Little Elephant Soft Toy Pattern
The content and/or images from this page are to be used for a personal nature only.
Items created from the Free Little Elephant Pattern & Tutorial are not to be mass produced and sold for personal gain in any way.
Permission is given for the Little Elephant Pattern to be mass produced only, for The Handmade with Love Project.
To find out how you can 'make & donate' a soft toy to a sick child at the Children's Hospital, click on the heart image below.
Your Soft Toy donation will brighten a child's hospital stay and aid in their recovery.
Fun Facts about Elephants
* Elephants are the largest land animals in the world.
* Elephants can live to be over 70 years old.
* Elephants purr like cats do, as a means of communication.
* The elephant’s trunk is able to sense the size, shape and temperature of an object. An elephant uses its trunk to lift food and suck up water then pour it into its mouth.
* Elephants cry, play, have incredible memories, and laugh.
* Elephants can swim – they use their trunk to breathe like a snorkel in deep water.
Little Elephant Pattern Sheets.
Download and print off the
Little Elephant Pattern Sheets.
I like to use different fabrics in my Soft Toys to create a variety of textures for young children to feel. Your Little Elephant can be made with all Cotton or Flannel Fabric, or use a mix of fabrics like I did with 100% Cotton quality Quilting Fabric on the front of the body and use super soft Minkiee Fabric on the back of the toy. Regardless of the particular fabric you choose the following Fabric Requirements for the Body are the same.
The Front of the Body- One piece of 100% Cotton Quilting Fabric, 13 inches X 16 1/2 inches.
The Back of the Body—One piece of Minkiee Fabric, 13 inches X 16 1/2 inches.
Optional Additional Fabric Requirement: Two, 13 inch X 16 1/2 inch pieces of Quilters Muslin to line the inside of the Body. I always line my Soft Toys with an extra layer of fabric, as it makes for a stronger and more durable Softie. I like to use Quilter’s Muslin which is cut exactly to the same dimensions as the fabric being used to make the Body of Soft Toy.
For the Little Elephant's Features
Use the Pattern Sheet as a guide to determine the exact amount of Woolen-Felt required for each of the features. The features on the Pattern Sheets are to scale which means they are the actual size they will be on your Soft Toy. Select colours of woolen- felt for these pieces which compleiment the body fabric you have selected for the Little Elephant's Body.You will need:
Fabric for the Pupil in the centre of each Eye. A white fabric with a black dot works well. A small piece of fabric for the Elephant's Ear. Use the Applique Ear shape on the Pattern Sheet to determine the size required.
For the Tail A piece of Bias Binding, 10 inches long.
For the Water Spout Three pieces of Woven Ribbons, two, 4 inches long and one 4 1/2 inches long.
Note about the Ribbons: Use Cotton-Weaved Ribbons rather than Satin Ribbons as they tear and rip easily. Choose coloured ribbons which complement the fabric used for the Elephant's body.
Coloured pieces of Woolen-felt and/or Pure Woolen Blanketing Fabric for the following. Two colours, for the outer areas on the eye and a cream or white colour for the backing of Pupil on the Eye. A colour to match the fabric chosen for the Ear. (it won''t be seen behind the applique fabric on the Ear). A colour for the Heart Applique piece which is sewn onto the back of the Elephant.
DMC Embroidery Thread Choose colour threads to match each of the colours of the Woolen-Felt you have chosen for the features. The DMC Threads will be used to Blanket-Stitch around each feature piece and to hand-sew the features onto the Body of the Soft Toy.
Fusible Webbing-To make all the features on your Soft Toy, please refer to Pattern Sheet to work out the exact amount required. The features on the Pattern Sheet are to scale.
Additional Supplies A Lead Pencil, Tracing Paper or Baking Paper. A Sewing Machine, with a ¼ inch foot. Cotton thread for your Sewing Machine, which matches the colour of the fabric being sewn. You will need Dress Making Scissors, an Embroidery Needle, a Stuffing Tool or a new Wooden Paint Brush (with the bristles cut off) for turning and stuffing. Polyester Fill for stuffing the Soft Toy.
Pattern Level: This Pattern is perfect for the beginner to advanced sewers. It involves basic machine sewing to construct the Body with some hand-sewing which involves Blanket Stitching, Slip Stitching and Ladder Stitching.
Making the Body of your Soft Toy
1. Trace the Little Elephant Pattern for the Body on the Pattern Sheet onto tracing paper/baking paper. Transfer all markings like the open-seam for turning, the open area for inserting the tail and ribbon water-spout before this area is sewn. Cut out the Pattern.
2. Take the fabric pieces for the front and back of the Body (pictured a). (If you are lining your soft toy place the Quilter’s Muslin on the reverse sides of the front and back pieces of fabric.) Place the front and back body pieces of fabric on top of each other with right-sides together
a. Paper Body Pattern placed on top of the fabric layers ready to be traced. (Note: My Pattern pictured here is my draft copy of the Pattern, it has drawings and wirting all over it. It is the same Pattern that you have been provided.)
b. Pattern traced onto the reverse side of the fabric. Pin the fabric layers together and pop aside for now.
3. Place the traced Body Pattern on top of the reverse-side of the layers of fabric and pin the Pattern through all the layers (pictured a). Using a lead pencil, trace the Body Pattern directly onto the fabric, draw around the outside edge of the paper Pattern. Mark all the open-seams for the Elephant on the fabric. (Pictured b) Remove the Paper Pattern and pin the layers of fabric together ready to be sewn. Pop aside, as you now need to make the Elphant's Tail and Ribbon Water-Spout.
Making the Elephant's Tail
c,d & e. Fold and sew the two sides of the Bias Binding.
4. Take the piece of Bias Binding 10 inches long (c). Fold the Bias Binding so the right-side is on the outside. Pin either side of the Binding (d)and sew the outside edge on the machine using a straight stitch (e). Tie a knot at the bottom of the tail (f). Pop aside.
Making a Ribbon Water-Spout for the Elephant's Trunk
5. Take the 3 lengths of ribbon, the longer piece is for the centre of the water-spout, and the other two pieces will sit either side (g). Fold over all the ribbons and group them together so that the two shorter side either side of the longer folded one in the middle. Pin the three ribbons together (h). Sew along the end of the three folded ribbons on the sewing machine to keep them in place (i).
Sewing the Body of the Elelpant with the Tail and Water-Spout in place.
6. Take your pinned Elephant's Body prepared earlier. Place the tail made inside the Elephant's bottom and pin it in place so that the raw edge of the binding tail sticks out. Take the Ribbon Water-Spout and place it inside the truck area so that the raw edges and sewn area at the top stick out past what will be the sewn area on the body (the pencil line will be your sewing line). Picture f, shows you where the tail and water-spout are positioned before they are pinned inside the Elephant's body.
7. Using a small stitch on your sewing machine with a cotton thread in the machine which matches the fabric being sewn, sew around the Body Pattern beginning at the open-seam for turning. Sew directly on your drawn pencil line and remove the pins as you go.
Sew slowly and carefully around the curves inside the trunk area, and around the inside tof he legs (g). I always sew the seams on my Soft Toys twice. It will make for a stronger soft toy when it is stuffed firmly and the seams will not be weak and prone to ripping. Sew the seam just sewn on the machine, again.
8. Cut out the Body of the Soft Toy. Cut carefully roughly ¼ inch out from your sewn seam (h). At the open -seam for turning I like to leave roughly 1/2 inch of seam (i). Make small snips on the seam all the way around the Body. Be careful not to cut your sewn seam and leave roughly ¼ inch between each snip (j). At the curves inside the legs and at the trunk you can cut away any excess fabric on the seam. Turn the Body to its right-side (k)
Stuffing the Body of the Soft Toy
9. Using Polyester Fibre Fill, begin stuffing starting at the trunk area on the Body. Push the fill as far as you can into the trunk using your fingers and a wooden paint brush to pack this area as tightly possible.
When you feel that you can’t push any more fill into the trunk space, start filling the leg areas. Stuff the leg furthest away from the opening.
Stuff firmly then begin stuffing the remaining body area on the Elephant. Use a combination of your fingers and the wooden paint brush to pack the stuffing in as firmly as possible.
Note: Remember that over time this Soft Toy is going to be cuddled and sat on, be thrown and be loved. If you put in too little stuffing your Soft Toy and it will soon look like a pancake.
Before the toy is completely filled, begin sewing up the open-seam. Ladder Stitch (l) the opening closed, using 2 strands of DMC cotton which match the colour of your fabric being sewn and an embroidery needle.
How to do a Ladder Stitch?
A Ladder Stitch is sometimes called a blind or hidden stitch, because it becomes invisible after it is sewn making it perfect for closing the hole in a stuffed toy.
a. Hold the two sides of the open-seam area together. Using 2 stands of DMC Thread (in a colour as close to the colour you have used on the fabric of the body) tie a knot at the end.
b. 1. Insert the needle in the edge of the fabric from the inside to the outside edge of the seam. Put the needle into the opposite seam directly across from where you came out and pull the thread through.
c. Now repeat sewing ¼ along on the opposite side.
d. Continue sewing until you reach the end of the open seam. You will see how the ‘Ladder’ Stitch forms. When you tighten the threads and the hole will not be seen.
e. To finish off the thread take the needle, back through the last stitch a couple of time and pull the thread off to one side into the stuffing. Pull the needle out through the body and trim the thread at the base of the toy. The thread will disappear inside.
As you hand-sew the open-seam closed, remember to add more fill into the Body using the Wooden Paint Brush.
Making the Features for the Elephant
The Pattern Sheets provide you with some applique features to help you decorate your Little Elephant and give him or her a personality.
(m) You will need to make a Pupil for the Elephant's Eye, two outer Eye pieces, an Ear and a Heart for the back of your Elephant. Use the following methods to create them.
Making the Pupil for the Elephant
10.Trace the circle for the Pupil on the Pattern Sheet onto Fusible Webbing and cut out the Pupil away from the drawn pencil line.
Take your piece of fabric which is white with a Black Spot, (n) place it on the ironing board with the reverse side facing up.
(o) Position the Fusible Webbing paper circle centred or off centred (it depend on how you want it to look) on top of one of the black spots. Press with an iron and cut out the circle, carefully cutting along the pencil line. (p) Peel the backing paper off the circle and fuse the circle to a small piece of white or cream woolen-felt material (q) Tip: Cover the area to be ironed with a scrap piece of fabric to protect it from the direct heat of the iron. Carefully cut out the Eye following the outline of the fabric circle on the woolen-felt.
Making the remaining Features for your Little Elephant
As well as the Pupil just made you will need to make two outer eye features, a heart to go on the back of the Elephant and an Elephant's Ear.
Making the Ear using fabric and woolen-felt.
i. Trace the applique Ear Pattern onto the paper side of the Fusible Webbing.
ii. Place the fabric for the Ear face down on the ironing board. Place the rough side of the paper Fusible Webbing Ear on top of the reverse side of the fabric.
iii. Press with the iron, allow to cool then carefully cut out the Ear and peel off the backing paper.
iv. Place the fabric Ear shape with the glue side down on top of the felt.
v.Cover the area with a scrap piece of fabric and press with the iron.
vi. Cut out the Ear carefully following the outside edge of the Ear shape.
How to make the Two Outer Eye and Heart Features using Woolen-Felt .
Use the following method;
a. Trace the two Outer Eye Shapes and the Heart Shape you will need for your Elephant, onto the paper side of the Fusible Webbing and using a Lead Pencil . Cut out all the feature shapes a good ¼ inch away from the pencil lines drawn.
b. To make a Woolen-Felt Shape, take a piece of felt and place it face down on the ironing board, so the reverse-side of the material is showing.
c. Place the cut-out Fusible Webbing feature piece glue-side down on top of the piece of Felt (vii).
Note: Acrylic-Felt and Woolen-Felt Fabrics can be very delicate and burn easily, so cover the area to be pressed with the iron with a scrap piece of cotton fabric to protect it from the heat.
d. Press the covered felt feature with a dry hot iron for a few seconds only. Just long enough to melt the glue on the paper. The paper feature shape is now stuck to the reverse-side of the felt.
e. Allow it to cool then cut-out the shape carefully following the drawn pencil lines.
f. Peel off the backing paper on each of the Woolen-Felt Features and your features are now ready to be Blanket-Stitched and sewn onto the body of your Soft Toy. Make all your felt applique features using this method.
Blanket-Stitching Around the Woolen-Features
Blanket-Stitch around all the features made for your Little Elephant using 2 strands of DMC Thread in a matching colour to the felt being sewn, and using an embroidery needle. Make regular stitches of the same length and evenly spaced.
a. Bring the needle up from behind the felt shape.
b. Take the needle back down through the same point where you came up.
c. You will make a loop. Take the needle up through the loop on the outside edge of the shape.
d. Pull the thread and it will sit against the outside edge of the shape.
e. Insert the needle back into the felt shape through the top, roughly ¼ inch away from your first stitch. Bring your need up through the loop made on the outside edge of the shape like before and let it settle against the outside edge of the shape.
f. Continue the Blanket Stitch around the shape.
g. Finish off the stitch by taking the needle through the back of the stitch next to it, and make a loop to tie a knot.
h. i and j. To sew the corners on a pointed shape, make the stitches at the point go through the same point as can be seen in image j.
Layering Felt Shapes and Blanket-Stitching two Felt Shapes together.
Use the following method to layer and sew the two Outer Eye Felt Shapes and to sew on the Pupil. Pin the felt shapes together (k). Using 2 strands of DMC Thread in a colour which matches or contrasts the colour felt being sewn, you are going to Blanket-Stitch the top Felt Shape directly onto the bottom Felt Shape. Your stitches will go all the way through to the felt shape below (l).
Sewing the Blanket-Stitched Features to the Toy
Pin the Features into position to the Soft Toy. Use the photograph of the Elephants as a guide for placement. For each Feature being sewn onto the Body, use 2 stands of DMC Thread in exactly the same colour as used for the Blanket-Stitching on the shape.
Stitch each feature in place using Slip Stitches around the outside edge of each felt shape (Picture m below). Sew your stitches so that they catch the outside edge of the blanket-stitching on the felt shape above.
Congratulations the Soft Toy Little Elephant is finished and ready to be snuggled and loved!
Copyright 2015- Any Little Elephant Soft Toys made from this Pattern are to be used for a personal nature only. Permission is not given for them to be mass produced and sold for personal gain in any way. Permission is however given for the Little Elephant Soft Toys to be mass produced and donated to The Handmade with Love Project only.
You can find information about The Handmade with Love Project here on the Sew Handmade Website. I value you feedback and would love you to share your creations with me. Feel free to contact me (Julianne) on the Sew Handmade Facebook Page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Slip Stitches are a blind stitch which cannot be seen.
a. Start by bring your needle up from underneath the Felt Shape being sewn onto the Toy. This stitch should also go in and out the fabric on the Toy. Bring your needle up so that it sits on the left side of one of the Blanket Stitches.
b. Put the needle back into the toy on the right side of the stitch and come out on the left side of the next stitch. Continue sewing around the feature in this manner until it is sewn to the Toy.
To finish off the thread take your needle back through the last stitch a couple of time and pull the thread off to one side into the stuffing, and pull the needle out through the Soft Toy. Trim the thread at the base of the toy and the thread will disappear inside.