Easter crafts: How to stitch a felt rabbit

Well, we know who’s been rummaging in the vegetable patch now! This naughty bunny makes a great pal for cheeky little scamps who just can’t resist raiding the kitchen – who knows what kind of mischief they’ll get up to?

Kids will find a new partner-in-crime in the form of Helen Dickson’s cheeky bunny plushie. The rabbit is hand stitched, and his seams are joined using cross stitch in two strands of thread. The best way to do this is to place the wrong sides together and join in one direction using half cross stitch. Then return in the opposite direction to finish your stitch. This gives the seams extra strength as well as creating a decorative finish. After all, he needs some sturdiness to see him through all that late night allotment looting.

How to hand sew a felt rabbit

You’ll need:
• 40 x 30cm (15¾ x 117/8″) piece of grey or brown felt for main body and ears
• 25cm (97/8″) square piece of patterned fabric for tummy and ear linings
• 20cm (77/8″) square orange felt for the carrots
• 15cm (6″) square green felt for the carrot leaves
• Tiny scrap of light pink felt for nose
• Two 8mm black safety eyes
• Stranded cotton embroidery thread in light pink, bright pink and orange
• Grey and black sewing thread
• 25mm (1/8″) white pom pom
• Toy stuffing
• Two black glassheaded pins
• Temporary fabric marker pen

Making the rabbit

Step 1
Cut out all your fabric pieces using the templates. Start by joining the two main body pieces from point J to K using bright pink thread. Then join the inner body along the bottom edge, working from K outwards to the end of each paw and back.

Step 2
Join the muzzle from B to C on the template and then finish joining the inner body. You’ll need to ease the outer fabric around the inner – this will give plump limbs.

Step 3
Place the outer and inner ear pieces right sides (RS) together and stitch around the edges.

Step 4
Insert the head gusset, matching at C. Fold each ear in half vertically and insert at E as you stitch. Join from the head gusset down back to F.

Step 5
Lightly stuff your head and determine the eyes’ position. We used black glass-headed pins and then marked the spot with an airerasable fabric pen. Take care with this stage as the positioning of the eyes will affect your rabbit’s final expression. When you’re happy with the positioning, mark the spots, remove the stuffing and insert the safety eyes.

Step 6
Stuff your rabbit. Push small pieces of stuffing into his limbs and muzzle first. You may find using a ‘stuffing stick,’ such as a knitting needle or chopstick, useful. Mould his body with your hands as you stuff – keep using small pieces of stuffing to avoid lumpiness and keep turning him as you go to ensure you’re happy with the effect you’re achieving.

Step 7
Make sure you stuff him firmly as the stuffing will compress over time and you don’t want your rabbit to become limp and floppy. Slipstitch the gap closed once you’re happy with the result.

Step 8
Cut a small rounded heart shape from your pale pink felt and stitch into place for the nose using your pale pink thread. Add his mouth using two strands of thread. The whiskers are long stitches in one strand of pale pink thread.

Step 9
Stitch a white pom pom to the back of the bunny, right at the bottom of his back seam.

Making the carrots

Step 10
Cut an elongated pizza slice shape from your orange felt using the diagram (not to scale) as a guide. The carrot the rabbit is holding should measure approximately 15cm (6″) long from the point to the centre of the curve. It doesn’t need to be very accurate – real carrots are lumpy and bumpy!

Step 11
Join the seam using two strands of orange thread, then stuff your carrot – not too firmly this time.

Step 12
Cut out the leaves from your green felt using the diagram as a guide – again, these don’t have to be perfect.

Step 13
Run a gathering thread around the top of your carrot in orange thread. Pull up the gathers, but not too tightly yet – leave a small space at the top so you can insert the leaves.

Step 14
Roll up your leaf strip tightly and insert into the space you left at the top of the carrot. Now pull the gathers up tightly and stitch your leaves into place. With two strands of darker orange floss work stitches across your carrot at intervals, pulling fairly tightly to give your carrot shape. Stitch into position on the rabbit’s paws, curling them around the carrot. He’s now ready to join in playtime.

About Helen Dickson
Helen loves to create with fabric and thread, making embroidery, appliqué and cute softies, and sharing her patterns on her website. She lives in the beautiful South Hams area of Devon in an old farmhouse near the sea. Visit www.bustleandsew.com  and follow Helen on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

 

More Easter craft ideas:

How to make a floral wreath

Ombre painted Easter eggs

How to make a fabric bunny