My good friend back in Arkansas just had the sweetest little baby girl. When she was pregnant, I let her know that I wanted to make something for her baby. I gave her lots of choices, and eventually decided I’d make her a little stuffed elephant.
I made Ellie (that’s what I’ve been calling her in my head…) completely from scratch, no pattern pieces or anything. She’s also composed of fabric I already had scraps of on hand, and stuffed with some leftover quilt batting. So she was completely free!
I used three colors of flannel to make her: pale purple, grey, and light teal.
The first thing I did was make an elephant outline on paper and cut it out. I searched through google images until I found an outline I liked, and them free-handed it on some sturdy card stock. I had to tape two pieces of paper together to make a big enough pattern piece.
Once I’d cut out the elephant, I traced the outline onto the pale purple fabric, which was folded in half so I could cut out both sides at once. If you don’t fold your fabric in half, make sure you make two body pieces that face opposite ways when the right side of the fabric is showing.
When I traced, I made sure to leave an extra 1/4 inch around the outline for my seam allowance. I used my rotary cutter to cut around the outline, but scissors would work just as well. With the seam allowance, the side pieces ended up being about 12 inches wide and 9 inches tall.
Next, I made a heart-shaped pattern piece for the ears. I traced and cut out two grey and two teal hearts, again leaving room for a 1/4 inch seam allowance. I also cut two grey triangles for the tail.
The last piece I cut was a long strip of purple that was 2.5 inches wide and about 45 inches long. At the time, I thought that would be plenty to go around the outside of the elephant outline, but it ended up being just barely enough, so make sure you cut at least 50 inches.
Once all the pieces were cut, I put the ear pieces right side together and stitched around them with a 1/4 inch seam, leaving about an inch open along one side.
Then I turned them right side out, ironed them flat, and stitched around the outside, as close to the edge as I could. This sealed up the gap in the first seam and also gave some nice topstitching to the ears.
For the tail, I put both pieces right sides together and stitched down both long sides, leaving the top open. Then I flipped it right side out and ironed it flat.
To attach the ears to the body, I stitched an ear to each elephant piece with a tight zig-zag stitch for extra security. I only stitched about 2 inches along the top to leave the rest of the ear floppy.
I stitched the tail to the end of the long strip with the tip pointing away from the end of the strip.
Now that all three large pieces are ready, all that’s left is to sew them together. With right sides together, I lined up the tail where I wanted it to land on her rump and started stitching about an inch from the top of the strip.
Once I got around to where I started, I folded the end of the strip down so that the tail is resting over the other end of the strip.
So it looks like this:
Next, I lined up the second elephant piece, right sides together, at the tail. Then I sewed around the edge again.
Now the elephant is all put together, and the little flap at the tail is still open, so that’s where I turned her rightside-out.
I stuffed her with some leftover quilt batting that I tore up, making sure to get the trunk and legs stuffed before filling up the rest of her.
I hand-sewed the bum-flap closed using a hidden running stitch – here’s an excellent tutorial for that stitch.
Ta-da! She’s all ready for some snuggles!
I used some embroidery floss to write “for Mae” on the underside of one of the ears. It’s pretty hard to read, since I just free handed it.
Now to ship Ellie off to Arkansas!