Fab Fox tutorial
For this project, you will need a panel (1 fat quarter 21″ x 18″) of
Happy Sew Lucky Fab Fox fabric available here.
Seam allowance = 1/4″ (6mm)
Sew at a SLOW speed when going around curves. It makes accuracy so much easier!
Turning skinny bits right side out can be quite annoying if you don’t have one of those fancy turning tools. But there is a great trick for this that requires a simple stick and straw. It makes turning a doddle, and it’s fun to do! (My kids love helping me out with this.) Bamboo skewers make perfect sticks for this technique – use the back end as the point end will poke a hole in your fabric. The ideal straw size for Fab Fox’s arms & Legs would be the fatter ones you get at the bubble tea shops. But a gerber straw (available from any florist) or a fat-ish milkshake straw will likely do the trick if that’s all you have. (The skinny soda straws will not work.)
Here’s how it works:
STEP 1: PREPARATION
Press your fabric. Using a pencil or fabric marker, transfer the small black dots onto the wrong side of the fabric on Arms, Legs, and Tail pieces, as well as Body Front piece. (If you have difficulty seeing them through the fabric try putting the fabric on a piece of white paper or against a window during the day time.) Cut out all your pattern pieces along the thin black outline.
STEP 2: THE TAIL
A) Place two tail pieces right sides together. Sew all around leaving open between black dots at the end. Notch outer curves and snip inner curves. (If you have pinking shears use those, it’s a bit quicker.)
B) Turn the tail right side out, then press.
C) Stuff the tail starting at the pointy tipped end. Leave 1/2″ (12mm) from the opening free of stuffing.
Take a moment to admire your beautiful fox tail!
STEP 3: THE BODY
A) Place the Fox tail onto the right side of one side of the Undies Back Left piece.
B) Place the Undies Back Right piece right side down on top as shown. Pin in place.
C) Sew from A to B to form the centre seam of the undies. Double stitch over the tail to secure it.
D) Press the seam open and see how cute your little fox tail looks sticking out of those turquoise undies!
F) Trim the notches off and press the seam open.
Match up* the ears. nose, curve etc. Pin on the black dots on either side of the tail as shown. Then secure the placement with a couple of extra pins but not extending them into the seam area. Sewing over pins can may your stitches jagged when sewing around smaller curves and that will make your Fox a bit wonky!
* NOTE: If your pieces don’t match perfectly, just give them a little tug. (Sometimes when the fabric is printing it can stretch in a certain direction, so a tug and kind request to the fabric Gods usually does the trick.)
Stitch around Body starting at one black dot and ending at the other, leaving an opening in between the dots where the tail is.
3I) Notch outer curves and snip inner curves. Use the stick and straw to poke dents in the ears, nose and cheek pointy bits, then carefully turn right side out taking care not to yank to hard on the tail.
3J) Press the Fox’s body. Start stuffing at the extremities, using your stick to get the stuffing into the pointy nose etc. Then stuff the rest of the body. Using weeny stitches, sew the opening at the Body bottom closed. (I’m sorry, I forgot to take a pic of this step. If you want reference for the stitches scroll down to point 4E. There is a pic f the arm opening being stitched closed.)
STEP 4: Arms & Legs.
A) Match up Arm and Leg pieces, making sure that each leg has one side with a star on the ankle, and each arm has one side with two black dots. Match the shape and give them a tug to match if they need one.
Sew around both Arms and Legs leaving an opening on each one between the black dots. Notch outer curves and snip inner curves.
4B) Using the stick & straw turn all Arms and Legs right side out. (Since the opening is kind of in the middle, it’s easier to turn them if you do the turning technique in both ends.) Press all the pieces when you’re done.
4E) When they’re nice and full, use weeny stitches to sew up the openings.
4F) If you are a doll-maker or make stuffies a lot you may be a pro at attaching arms and legs and you most likely have a nice long needles for the job. If not, don’t worry, it’s not too tricky. First secure a button to the little white dot at the top of the arm. Sew it through a couple of times then start sewing it to the body where you’d like it to attach. (Sew pic below for a guide. The top of the arm should be about a 1/4″ below the white of the face. The top of the leg should be below the white section of the undies.) You can sew through from left to right if you want to, but it;s not essential. If you want to be able to move the arms then try not to make a thick stitch area as the larger / messier your attachment stitches are, the less your arms and legs will move.
IMPORTANT WARNING: If you are making this Fox for a child aged 3 or younger DO NOT USE BUTTONS. In this case just attach the limbs with stitches. Buttons are a serious choking hazard to little airwaves, so please take care with this.
A) Place Cape Outside right side up. Place Cape Inside right side down. Match the shapes and give them a tug to match if they need one. Sew around the cape leaving an opening on the straight side between dots. Notch outer curves and snip the inner corners.
5B) Turn the cape right side out and press. Then while you have it on the ironing board, fold along the first dotted line, and press, then along the second dotted line and press, resulting in a double-fold as shown below.
5C) Top-stitch along the bottom edge of the fold, close to the edge. You now have a lovely sleeve to thread your ribbon through. Fold the tip of the ribbon over and put the end of your skewer stick in the fold. Then push it through the sleeve till you pop out the other side.
You can use ribbon or string for this. I used 1/4″ cotton tape for mine, which is not technically ribbon, but I love cotton, so I used that. If you are making this for a toddler who may undo the ribbon and ask you fifty times to retie it, you may want to use an elastic loop instead! :-)
UPCOMING NEWS: I have had a few requests for a “girl” version, so there is one in the works. If you’d like to be notified when it’s available, let me know.