I made my first stuffed animals. I decided on the elephant. I'm glad.
I learned some things. For instance, after you sew up the shell, don't just hand it to your husband with a bag of stuffing and expect him to just "figure it out."
I also learned that I hate hand sewing. I'm not very good at it. It takes too much time and concentration. If I was going to make these elephants again I would cut some more corners and avoid some more hand sewing.
The pattern is from the book Sew Everything Workshop. I love the book. It is a great book, especially for beginners. I did make a few changes, in case you plan to make this little buddy yourself. He does take a bit longer than I expected. I can't say exactly how long it takes to make but I would say plan on 2 to 3+ hours, depending on your level of experience sewing, and the amount of distractions you have!
- Add a layer of fusible interfacing on each of the ears. Fuse the interfacing to one of the outer fabrics before stitching right sides together. This makes the ears a bit sturdier so they'll stand out from the elephant's head.
- Instead of hand sewing the opening in the ear closed after turning it I topstitched the whole ear. I don't think it detracts from the ear. If anything, it gives it more character.
- If I had it to do over, I might leave the opening in the elephant on the underside rather than the top of the elephant. This way is a bit more forgiving for your hand stitching.
- The pattern tells you to stitch the button eyes on after you stuff the elephant. I would recommend sewing them on before sewing the little guy together. Much easier. I also used a piece of round felt for eyes for the baby's elephant. She sleeps with it and I don't have to worry about her choking on an eye.
There, now go make yourself some cute little elephants.