I love hedgehogs. I would consider moving to New Zealand just so that I could have them living in my yard, even though I hear that they can be a real nuisance. Oh, but they are so cute! And to be able to say hedgehogs live at the bottom of your garden would be a rather amazing thing to say, as if you lived in a children's story book. They are certainly a nicer looking than the snotty slugs and fuzzy-fat-goo-squirting caterpillars I keep accidentally stepping on in my own garden. Blerk.
I remember my mother making me one of these when I was very young and just beginning to sew. It's a perfect addition to a youngsters first sewing kit. The faux fur does a great job of emulating a hedgehog's spines, but you don't have to use fur. Maybe a fun printed cotton or some towelling. Of course, she won't look as prickly, but you'll just have to stick more pins in her!
What you need:
- 20cm square (or equivalent measure) of fabric (we'll call this 'fabric 1') for head, belly and ears. I used a woollen fabric which, although looks great all finished, was an absolute SOD to work with on such a small scale. Lots of fraying. If you have some about and you also have the patience of a saint, by all means, use it. A strong cotton or linen would be less taxing on the nerves.
- 20cm square of fabric (fabric 2) for the back. As mentioned faux fur is great, but towelling or cotton is fine, too.
- Sewing needle and strong thread. The smaller ear pieces and some of the curves are best tackled with hand sewing.
- Polyfill stuffing.
- 2 black seed beads for eyes.
- 50cm black embroidery thread or perle cotton for embroidering nose. Or you could use a bead or tiny pompom instead.
- Embroidery needle for embroidering nose.
- Optional ribbon for bow.
What you do:
Print out the pattern sheet and cut out the pieces (click on the image below to view full size image, then right click and save as a file, then print it). On the head piece, mark the nose because it helps! All pattern pieces include a 0.5 centimetre seam allowance.
From fabric 2, cut 2 back pieces (again, that are a mirror image of each other). *Important note - if using fur fabric or towelling, be sure to cut the piece with the nap (pile). For more information about this, read this.
With right sides facing stitch ear pieces together (because these are so tiny, it's best to hand sew these with backstitch). Carefully clip seams, turn and press.
Pinch a pleat in the ears as shown, and securing with a few stitches.
Place ears on body pieces about halfway up edge with pleats facing upwards. Baste securely.
Place one head piece and one body piece right sides together, and stitch, making sure you catch that ear in nice and tight. Give it a very light press from the back (if using fur, pressing will flatten the pile, but you can brush it up again with your fingers.)
Do the same with the other head and body piece to give you a mirror image. Ta-daa!
Now, place the two piece together and pin. If using fur, comb it as best you can away from the edge so you don't sew too much of it in the seam (see the above link again for tips on how to sew fur). Stitch from the back end all the way to the tip of the nose. Clip carefully, and turn out, and carefully comb out any fur that may have been caught in the seam.
Time to sew on the belly! Remembering that the pointy end of the belly piece meets the nose, place body and belly pieces with the wrong sides together, pin and stitch, leaving a gap open at the rear end (about a half inch either side of the back seam) so she can be stuffed. You may wish to hand-sew the tricky bits around the nose (although I had no trouble; it doesn't have to be absolutely perfect - embroidering the nose will help hide any minor hiccups!)
Again, clip seams and carefully turn out.
Stuff firmly with polyfill, paying special attention to the nose, (something long, thin and blunt will help here too) and the face area in general. Shape your hedgehog gently in your hands to flatten the bottom so she doesn't roll about too much.
When you're happy with your stuffing job, it's time to sew her up. The belly piece left open at the back can get a bit flappy, so take your needle and thread and hand-gather along the seam line, and pull gently on the thread, drawing up the fabric until the belly and back opening edges are a pretty good match in size. Turn in edges of the belly and back pieces and sew the seam shut with a close ladder stitch.
For the face, thread up your embroidery needle with your black embroidery thread. Tie a knot in the loose end. Enter your needle through the tip of the nose and out through the face into the position of where you want the first eye to be sewn. Thread the first bead on and slide it down the thread, then the needle re-enters the head at the point of the first eye position and exits on the other side in the second eye position.
(Tip! If you place the eyes to close together, your hedgehog will look more like a hairy rat. Things look cuter and more gormless when their eyes are place further away from each other. That's not to say hedgehogs are gormless, but they definitely aren't shifty looking either, even though they may well be sneaky creatures). Thread the second bead on and slide it down the thread. Pass the needle through the head again back to the other eye and through it's hole again, pulling the thread slightly to indent the eyes. Pass the needle back and forth a few times between the eyes, making sure they are secure.
When you're finished with the eyes, bring the needle back out through the nose. Cut the tail hanging from the nose (but leave the knot!) To make the nose, embroider a few very small satin stitches around the knot left on the nose. When you're happy with her nose, cut the thread and you're done!
You can then fancy her up with a cute little bow if you like, or embellish her in any other way you might think of. She would make a lovely wrist-band type of pincushion if you sewed her to a band of elastic to fit your wrist, making her look like she's taking a stroll up your arm. Oh, and don't forget to stick some pins in her bottom.
Although she's very handy as a pin cushion in mini-size, you could try enlarging the pattern and making a larger hedgehog as a toy or a decorative cushion for a child's (or adult's) bed. Not as handy, nor mini, but she would still look very cute.
|Awwwww. I'm sorry I called you gormless.|