Tiny things always have their own little cuteness factor and this baby koala is no different! Enjoy this free sewing tutorial on it’s own or pair it with a mama koala with my Kwirky Koala Sewing Pattern and Tutorial.
This project is beginner friendly and a fairly quick sew.
What You Will Need:
- – ~¼ yard fabric (Shannon Fabric’s Minky Cuddle® is what I used and it works great!) Quality cotton or fleece will also likely work well.
- – ~3oz fiber filling
- – ~½ skein black embroidery floss (for embroidered nose and eyes option)
- – Scrap of black felt (nose pad for embroidered nose option)
- – 1 pair 10mm flat oval safety eyes (for plastic eye option) (or 15mm round eyes)
- – 1 15mm oval safety eye (or 13-15mm plastic koala nose) (for plastic nose option)
- – Notions (thread, needle, sewing machine, scissors, etc)
- – Pattern template pieces (find them at the bottom of this tutorial)
Check the resource page for supply vendors.
When making any project you have options to customize the look you want through such avenues as the choice of fabrics and facial expressions, etc.
…or when you’re going for a cute little fuzzy baby and end up with something quite different than you wanted…like a baby koala that looks more like an Ewok. That is what the fuzzy fabric, round brown eyes and eyelids brought to the table on this little koala baby.
Step 1: Trace and cut the pattern templates from fabric following the instructions on each template.
Step 2: Construct the ears by placing an inner ear piece and the coordinating outer ear piece right sides together. Pin in place (if using minky, pins are your friend…put them to use!). Sew using a ¼ inch seam allowance. Leave the straight edge open for turning. Clip the curves and turn right side out. Repeat with the opposite ear.
Step 3: Fold the top ¼ of the ear downward along the raw straight edge and baste stitch in place. The set of ears should be mirrored to each other.
Step 4: Attach the ears to the face sides. Align the top folded edge of the ear with the ear notch on the corresponding face side. Place the inner side of the ear together with the right side of the fabric on the face piece. Baste stitch in place. Repeat with the opposite face side and ear. You should have two mirrored face sides with ears when complete.
Step 5: Sew the face sides together. Place the face sides right sides together and align the center of the head edges together and pin in place. Sew along the center edge only using a ¼ inch seam allowance.
Step 6: Attach the face to a body panel. Place the face right sides together with a body panel, align the straight edges and pin in place. Sew using a ¼ inch seam allowance.
Step 7: (optional) If you’re using safety bolted eyes/nose, now is the time to apply them. Poke a hole through the marked location for each eye and place the eyes. Then poke a hole just slightly off the side of the center seam in the location for the nose placement and place the nose. Here is a tutorial for applying safety bolted eyes/nose.
Step 8: Sew the arms and legs. Yes, the legs are slightly shorter than the arms and they are sewn and stuffed in the same manner. Place two arm panels right sides together and sew using a ¼ inch seam allowance. Leave the top straight edge open for turning and stuffing. Clip the curves and turn right side out. Repeat with the opposite arm and the legs.
Step 9: Stuff the arms and legs by tightly placing fiber filling in the bottom 1/3 of the arm/leg. Don’t fill it all the way up. Baste stitch the opening closed.
Step 10: Attach the arms to the body by placing the top edge of the arm in line with the arm notch. Place the arm across the body (together with the right side of fabric) and align the raw edge of the arm with the edge of the body panel and baste stitch in place. Repeat with the opposite arm.
Step 11: Attach the legs to the body by placing the top edge of the leg centered over the leg notch. Place the leg across the body and align the raw edge of the leg with the edge of the body panel and baste stitch in place. Repeat with the opposite arm.
Step 12: Attach the back of the head to the remaining body panel by placing the head and body right sides together, aligning the straight edge. Pin in place and sew using a ¼ inch seam allowance.
Step 13: Attach the back body panel with the front body panel by placing them right sides together. Line up the ear notches, neck seam and ‘leave open’ notches first, then pin the two sides together. Sew using a ¼ inch seam allowance, leaving the space between the ‘leave open’ notches unsewn for turning.
Step 14: Stuff the body to a moderate firmness.
Step 15: Stitch the opening closed using a ladder stitch, here is a tutorial.
If you used safety eyes and/or nose, then you are done! Otherwise, continue on for nose and eye embroidery.
Step 16: You can cut the nose shape out of felt to create a nose pad, or just freehand it…whatever works for you. I used three layers of felt, but really I think 1 or 2 would have been best (embroidery isn’t in my skillset box…yet…I have done very little of it). Glue the nose pad in place where the nose should be (I used hot glue).
Step 17: Use a satin stitch and sew around the nose pad. In the photos, I started sewing horizontally first then vertically, but I think sewing it vertically first then horizontally would be best. Here is a tutorial for an embroidery satin stitch.
Step 18: Draw a wide crescent, starting one end of the crescent at the eye placement point.
Step 19: Use a back stitch or split stitch to sew along each crecent and drop a straight stitch down to create an eyelash for each eyelash you want to add. Here is an embroidery tutorial.
Optional: I made the ear so it can be larger or tacked down to be smaller. To make it smaller, connect a stitch to the middle ‘notch’ on the ear and connect it to the head using a couple ladder stitches.
Eyelid option: If you’d like to add eyelids to your baby, the template is on the template page and you can follow these instructions…it is tiny to work with though.
Make a Kwirky Koala mama and tuck that little baby into mama’s pouch…or just snuggle it as a stand alone small cuddly plushie. (Kwirky Koala is in the final edit stage and will be released very soon!)