Sunday, October 24, 2010

How to make your own Zombie Plushie



For the last month I've been all about creating felt and fabric for my new sewing book. I spend more time pushing the pedal of my sewing machine than I do driving my car. I'm completely immersed in the stitching zone. When it came time to plan a library event I knew I wanted to share my enthusiasm for plushies with teens and zombies were the perfect way to grab their interest.


Coming up with this Zombie pattern was a snap, I folded a piece of loose leaf paper in half and then outlined a large head, short neck, arm and foot. Cut  through both layers of paper and unfold, you'll have a perfectly symmetrical pattern. I use this trick whenever I design patterns.


Stack two layers of fleece over each other and then pin the pattern ontop of the layered fabric. Cut a quarter inch away from the edge of the pattern, this will be your seam allowance. You've just cut out the front and back of your zombie.


Set the pattern aside, re-pin the two fabric layers together to stabilize them while you seam around the outside edge. Leave a two inch opening on the outside of the leg.


This is where all the teens started the craft, we had pre cut and pre sewn zombie bodies to this step. Trim away any excess fabric and turn your zombie right side out through the opening.  Start feeding Fiberfil stuffing through the opening. It's important to tightly pack the head arms and legs and then cram more into the stomach. The fleece will expand to accommodate the stuffing and tighter fabric is easier to embroider.


I passed out sewing needles and a thread for them to hand stitch the openings closed, I was amazed not single person had trouble with this step!



I laid out pre-cut circle eyes (thanks to my Sixxiz Big Kick and circle template) and passed out a crewel needle with a full strand of DMC embroidery floss so that they could stitch a face on their zombie.




It's a good idea to pass the needle inside the head between the eyes and mouth so that you can use one continuous strand of floss. The most popular mouth design was a single horizontal stitch that gets intersected by a row of three or four vertical stitches. I taught them to tie the ends in a knot under the edges of the felt eyes.




I love the creative stitching on the right eye of this zombie! I had a pile of straight fleece strips that we free for the taking, they made great bandages to wrap around the zombie.  I wished I'd brought some red paint to make these creations a little more gruesome.


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