or bedtime…this little one loves to sleep and may even coax a toddler to enjoy a nap with the sleepy bunny.

Minky, a 100% polyester fabric, can be a bit tricky for beginning needleworkers, but this pattern uses a special technique to tame the minky quirks and enjoy its consummate softness. There are lots of varieties of minky available, so it’s easy to choose the minky that will make your bunny uniquely yours. Here are some of the textures of minky:

minky

Fabric.com seems to be a good resource for natural animal colors of minky. If you’re not sure what to order, you can always request swatches for $1.75 each.  Each bunny will take about ¼ yard of minky, so this is a very reasonably priced project.

Here are three rabbits I made from this pattern in different textures of minky: gray bunny is made from zebra textured cuddle, white bunny is made from rose cuddle and brown bunny is made from crushed cuddle.

sleepy-bunny-trio

As a toymaker, I greatly appreciate the wonderful soft hand of this fabric is compared to the faux furs we routinely used “back in the day.” I think toys made from minky are actually endearing to the touch.

Here are some general tips for sewing with minky:

  • Minky doesn’t shrink, but the satin you use for the ear lining should be prewashed in case it shrinks.
  • Never iron minky directly since heat and pressure  will ruin the pile and the finish. In the unlikely event that you need to refresh minky, you can steam it, gently.
  • After doing a minky project, follow the directions for cleaning your sewing machine’s feed dogs, bobbin case and throat plate. Don’t let minky fluff build up and clog the mechanisms in your machine!
  • Minky has nap, which you must respect. To find the direction of the nap on your minky, just pet it, running your hand next to its selvedge. One direction will lie down, and the other will rile up. For best results, be sure to make the arrow on each pattern piece follows the direction that makes the pile lie down. Pay attention to how your minky stretches, as well.
  • Cutting minky will release a cloud of fluff, so don’t wear black unless you LOVE removing lint. After I cut each piece, I run my hands along the edges to pull any loose extra fluff off. It’s a good idea to keep your vacuum cleaner handy so you can clean up as you cut.
  • Recommended sewing machine needle is a size 90/14 stretch needle. Test on a scrap before you sew the pattern pieces to be sure your stitch length (3mm or 3.5mm) and tension will make for smooth sewing.

If you’d like to try your hand at making some sleepy bunnies, click on over to my store. The pattern is available for instant download for $8. As always, if you have any questions or comments about any of my patterns, please email me at pippa@craftdesignworks.com.

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