Thursday, November 14, 2013

DIY Nessie | Pattern and Tutorial


I have been keeping this project a secret for far too long, and now that it is up on Buzz Feed I can finally share the reveal with you all! You may remember when I asked you all to vote on whether I should make a Narwhal Whale or a Loch Ness monster. Guess which one won by popular vote? ;)


The sewing process for Nessie was interesting...  I guess it's natural for a two year old's gut reaction to be to jump on the super cool stuffed animal mommy is sewing, and then proceed to use it as a rocking horse... I had to work in a room all by myself to make any progress on this stuffed animal!


To make your own Nessie, you will need: 
A bag of stuffing, 1.5 yards of Felt for the Body (you can make it with just 1 yard, but it never hurts to get a little more than you need), a small sheet of Pink Felt for the patches (you know the small sheets they sell for like 30 cents), a small sheet of Black felt for the eyes & the mouth, and threads to match. 



Please, don't redistribute or sell this pattern and/or items made from this pattern and tutorial. I reserve all rights to my patterns.

Print and cut all the pages out and then attach all of the pieces together, as shown above. 
  

Using 1.5 yards of felt, cut out 8 flippers (they are stacked in pairs of two in the photo above), 1 belly piece, and 2 body pieces.


Stitch all of the 8 flippers together in pairs of two. Make sure to leave a small opening on the curved edge of the flipper so you can turn it inside out and stuff it. 


Felt is super easy to hand stitch with, so if you don't have a sewing machine, that's totally ok. 



Turn them inside out. Pull it through the opening you left open.



This is what it should look like after you've turned it inside out. All the hem work is on the inside now.



Place both of your body pieces on top of each other, and lift up the bottom part, as shown above.


Now lay the belly piece evenly on top of both half's of the body piece.


Sew the belly piece onto the body pieces.



Once your're done, it should look like the above photo.


Continue sewing the rest of the body up, and leave an opening at the neck for turning inside out and stuffing.




Now turn the body inside out by pulling it through the hole.



 The above photo shows how the body looks turned inside out.


 A great cheap alternative to buying an expensive bag of poly fill is buying a cheap pillow (the ones they sell for $3) and using the fluff in the pillow. Fill the neck and tail first. You want to make sure to REALLY stuff the neck super good so that it will stand up straight and be supported.


If you want extra support in the back just in case you have a feeling that Nessie is going to be used as a rocking horse (and yes, that was my daughter's first reaction was) you can use the 200+ plastic grocery bags you have been hording as extra support for the back. Now you finally have a use for them!


Once you are done stuffing it, sew up the opening. 



Fill your flippers with stuffing, and then position them on Nessie's body. Position the two flippers on each side of the body facing away from each other, pointing out. Pin them in place and hand stitch them on.


Now for the smile and the eyes. Cut out two rectangles for the eyes, and one long strip of fabric for the smile.


 Roll the rectangles into ball shapes and sew the ball in place until it is a complete sphere. Next, position them symmetrically on the face and pin in place.


Sew the eyes onto the face.



Pin the strip of felt you cut for the smile on. Then determine how wide a grin you want Nessie top have on her face. Cut the corners so that the edges are tilted.



Now Nessie has a cute grin! 



This part is optional. Cut out patches and sew them on Nessie.



All done! Now for the reveal!



She LOVES her stuffed "duck" as she calls it. She drags it everywhere she goes, pets it's neck tenderly, and rides it ferociously. I am honestly not sure how long this monster will withstand the hard playing from my little monster!



After dancing for joy at the sight of her new toy, she ran out of the room and came back dragging her horsey so they could meet. 



This Loch Ness Monster Stuffed Animal Toy is a serious contender for my favorite sewing pattern!



I have lots of Scottish blood in my veins... But my husband's family is originally from England. He doesn't really care about heritage other than being American... but he does like to rub it in that his people (the English) conquered my people (the Scotts) 




With all that said, I have always had a thing for the Loch Ness Monster and I just HAD to make one for my little girl! I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. And it was so easy to sew. I mean, I did it all by hand... not that I'm bragging... because in reality my sewing machine is broken, lol!

So, what are you waiting for? This is one monster you won't mind seeing everyday! ;)


Image Map

104 comments :

  1. Thanks SO MUCH for the Nessie pattern ... 3 little Granddaughters will be getting one for Christmas Thanks to You!!! Maybe my Grandson as well .. he's a little older tho! :D HUGS A BUNCH!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That made my day! I'm sure they will love it! :)

      Delete
  2. thanks so much! This is so cute! I'm so excited! I'm still rooting on team narwhal though ;) someday, right? :)


    ▼Nicole▼
    www.hausofharnois.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm going to attempt to make this on the weekend as a xmas gift! Thank you for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am so glad you like it! I'm sure it will turn out great! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ooooooooo!!!! I'm going to do a blue one with stars on his back for my toddler boy! He's gonna LOVE it!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. That's one of the cutest things I ever saw! it looks so easy and fast! I'll definitively make 10 small versions of them to use as keyrings or pendants for my preadolescent daughter!
    Serena

    ReplyDelete
  7. I can't wait until I try this! Would you be please tell me where you got your felt? I went to Michaels and Joann today to look for one, but couldn't find it :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joann's does sell felt by the yard, but I bought mine from wooly hearts, an etsy shop that sells felt. Hope that helps! :)

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much! I can't tell if your nessie is either in Blue Spruce or Ocean kelp, but I think it'll look cute either way :) I will definitely let you know and thank you again when I make it!

      Delete
    3. FYI: I know these posts are several months old, but I just purchased felt from Walmart....multi-colored pack of 12 (9" x 12") sheets for about $3.98 and single (9" x 12") sheets for around .20 each!

      Delete
  8. Awesome, thank you so much, Hannah! Did you choose to sew by hand for a reason, e.g. because it's more solid?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah- my sewing machine is broken. I do recommend sticking to machine stitching if you can though.

      Delete
  9. Loving Nessie!!! I might go for a mini one rather than a rocking horse size.

    Hmmm, you might want to let your husband know that no-one has ever 'conquered' the Scots and it was the Scottish king that became the first ruler of the United Kingdom but who really cares when there are soft toys at hand.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Haha! Very true. I like to think that I conquered the English by marrying him! ;)

    Have fun with your Nessie!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Awwww, what a cute monster (the nessie and your daughter :) )
    And thank you for sharing the pattern! It's super easy! I was thinking of making it in a smaller scale as a plushie? What do you think? :)


    Greetings from a jewelry designer and blogger in Denmark :)
    Aysha @ www.thecreativemuslimah.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your sweet comment Aysha!

      Delete
  12. Oh my gosh!! This is so cute!!!
    I'll definitely make one for my babes & maybe for my young nieces too.. :)
    Thank you so much for sharing the pattern!

    ReplyDelete
  13. This was the most fun I've had using my new sewing machine, so thank you for creating this tutorial! I just made one using regular felt from Joann Fabrics but it came out much stiffer than I expected. I really like the felt blend you bought so I think I'll make more using those instead...I can't wait to send them off to my nephew and niece :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, I am sure they will love them! Feel free to send me pictures! :)

      About the fabric- you can use fleece or flannel too for a softer version.

      Delete
  14. This is adorable!
    I've never stitched with felt but definitely trying this for my niece, who'll be coming next month. Thank you for such a detailed tutorial ^_^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! I am sure it will turn out great- what a special gift for your niece! :)

      Delete
  15. Such a great idea! I love your page!!
    If I'll ever have children, I'll try this one, soo coooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww- thanks! Or you could just make one for yourself! ;)

      Delete
  16. So this is my first craft project... ever... I am almost finished and am pretty sure my daughter is going to love it. As a single dad - you have helped make this Christmas pretty amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You just made my day! I am sure your daughter will love it! Please send me pictures or post them on my Facebook page! :)

      Delete
  17. Hi Hannah!
    I have a question to you, how long did you do this cute Nessie? I would like do the same for my little cousin for Christmas.
    You're fantastic, yours ideas are great! You're very beautifull family.
    Have a nice day,
    Dorota

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I made it in parts over a few days because I was hand sewing it, but if you did it in one setting I would say under 2 hours, especially if you are using a machine! :)

      Delete
    2. Oh, thank you :) Yes, I have a sewing machine, so I hope that everything will be OK. If I sew the Nessie I will send you a photo :)
      Greetings from Poland :)

      Delete
    3. Wonderful- send me pictures! :)

      Delete
  18. Oh My Goshhh... I love it a lot! My baby will love it too!
    I'll make as soon as possible :) Tanks for share.

    I'm thinking about most models of dinossaur S2

    Kisses
    Nina and Theo
    http://www.maternizando.blogspot.com (Brasil)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I was wondering why you did all that by hand. I'm going to try the sewing machine myself lol I'll post a picture for you if it comes out well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, yep, my machine just got fixed the other day! Please send me a picture, or even better yet, post it on my Facebook page! :)

      Delete
  20. You are a genius! What a great project! I'm actually making one for my teenage sister in law who is an amateur photographer. I think she'll get a kick out of having the elusive Nessie come to her!

    ReplyDelete
  21. GAH! I want to make this but the pattern isn't downloading for me! The pages just come up blank! I've tried it on a couple different internet browsers but it's still not working. Any ideas?? Thanks! :]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I checks it and it is fine on my side. It could be because your screen brightness is dark- the pattern is in light gray, so sometimes when shown in a dark computer it looks white. Try printing it out. If that doesn't work for whatever reason, email me and I will send you the pattern.

      Delete
  22. Hi! I'm making this for my son for Christmas. She is almost done, but I'm having trouble figuring out how to sew on the flippers. My hand sewing isn't that good, so anything that I do looks uneven and sloppy. Do you have any suggestions on technique? Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I was trying to download the pattern as I think this is gorgeous...could you possibly email it to me please? beckjanejenkins@gmail.com :) Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  24. So cute! I'll try to make one for my little girl soon.
    Thanks for the pattern!

    ReplyDelete
  25. This is absolutely amazing!! Gonna try it for my 4 yr old son right away!! Thank you so much for this awesome tutorial!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you like it! Feel free to send me pictures after you are done! <3

      Delete
  26. This is amazing! Gonna give it a shot after my exams are done.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks so much for sharing this pattern and tutorial! I am sure my son will just love it! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure! I hope he likes it too! :)

      Delete
  28. Hi Hannah,
    I made this for my niece-to-be (due March 7) but I'm so in love that I kept it! I felt bad until I realised that I had used materials that aren't safe for under-3s anyway. Oh well. Now she sits on our couch in our lounge. Thanks so much for the pattern. It was fun, relatively easy and she is gorgeous. Maybe niece will get it when she is 3...!
    Claire (Auckland, New Zealand)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a sweet idea Claire! I am sure your niece will love her (eventually!) :)

      Feel free to send me a picture!

      <3 Hannah

      Delete
  29. I love Nessie! Thanks for sharing your ideas and the pattern, I'm gonna make one soon! How much stuffing does it require? It only says "one bag", but they come in different sizes and weights. Do you remember how much you used?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you like her! :)

      I don't know the exact size I got, but sometimes I just buy the cheap $3 pillows from Walmart and use those instead, and I would say that two of those should work. I did use grocery bags in the back to make it more solid too.

      Hope that helps!

      Delete
    2. Thank you! I'm almost finished now, it took me about 3 small pillows (not from Walmart)! :)

      Delete
  30. I am totally making this- but now can you do a narwhal? ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! Yes! I'll go out and get the material soon! :)

      Delete
  31. I love this, but when I print it the pattern is so pale it doesnt show (it shows as light gray on the screen). Is there any way I can make it darker? Thank you so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm, does your printer have an option to make things darker? Check your settings, because it should be dark enough to show up. You could always bring it in to a printer if yours is having issues. Send me an email if you can't get it to work & I will send you a darker version. welivedhappilyeveraftertheblog@gmail.com

      Hope that helps!

      Delete
    2. I got it working! Thank you! going to make it tonight :)

      Delete
  32. THANK YOU! My mom is hosting her Family Reunion and celebrating our Scottish heritage. She is going to have a scavenger hunt to find "Nessie". I'm going to make this for her as their prize.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is an adorable idea! How fun! So glad you like the pattern! Send me pictures! :)

      Delete
  33. Would you mind sharing the link to the etsy shop that you purchased the felt at? My mom's group is going to be doing this as a craft project and we'd love to know!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course! Here is the link: Originally, the felt was called Ocean Kelp, but I didn't see that listed, but this one is either the same felt with a new name, or a very similar color. If you want the exact color, I would just send her a quick convo to verify that it is the same one.

      https://www.etsy.com/listing/95952742/blue-spruce-wool-felt-blend-fabric?ref=shop_home_active_21

      Send me pictures once you are done! XOXO!

      Delete
  34. Hannah,

    Your designs are so cute! I really want to start sewing things like this, and your tutorials are really easy to follow and so simple for something so complicated. I now have a use for all the left over t-shirts/fabrics/anything that I have lying about. I can just turn them into miniature toys! Aw!
    Thanks again!

    Alice xx

    ReplyDelete
  35. That is exactly how I started out too, just using what I had on hand! Haha! :)

    So glad you like it & that it looks simple- I do my best to make things easy!

    XOXO Hannah

    ReplyDelete
  36. Olá!
    Hannah tu vendes eses muñecos no Etsy ó DaWanda ó en algun otro site de ventas online? gustaria de saber precios....São encantadores...precioso......besos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not right now- but that may change in the future! :)

      Delete
  37. Thank you so much for this! My son is obsessed with all things Nessie, so I think I'm going to have to make him one. It will make his year! LOL

    ReplyDelete
  38. It's really nice to see a hand-stitched project. As a girl without a machine, I'm enjoying mooching through your pictures without wondering how to adapt the instructions! Lovely creature.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, when technology fails you, the good old fashioned ways work just as good- just a little slower! Lol! :)

      Thanks for your sweet comment! Xoxo

      Delete
  39. Thank you so much for sharing! I made this for my 9 month old daughter yesterday and she loves it! I'd share a photo but sadly I don't know how.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww! That makes me so happy! Feel free to post a photo on my facebook page. xoxo

      Delete
  40. This is inspiration for my boys new room colour palette (ages 10 and 8, so it works for any age!). You can check it out on Pinterest (Charish Bishop... Boys room ideas).

    ReplyDelete
  41. I will definitely be making this. I'm thinking about adding gill-wings and some antennae to make her a sea-dragon. :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. This is so cute! My Moms group has an event planned for this weekend and there are 12 of us making Nessie's! We will try to send you a picture. Also, can you tell me how much stuffing we need per Nessie? I have no idea how much to buy. Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used Walmart pillows- the cheap ones for $3- and about three or four of those would work. I would suggest getting several of the large $10 bags of poly fill from Walmart and taking back whatever you don't use. It's better to over fill your Nessie than to under stuff! Send me pictures! :)

      Delete
  43. this is too cute!! i'm so gonna make one for my dorm room!

    ReplyDelete
  44. I'm not crafty with sewing at all, but this looks doable to me! And my 4 month old son's room is underwater themed so it would go perfectly! I have the fabric; I just need to get the stuffing, and I'll be making this! Thank you so much for the awesome tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  45. I'm definitely a crafter but have never learned how to sew. This project looks like a good place to start! What do you think, Hannah? Is this a good project for a beginner? Also, do you know about how long it took you to hand-stitch the whole thing? I want to make sure I can have it done by my niece's birthday party :) Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Brooke, This would be a great beginners sewing project, as it is really straight forward. It took me several hours, spanned out between two days (mainly because I had to photograph all the steps :)

      Hope that helps!

      XOXO Hannah

      Delete
  46. I made this for my sons first birthday, IT came out so adorable Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hi Hannah,

    Nessie is adorable! I'm teaching myself how to hand stitch - do you know what the type of stitch you used is called?

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's wonderful! The type of stitch I used for this project is called an "overcast stitch" which basically loops around the edges of the fabric.

      Hope that helps!

      Delete
    2. Thank you! Is there any reason you chose the overcast stitch over a backstitch? Do you think either stitch would work well or do you think the overcast stitch is the most appropriate/durable for the project?

      Delete
    3. Honestly, it's up to you. Use whatever stitch you think holds up best for the type of fabric you use. I liked how it held up for me. XO

      Delete
  48. Thanks for doing this tutorial! I'm definitely trying it :) I was just wondering if you think it's possible to do this using regular cotton/polyester fabric instead of felt? Is there a particular reason why you chose to do so with felt?

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hi Michelle, Yes! It is totally possible to use fabrics other than felt for this pattern. The main reason I used felt, was because I was asked to do this tutorial to be highlighted in BuzzFeed for av"felt animal" collection they were doing.

    I did like working with this particular felt, as it was very easy to hand stitch with, (and forgiving where my sewing wasn't perfect) but the felt itself ages quicker with vigorous play than regular fabric does.

    Hope that helps!

    XO

    ReplyDelete
  50. This tutorial was great! I've never made a stuffed toy before so I was worried it wouldn't turn out well...but it looks awesome! Thanks, my newborn cousin will love it!

    ReplyDelete
  51. I am in the middle of making one myself, and I am currently sewing the flippers onto the body!!! She looks great, thanks so much for the pattern and clear instructions!!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Just wanted to drop you a line and say thanks for the inspiration! I had all these plans to print out the patterns and all that and then I just went crazy and decided to do the massive Pokémon version of a sea monster. My girls are just nuts about him. Thanks for the idea!

    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/548102217122422749/

    ReplyDelete
  53. MIL gracias por este hermoso DIY!!! me salió muy lindo!!! gracias, gracias, gracias!!!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Wow, this Nessie is just perfect! I made one for my son for his second birthday and he instanly sat on i, as he's never done anything else in his life. And at one point he took it under his arm and strolled away!
    Today he is also finding new and different ways to sit and lay on it. I think the shape is genius, it really stimulates the childs sense of imagination. Well done and thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  55. I'd love to do this for my new neice, but I've never sewn before! It seems pretty simple, and I looked up a tutorial on how to sew a pillow closed for the back seam. But I'm not sure how to sew on the flippers or the hearts. Do you have any more details about that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is really easy, believe me! Try out your stitching before hand if you like. That way you will be able to know how secure your stitches are.

      For the hearts, look up how to sew on patches.

      For the flippers, you just pre-sew them as shown, and then stitch them on by hand after.

      Hope that helps! XO

      Delete
  56. Love little Nessie! I am having trouble trying to print out the pattern however. It is only printing our half of the pattern. What am I missing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is it printing the size wrong? If that's the case, then make sure your printer is scaled to "fit to page."

      Delete
  57. The link for downloading the pattern isn't working. Am I missing the link?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It should be... here it is in case:

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/vkyeywtwzh3a66c/Loch%20Ness%20Monster%20PDF%20Pattern%20(2).pdf?dl=0

      Let me know if you are still having problems! :)

      Delete