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Sweet Softies: Funny Bunny

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Stuffed animals make me happy. They live on my desk at home and at work, so I can glance over at them when I'm having a bad day or when someone has shot down another one of my 'spectacular' ideas. There they sit. Always calm, always smiling. Funny Bunny is another friend in our Sweet Softies collection, in which nubby chenille combines with the smooth, retro-inspired cotton of Heather Bailey's Nicey Jane for a sweet and soft vintage look.

Funny Bunny has button eyes and his little head is sewn on by hand, so he's not the right choice for babies or young toddlers who are still rough on their toys. He'd make a great friend for older toddlers and children, as well as any young-at-heart adults you know... like me.

We found our chenille at Chenille Magic. You can find Heather Bailey's Nicey Jane at most online and local retailers. It's in-stock all over for Spring sewing, including from our friends at FatQuarterShop.

Like his brother, Eggy Pop; Funny Bunny is one-of-a-kind, so the list below gives the exact elements you need to clone him. If you'd like to use your own collection of fabric scraps, that's just dandy. Bunnies like to multiply.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

  • ¼ yard of Cotton Chenille Dot in Soft Yellow
  • ¼ yard of Heather Bailey's Nicey Jane in Sky Hop Dot
  • Small bag of polyester fiberfill
  • ½ cup small dry beans (optional)
  • 2 small black four-hole buttons
  • 1 giant cotton pom pom for the tail in rainbow colors
  • All purpose thread to match all fabrics and the buttons
  • Embroidery floss in a soft pink for the mouth and nose
  • Sharp scissors
  • Straight pins
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pencil or marking pen or chalk
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Large safety pin
  • Iron and ironing board

Getting Started

NOTE: All seam allowances for this project are 3/8". I'm mentioning this upfront, because the majority of our projects here at Sew4Home use a ½" seam allowance.

  1. Download and print out our two pattern sheets: Funny Bunny Pattern A and Funny Bunny Pattern B
    IMPORTANT : You must print these PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
  2. Cut out all the pattern pieces along the solid lines: arms, body face, foot, ear, base, and back/side of head. Set aside.
    NOTE: Sometimes it's easier to use the pattern pieces as templates to trace the shapes onto the back of the fabric, rather than trying to cut around small pieces of fabric pinned to paper. It also helps to cut small pieces from fabric that has been ironed with spray starch.
  3. From the Soft Yellow Chenille Dot cut:
    Two ears
    Two back/side head pieces
    Two arms
    Three body pieces
    Two feet
  4. From the Sky Hop Dot cut:
    Two ears
    One base
    Two arms
    One body
    Two feet
    One face
    Plus: two 3" x 5" rectangles for the legs
  5. Using your fabric pen, pencil or chalk, transfer the pattern marks and dots onto each fabric piece for: the ear placement on the face, the toe stitching lines, the ear pleat lines. Also cut all notches shown into the very edge of the fabric.
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At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

NOTE: Another reminder that all seam allowances are 3/8".

Ears

  1. Place one Hop Dot ear onto one Chenille ear, right sides together, and stitch both sides to a point.
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  2. Turn and press flat.
  3. Using the placement marks you made as your guide, pinch a pleat into the raw edge end of the ear to give it some dimension.
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  4. Stitch the pleat in place.
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  5. Using the placement marks you made as a guide, pin the ear to the top edge of the face piece, right sides together (Hop Dot sides together) and aligning the raw edges - so the point of the ear hangs down.
  6. Repeat to create the second ear.
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Arms

  1. Place one Hop Dot arm on one Chenille Dot arm, right sides together. Pin in place.
  2. Stitch all the way around leaving the short straight end (the top of the arm) open for turning.
  3. Turn right side out and press.
  4. Repeat for the second arm.
    NOTE: Because we want a soft vintage look, we chose NOT to stuff Funny Bunny's arms. We wanted the arms to hang close and floppy, right next to his body. If you want the arms to have more body and stick out from his sides, then stuff them lightly with the polyester fill at this point.
  5. Using the placement marks you made as a guide, return to the machine and stitch from the curve end of the arm in about 1" twice to create Funny Bunny's fingers.
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  6. Repeat for the second arm. Set both finished arms aside.

Feet and legs

  1. Place one Hop Dot foot on one Chenille Dot foot, right sides together. Pin in place.
  2. Stitch all the way around leaving the short straight end (the back of the foot) open for turning.
  3. Turn right side out and press.
  4. Repeat for the second foot.
  5. As you did above for Funny Bunny's 'fingers', use the placement marks you made as a guide, and stitch to 1" seams to create ‘toes' on each foot.
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  6. Turn in the back raw open edges of each foot and slip stitch closed.
  7. Find the two 3" x 5" rectangles of Hop Dot you cut for the legs.
  8. Fold each leg in half to make a 1½" x 5" long tube. Pin in place.
  9. Stitch along the 5" side, leaving both ends open.
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  10. Turn right side out and stuff LIGHTLY with the polyester fill.
    NOTE: Funny Bunny's legs are designed to dangle below him as he sits, so we DID want these to have some dimension (unlike his arms as mentioned above).
  11. Turn in the raw edges of ONE open end of each leg. Finger press in place.
  12. Pair one foot to each leg. Make SURE the leg seam is positioned along the center of the tube (like a pair of fancy silk stockings). This seam should be matched to the middle of the back of the foot. The back of the leg 'tube' should be flush with the back of the foot. The front of the leg 'tube' should curve over the top of foot just a bit. You want the front of the legs to have some rounded dimension. Check again to make sure all your raw edges are turned in. Pin in place.
    NOTE: Stop and test. Set the legs down on the table to BE SURE that when the back seams of the legs are flat on the table, Funny Bunny's toes are pointing up. It would make him very sad to have his feet sewn on backwards.
  13. Slip stitch Funny Bunny's feet securely in place all the way around.
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  14. Flatten the other raw-edged end of each leg and, making SURE that leg seam is still positioned like the pair of fancy silk stockings, stitch the end closed on each leg. We stitched both legs at once.
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Head

  1. Find the two back/side head pieces in the Chenille Dot. Place right sides together and pin in place, matching the notches and taking note (based on your pattern piece) of which side is the center back, which is the neck and which is the chin.
  2. Stitch together along ONLY the center back and the chin sides. Press both seams open. Here are all the pieces you need to collect for Funny Bunny's head. The head pieces are shown stitched together, but yet to be pressed.
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  3. Using your original placement dots as your guide, match the chin seam to the point of the nose on the face. Pin the curved edge of the sides to the face piece.
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  4. Stitch from the point of the nose up one side of the curve of the face. Sew slowly and carefully in a smooth curve. Stop and back tack.
  5. Reposition to stitch from the point of the nose up the other side of the curve of the face. Stop and back tack.
    NOTE: I've used a dark thread so you can see my seams; you should use matching thread.
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  6. Using your original placement dots as your guide, pin the ears to the back of the face piece.
  7. Tuck the ears inside the head and back out the neck opening. This will allow you to line up the back of the face piece with the top of the head piece.
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  8. Stitch across the top of the head, capturing the ears in the seam and keeping the back seam centered.
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  9. Turn the head right side out and stuff firmly with the polyester fill.
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  10. Using your hand sewing needle, stitch a line of basting stitches around the open neck edge of the head and pull gently to encourage the fabric to fold inward.
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Body

  1. Find your three body pieces: one Sky Hop Dot and three Soft Yellow Chenille Dot.
  2. Fold each panel in half and snip a notch at the center of each bottom edge. The bottom edge is the wider of the two flat sides.
  3. You need to stitch all four panels together along the long sides to create a kind of tube. This will become the body.
  4. Place two chenille pieces right sides together and stitch one long seam.
  5. Take the third chenille piece and stitch it, right sides together, to one long side of the two-piece unit you just created.
  6. Take the Hop Dot piece, and stitch it, right sides together, to one side of the three-piece chenille unit. You now have four pieces stitched in a row: chenille, chenille, chenille, Hop Dot.
  7. To create the final 'tube', match up the remaining Hop Dot and chenille long sides, right sides together, and stitch. The Hop Dot panel, now in the center, will be the tummy.
  8. Place the legs onto the body, matching up the raw bottom edge of the body tube with the flattened edges of the legs. The legs are hanging down inside the body. One leg should be centered over each Hop Dot/Chenille Dot body seam. Stitch the legs in position.
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  9. Pin the body to the base, right sides together, matching the notches you just made to the pre-snipped notches on the base. Once pinned in place, you may need to make additional small notches in the body layer in order to more easily allow the fabric to curve into a neat oval to match the base layer.
  10. Stitch all around through all the layers.
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  11. Turn right sides out and stuff firmly. We started with a layer of dried beans and then put the polyester fill over that. The beans help Funny Bunny sit up more securely, but they are optional.
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  12. Find Funny Bunny's arms, and pin them to the neck edge of the body. Position each arm just slightly forward of the side seam.
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  13. Test the position of the arms by setting Funny Bunny's head in position. Take a look and make sure the arms look realistic (well ... realistic if you're a stuffed bunny) and equal.
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  14. Baste the arms in place by hand.
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  15. Set the head back into position on the body, tucking the in the raw edges. Pin in position. You can pin to a certain extent, but you'll have to hold the head with one hand as you stitch.
  16. Thread your hand sewing needle with the best match thread possible. Attach the head to the body using a double-length of thread and EVEN slip stitches. Stitch around the neck twice to secure tightly.
    NOTE: We used a common slip stitch to secure the head in position. The only difference from what you're probably used to as a slip stitch is instead of working within two pre-folded pieces of fabric, we're stitching to either side of two raw edges. The stitch itself works the same, but you need to be very diligent about keeping your stitches even. If you're doing it correctly, it will look like a little ladder. When cinched tight, the ladder 'rungs' pull together. This will cause the raw edges to fold in, securing the two pieces together and hiding all but some tiny vertical stitches. If you choose a thread that best matches your fabric, you'll barely notice the stitching.
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  17. Hand stitch the large cotton pom pom in place for the tail.
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  18. Hand stitch the buttons for eyes. We used contrasting thread as an accent
  19. For the nose and mouth, hand embroider an 'X' as shown below and fill in the upper part of the X to form a nose.
    Click to Enlarge

Contributors
Project Concept: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation, Pattern Design and Instructional Editing: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever

Other machines suitable for this project include the Elna 7300 and the Bernina aurora 430.

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Comments (36)

Thea said:
Thea's picture

Hahaha So cute. I want to make it for my Bff and my closest friend but it's hard to make if I don't have a sewing machine but it's a great challenge if I can make it by sewing it by using my hands :) ((Wish me luck))

Krystal said:
Krystal's picture

Really struggling with the head of the rabbit, want to make this for my very mature 2 year old niece, I'm only 14 so I'm going to get my mum to help me tonight! Having to hand sew this amazing pattern because i own no sewing machine i can use. I love this pattern though, and can't wait for the result! xoxox

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Krystal - oh my goodness, making this little bunny without a sewing machine is definitely a challenge. Good for you to be such a dedicated auntie! I'm sure your little niece will love it.

Krystal said:
Krystal's picture

@Liz Johnson

Aww, thank you so much! Finished the head now! And have almost finished the body! So excited, can't believe i've almost finished it already.

Krystal said:
Krystal's picture

Aww, thank you so much! Done the head and am just finishing the body!

EmilyT. said:
EmilyT.'s picture

I am excited to make this adorable bunny, but I can't find a large cotton Pom Pom in rainbow colors. Where did you find that?  Thanks!

Anonymous said:
Anonymous's picture

Hi,

I recently came across this sweet bunny and followed the link to find similar fabric as the cotton chenille dot that you used. Unfortunately, minkydelight has gone out of business. Would you have any other addresses where one can find something a bit more sophisticated that regular minky dot fabric? Thanks in advance for your help. Best

Sarah T said:
Sarah T's picture

Found this patteren in my hunt for a bear pattern, Loved it and made it in an afternoon. Made it in black and red as they are my boyfriends favourt colours, Great easter gift, Thanks.

Bonnie Stalbaum said:
Bonnie Stalbaum's picture

these are just so so cute and I love the chenille just makes them so much cuter and makes them look vintage, I thank you so much for all the wonderful ideals you all post and share!  

Kassi Bartnes said:
Kassi Bartnes's picture

Stuffed animals look superb, you have to think about launching a mass production!

nicola said:
nicola's picture

whete do you get the template from to cut round the dabric to make the bunny?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@nicola - In the Getting Started section, the first step is to download the templates. There are two links in that first step. 

Luna24Shelby said:
Luna24Shelby's picture
Following my own analysis, thousands of people on our planet get the business loans at different banks. Therefore, there is a good chance to get a collateral loan in every country.
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ Simona - thanks for sharing your photo. I know your nephew will love his new bunny!
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ Larki - Have you checked with our friends, and Shopping Directory advertiser, Minky Delight. They have a great selection of chenille like what is pictured above, and they ship to the UK. Here's a link:

http://www.minkydelight.com/
Larki said:
Larki's picture
I would love to make one of these but, as with many nine tutorials the materials are difficult to get in the UK. I have just searched for the dot chenille fabric but no luck. Ah well, one day maybe.
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ Leonie - Thank you for asking permission. We really appreciate it. The simple answer is yes. You can make small quantities for sale if you make the items yourself. They cannot be manufactured by others or sold through a third party. We only ask that on the tag and/or somewhere within the display or packaging and/or within the sales description online, credit is given for the item being created from a copyrighted design/pattern/tutorial from Sew4Home.com.
Leonie said:
Leonie's picture
Awesome tutorial, super cute!

I was just wondering if I were to make a couple of these to sell, would that be ok? Id link back to you of course! smilies/smiley.gif
Just thought I should check first!
Jae said:
Jae's picture
This is soo cute going to try it and give it as a girt for eastersmilies/kiss.gifsmilies/grin.gifsmilies/cheesy.gif
Emma said:
Emma's picture
Thank you for this instruction! I used it, but made the arms extra long so I could make two rabbit tie backs for curtains. They look super cute, and I am secretly smug that I managed to make them! Of course, that is down to the well written instructions!!
Emma said:
Emma's picture
Thank you so much for this tutorial! I have made the rabbit this afternoon and the instructions were really useful! It looks super cute!
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ Ron Anger - four funny bunny friends... even a Patriotic one for the 4th smilies/cheesy.gif. Thanks for sharing and for the link back to us from your blog!
MadeByWillow said:
MadeByWillow's picture
I just made one! It´s gorgeous and I didn´t get the chance to keep it for myself...better make a new onesmilies/smiley.gif Thanks for the patternsmilies/smiley.gif
AussieTraceyMcD said:
AussieTraceyMcD's picture
Soooo cute! My 4yo daughter saw this earlier & of course "I love it Mumma, can you make me one?"
Katie_DId said:
Katie_DId's picture
I just wanted to let you know that I made this little guy last night and he is SOOO cute, thank you so much for this tutorial... I used what I had on hand so instead of the chenille, I used a golden polar fleece and for the other fabric I used a light blue with yellow rubber duckies... and he is just so cute... Thanks again
saffiertje said:
saffiertje's picture
i love this bunny! Great pattern and tutorial!!! These make a great baby present....
Thanxsmilies/wink.gif
kimpe said:
kimpe's picture
Way to cute! I have to make a few of these to share with quilty friends! They will love them.

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