Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Princess and the Pea: A softie toy tutorial

I love love love this little softy. I think it is just so cute.
It is sitting on Evie's changing table right now and she loves playing with it while I change her which is heaven compared to the leg wrestling I usually have to do :) And the great part is that it is so fast and easy to make! Detailed instructions and the pattern I used can be found in"More Softies" (hyper linked) one of the fab books I talked about in THIS post. A friend promised to bring me back one from Aus next month and I am thinking of maybe doing a giveaway because it had such cute stuff in it! You can purchase the American edition HERE for a steal of a deal. All right lets get hoppin!

What you will need:
A small piece of fabric for the face (if you use muslin I would use two piece stacked on top of each other. I just used left overs from my Bonjour Evette doll.)
Some felt for her hair, for the pea, and for her collar
Six different rectangles of fabric for the mattress
A small piece of fabric for the pillow and sleeping bag (on mine these are not the same fabric but there are no rules!)
A button for her dress
Embellishments for her hair (if you want, mine is from a strip of felt flowers I bought at Walmart forever ago)
Embellishments for the mattress (again totally optional, mine are from Material Girls in UT)
Needle and thread for eyes, lips and for sewing her little noggin' shut.
Velcro (if you want to make the mattresses stick together, suggested and such a good idea)
Sewing machine
That sounds like a lot but I swear it is super easy once you have them all gathered. What was hard for me was figuring out which fabrics I wanted to use for her mattress's. I kept having to walk away from my scrap fabric collection and come back again. Finally I settled on these:
Then I had to pick out a fabric for the princess's "dress" and I went with a big polka dot print. I think this process would be a lot easier if you just head to the fabric store to the quilting section and see how they have the fabric already all matched up for you ha! Alright so once you have your pattern pieces cut out, (face of fabric, hair and collar of felt, dress or body of fabric) you are first going to sew the hair to the face. It will lay on top of the square of fabric for your face coming almost to the bottom.
You only have to sew from one side up over the square to the other side. You do not need to sew up around the hair (You can see my stitching in the picture if that was confusing, which it probably was ha!) Now connect your fabric you cut out for the "body" or dress by laying it right sides together with the face and sewing along the raw edges. Flip it over and topstitch what you just sewed.
This is a back view (you don't need to serge it by any means)
Now for the fun part, the eyes and mouth. Once again I marked mine with a pen (it would be nice to have fabric chalk or something but a pen works fine :))
Thread your needle with the color you would like for the eyes and sew over, as neatly as possible, the marks you made for eyes. Now switch over to the color you would like for lips and sew over your lips mark.
Now you can sew on her collar (and any other embellishment, I put a little lace type thing on top of the felt collar) and once that is attached sew on your button in the center of the collar. Now we are going to sew her up! Fold your princess in half lengthwise and you are going to sew from the top down and across the bottom (leaving the top un sewn)
Now flip her right side out and pull the corners out with your unpicker so they lay nice and flat.
Grab some fluff and stuff it down into the princess through the hole in the top
Once you have stuffed her to your liking, thread your needle with matching thread. Tuck under the raw edges of her hair (I folded mine so that her hair goes up in the middle a little) Pinch it together and sew it shut.
She should now look like this:
I decided I wanted something in her hair. At first I tried a ribbon tied in a bow but I am awful at typing bows so it didn't look at that great. While sifting through my random assortment of ribbon I found a small length of this felt flowers connected by raffia that I bought at walmart forever ago. I cut a flower off and attached it to her hair.
Your princess is now all done!
Now it is time to make her mattress's. Grab all the fabrics you decided and your scissors. I used my princess to Gage how wide and long I needed them to be. I made mine about 2 inches longer and wider then the princess. Keep in mind when cutting that you are going to need to fold them in half and sew them. I would also attach any sort of embellishment you would like on your mattresses a this point. I thought little tassel things would turn out cute:
Also if you would like the mattresses to stick together you can sew corresponding long strips of velcro down the center. Then your princess can stack and re-stack them as she pleases with out them always toppling over. Once you have your squares cut out fold them lengthwise in half with right sides together. You are now going to sew all the way around leaving a small opening where you will be able to turn them right side out. Once you have sewn and before you flip them right side out I would trim the corners (making sure not to cut your sewing) so that the edges will lay nice and flat
Once you have done that flip them right side out. I decided to iron mine but that is optional. Now you are going to stuff them with fluff through your little opening. these are mine all stuffed
Once you are done filling them with fluff you can sew closed your little opening. At this point I decided to sew my mattresses together. (If you went the Velcro route you can skip this) You definitely don't have to do this and for an older little girl I probably wouldn't so she would play with the mattresses as well. But Evie would just walk off with once and end up loosing it, so for now mine are sewn together. I just did a few long stitches that went all the way through the mattresses.
Now take the fabric you selected to make her little sleeping bag. Finish off both raw ends by hemming them
Then sew along both raw edges and the bottom.
You can decide wether to attach her little sleeping bag to the top mattress or not :)
Now you can make a little pillow the same way you made the mattresses if you so please. I think it makes her look nice and comfy when all tucked in.
Now for the Pea. Cut a circle of green felt (I did a HUGE one first and had to size it down). Thread your needle with green thread and sew large stitches all the way around the outside edge of the pea. Keep the needle attached and place a little ball of fluff in the center.
Now pull gently on the tread so that it tightens up around the fluff
Pull the thread until it is completely closed around the fluff and stitch it closed. Now place your pea in between one of the bottom mattresses.
I didn't sew mine in but Evie has already figured out how to pull it out and shove it in her mouth :) That is when she is not trying to pull of the button on her collar (make sure this is sewn on really really well if it is for a small child and do not let them sleep with the doll unless they are old enough not to eat buttons, or jut don't attach one if it makes you feel better.)
So there you have it! I just love all the color and how happy it looks. If you would like to see more by the designer you can check out Sarah Bowe's blog at Enjoy making it! I probably won't be posting again until next week. I know this is meant to be a crafty blog so I don't want to inundate you with pictures from our trip. Have a lovely week and weekend!


  1. I have to go make one of these beauties now how cute....


  2. Oh, I just love your choice of mattress fabrics. What an adorable play set!

  3. So cute! :) Will for sure be making one of these soon!

  4. Hailey saw this the other day when you previewed it. She said "Mommy can you get me that for my birthday?" Sounds simple enough! And I LOVE giving her handmade with love rather than store bought and expensive!

    Simply adorable, Kelly! Have a fun rest of your trip!

    Love and Hugs, Jess

  5. So, so cute. I'm going to make one for my daughters birthday and put it with a Princess and the Pea book I found online. Great idea! Thanks!


  6. oh so cute!! I was actually wanting to make this for my daughter for chrismas

  7. I am in love with this. I am totally making it for my daughter a.s.a.p. Thanks!

  8. That is SO cute!!! I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:

  9. How adorable! I kept expecting you to add velcro to each "mattress" so that the kids could restack them and they would stay together.
    Might have to make one of these for a friend that just had a little girl!

  10. What a fun and cute toy! I love how easy and simple it is to make. Thanks so much for the great tutorial. I might have to make one of these for my daughter.

  11. Love this! What a great idea! My daughters will love it, too, I'm sure.

  12. This is "SEW" cute... Thanks for the tutorial!

  13. Thank you sew much for sharing this!

    How's about just using some scrap batting in the mattresses and maybe attaching small pieces of velcro in the middles?

  14. I can't wait to try this! My 4 year old will love it!
    I posted this project on my blog today!
    Thanks for sharing!

  15. This is beautiful, what a lovely idea! I will be making on for my daughter :)

  16. Beautiful! I can't wait to make a set for each of my girls. Thank you for such a lovely tutorial.

  17. This is a marvelous tutorial, thank you so much for sharing.Greetings from Germany

  18. Oh my gosh this is so, so cute and giftable! Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

  19. This is SO cute! I want one to play with! :)

  20. that is so stinkin cute awesome job

  21. Thank you for sharing this, it's lovely!

  22. I will be making this for sure. I think for christmas. Thank you so much for the great tutorial!

  23. I bought this book in Canada and Love it. It has a different cover than the Aussie one. I made this playset too. this with the book makes a lovely present. good luck on finding the book
    thanks for sharing

  24. This is just beyond adorable! this is the first time I'm stopping by your blog and can't wait to see what else you've been up to! In the mean time I hope it's okay, I'm going to add this to the tail end of my weekly (opens on Sunday) international blog linking party, and would love to see you there sometime too! all the best, Sara

  25. Too much cuteness! I love this so much. Can't wait to make this little set...

  26. beutiful doll!! Is adorable...

  27. Love it! Linked to you here:

  28. Thank you for this tutorial!! I finally got around to making a set for my niece and she loves it! I've linked here:

  29. So cute! Your post inspired me to do a bit of Googling for other Princess and the Pea dolls. And I ended up ordering the book More Softies that you linked to. Thanks for the inspiration!


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