Tips for Sewing Soft Toys for Kids and Relatives

sewing soft toysOne of the most fun and rewarding sewing project that I have ever undertaken is sewing soft toys for my kids, relatives, and friends. It is fun not just because of the myriads of colors and accessories used in crafting it, but also very rewarding when you see the smile it ultimately brings on some little one’s face.  Not to mention the cute little product that finally emerges after the work. For all those who are looking to sew that cute bunny or teddy bear, here are some tips from my own experience.

Fabric choice:

There is no set rule regarding the type of fabric that can be used for making a soft toy. You can mix and match different fabrics and material according to your imagination to get the best result. For example, for the below teddy bears, velvet is used for making the body and felt is used under the feet.  Likewise, you can mix and match velvet, fur, pompom or any other material you think would look good on a soft toy.  Fake fur is often the material of choice for stuffed animals.  You can find a truly huge section of fake furs at Fabric Empire.

Here's a link to one of our articles about tips on sewing with fur that every beginner should know:

Tips on sewing with fur every beginner should know

sewing soft toys


Whether you are hand sewing or machine sewing the toy, make sure that the stitches are strong enough to withstand rough usage. Kids have a tendency to poke their finger on any loose stitch and pull out all the stuffing. So make sure that the stitches are short and even triple stitch if possible. Check whether your machine has this facility. If not, then sew a straight stitch first and then sew over it two more times. Also, invest in good quality thread for sewing.

sewing soft toys


For soft toys, there are various stuffing options available like polyester, cotton, bamboo, corn stuffing, wool, and fabric scrap. Whatever the type of stuffing used, make sure that it is done firmly so that the toy eventually does not go out of shape. Pay special attention to joints as they tend to flop if not stuffed properly. Also, while stuffing, make sure that you check the back side for any air bubbles, which might become difficult to fill later on. The best stuffing, in my opinion, is polyester as it is lightweight and can be easily washed.  I usually use Fairfield Poly-Fil Premium Polyester Fiber.

sewing soft toys


The first thing that you notice in a soft toy is its face. Before sewing the eyes, place two round pieces of cloth to find the exact location where the eyes should be fixed. Similarly, for nose and mouth, cut pieces of cloth in triangle and oval shapes and place them on the face to find the best match. Always remember to sew the facial features before stuffing and final sewing.

There are a lot of interesting patterns online for making soft toys.  Keeping the above simple tips in mind will make sure that you sew success on your first attempt.  Now to get you started, here's a fantastic roundup of some of our favorite Best Free Softie and Plushie Patterns:

sewing soft toys

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10 Responses to Tips for Sewing Soft Toys for Kids and Relatives

  1. Linda Gascho says:

    I sew jointed teddy bears with fake fur which can have a rough backing. Which schmetz needle would you recommend for my Bernina? A second question for Laura is I want to make a needle file that she showed in a video. However, the two pages to print from. SCHMETZ is not on their website. Does she have any suggestions? They were so descriptive of each needle.

    • Mayra Cecilia says:

      I would either a double point needle (largest size) if the fur has a knitted backing and can stretch a bit, or a Jeans Neddle.

  2. Beverley Mason says:

    They are so cute, my 2 grandchildren, Carter and Kayla would like Nana to make ease.

  3. Julie says:

    If you want to make a “beanie” toy or have it be weighted in the bottom, what type of “beans” could you use that would still be machine washable?

  4. Beatrice says:

    Hello, thank you for the tips. I’d add a word of caution on buttons on kids’ soft toys: if the eyes are buttons, replace them by a round piece of felt or embroider them. You don’t want to run the risk of a kid swallowing a button if it comes loose.

  5. Great tips for making toys that can stand up to kids’ play! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for tomorrow evening that features your post: –Anne

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