Melly & me tutorial: Sewing softies tip

Today we welcome back Melanie Hurlston of Melly & me with a tutorial to help you with your softie sewing.

Take it away, Melanie...

This tutorial is really an aid to sewing Pippi, Phoebe, Dilbert and Bubbles softies(found in the book Kaleidoscope by Melanie).

I have had a number of people say that they either do not understand or have had difficulty transitioning from sewing around the body to sewing the inner legs. Hopefully this will make it a little clearer and will help those who have tackled or are yet to tackle these patterns.

For this tutorial I am making some basic mini Phoebes, but the principles are the same for any of the mentioned patterns - you would be likely to have something looking a little different than my tutorial pieces - with hoof fabric/toes etc.

Step 1. First you will have your main body pieces and inner leg pieces which have been prepared as per your pattern.

Step 2. Following the instructions in your pattern, place one inner leg piece on top of one main body piece, right sides together. You tack/pin these together and then sew all the way around the edges of the inner leg from toy back to toy front. One note that should be on all of the four mentioned patterns is that you need to curve the seams at the beginning and end of your inner legs to the edge of the fabric. This is an essential step in the process.

Step 3. Repeat this with your remaining pieces and you will now have two of the following.

Step 4. Place your two toy sides on top of each other, right sides together and then pin all around the body, starting from one edge of the inner leg to the other.
Step 5. Fold the legs up against the body to reveal the top edge of the inner legs. You will see how the top straight edges of the inner legs are now right sides together and become a circle with the rest of the body.
Step 6. Tack/pin the top edge of the inner legs together.

Step 7. Now sew around your toy with a small stitch on your sewing machine, starting at the turning gap, until you reach the inner leg seam. If you have curved your seams accurately on the legs (at step 2), you should be able to sew over the leg seam now and continue around the inner legs of your toy and back up to the other side of your turning gap. Some people seem to be having troubles at this point, or end up with puckers, so the next few steps will show you an alternate method to ensure your seams are perfect.

Sew around the toy, starting at the turning gap, until you reach the inner leg section. Sew stitches all the way up to the outer leg seam and then secure your stitches with backwards/forward stitching.

Step 8. Now fold the legs up against the body and start sewing the top edges of the inner legs together, starting right at the outer leg seam and securing stitches.
Step 8. Sew all of the inner legs together, ending and securing your stitches when you again reach the next outer leg seam. Fold the legs down again and then start sewing the remainder of your body, up to the turning gap, starting right at the seam once again.
Step 9. You should now have a fully sewn toy looking something like this.
Step 10. Snip corners and curves and then turn your toy right side out through your turning gap. Your inner leg seams should now look nice, neat and pucker free like this!
I hope you all have perfect inner legs now - hee-hee, sounds like we have just completed an aerobics class!

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