How To Make A Mini Plush Squid / Shaker Toy


This pattern is based on Emily G.'s pattern for the big plush giant squid. It's about 1/9 of the size of the original, and is just large enough that it can contain a Kinder Egg capsule with beads or other rattly bits if you want to make a "shaker".

You will need fabric, ideally something like double-sided arctic fleece, about 18 cm (7") long and 25 cm (10") wide. (Note that the fins and tentacles aren't stuffed and have both sides showing.) You can probably use scraps left from some other project, and the dimensions depend on how you arrange the parts you're cutting. One important thing to note is that the tentacles and arms are long and thin, and will consist of nothing more than an unstitched bit of fabric. You need to choose fabric that's got some durability and won't unravel, and you need to align the pattern piece with the tentacles in the fabric's stronger direction. You'll also need a pair of googly eyes; these are sold as buttons in fabric stores. 15 mm diameter is about right. If you're going to make a shaker toy, you'll also need a Kinder Egg capsule and rattly things to put inside it -- I find that tiny glass beads work well, about 10 g or ¼ oz is about right.

First, download and print the pattern. Cut out the four pattern pieces.

Next, cut the fabric. You'll need two copies of the upper body piece and of the fin piece, and one each of the lower body and bottom. I find it easiest if I securely tape the lower-body pattern piece to the fabric before cutting, attaching the arms and tentacles so they don't move around.

Sandwich the two fin pieces between the two upper-body pieces, with the pointy ends of the fins at the pointy end of the upper body and the seam allowances outwards. If the fabric has a good side, it should be on the inside. Pin through the fabric, then sew along the curved lines of the seam allowances of the upper-body pieces (leaving the bottom edge open). Also, fold the lower-body piece in half, side-to-side with the good side (if any) inside, and sew the straight seam along the side (leaving the top edge open). Trim the seams you've just sewn.

Leave the upper-body section inside out, but invert the lower-body section so it's outside-out. Stuff the lower-body section inside the upper-body section, tentacles-first, so the cylindrical straight edge of the lower section matches the open straight edge of the upper section. The seam in the lower section should run up the centre line of one of the upper-body fabric pieces, rotated 90° from the seam joining the two upper-body pieces. Hand-stitch (unless you've got a really tiny sewing machine foot!) along that straight edge, joining the two body parts together.

Invert the body through the open bottom so it's now outside-out. Cut leftover fabric into bits and stuff the body with it. If you're making a shaker, put the capsule into the body. Tuck the "bottom" pattern piece into the opening; the seam allowance of the "bottom" should tuck up inside the body. Carefully stitch around the opening just behind the tentacles to attach the "bottom" to the body.

Sew the eyes to the sides of the lower part of the body.

Copyright (C) 2010 by Joel Polowin. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce this material in any non-profit medium provided that its content is not altered and that this notice is appended. I would appreciate receiving a copy of any publication in which it appears: Joel Polowin / 18 Norice St. / Nepean, Ont. / CANADA / K2G 2X5 but remove the XYZZY - it's a little magic to baffle the spambots.

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