Hello, I’m Laura and I’m delighted to share my sewing instructions to make a cuddly sheep today!
A few years ago, in a Finnish knitting book from the 1960s, I came across a photo of a little boy holding a large knitted lamb in his arms. It looked so cute that I decided to create a sewn version of it.
It took a few tries before I was satisfied with the plush toy pattern for the sheep. But don’t worry, the “trial sheep” all ended up in the beds of children who still love them to this day.
Today, I want to show you how to sew the plush toy. My cuddly sheep comes in two different sizes. I am providing you with both of them here in the blog, including the patterns.
Sew a cuddly toy – the plush sheep
This plush toy can also be used as a pillow or as a travel companion; the cuddly sheep is also ideal for use as a travel pillow in the car, train or plane. And if at some point wash day comes around for your sheep – no problem, it will soon dry on the line in the sun and be ready to cuddle again.
You can sew your plush toy in the following two sizes:
- Small sheep: 25 cm x 35 cm (H x W)
- Big sheep: 35 cm x 50 cm (H x W)
Materials for a cuddly toy
- Teddy fabric: 35 cm (small sheep: 25 cm)
- Denim remnants: yard goods or old jeans legs (the fabric should not be too thick and it is fine if it contains elastane.)
- Fiberfill or filling flakes: 500 g (small sheep: 300 g)
- Sewing thread in a matching color
- 2 black buttons for the eyes (alternative for children under three years: black embroidery or woolen thread to embroider the eyes.)
You can download the pattern for the cuddly sheep plush toy in both sizes from the following link:
When printing out the pattern, make sure not to make any size adjustments.
As indicated on the pattern, all the pattern pieces are to be cut out with a 1 cm seam allowance.
Transfer all the markings from the pattern onto the pattern pieces.
From the teddy fabric, cut:
- body, mirror image (2x)
- ear (2x)
From the denim, cut:
- head, mirror image (2x)
- foot (8x), 4x each mirror image
- ear (2x)
Sew a cuddly toy – sewing instructions for the plush sheep
1. Pin the head pieces onto the body pieces with the right sides together, following the markings.
2. Then sew the head pieces in place. Secure the beginning and end of the seam with back stitches and then iron the seam allowances towards the body.
Sewing the ears
3. For the ears, tack a plush piece and a denim piece together with the right sides facing and sew them together. Leave the bottom edge open for turning. Once again, secure the beginning and end of the seam with back stitches. Trim the seam allowances back to 0.5 cm and cut into the curves up to 0.2 cm from the seam. Then turn the ears the right way out and shape them carefully.
Sewing the feet
4. Lay the pattern pieces for the four feet with the right sides together, pin and sew. Leave the top edge open for turning. Secure the beginning and end of the seam with back stitches to prevent the seam from coming undone. Trim the seam allowances back to 0.5 cm and cut into the curves up to 0.2 cm from the seam. Then turn the feet the right way out and likewise shape them carefully.
5. Next, stuff the ears and feet with fiberfill. Leave about 2 cm unfilled at the top of the feet to make it easier to sew the feet onto the body later on. After filling, topstich the top edges of the feet closed.
Sewing the feet onto the sheep’s body
6. Pin each set of 2 feet onto the right side of a body piece according to the markings as shown below and sew them on inside the seam allowance.
Sewing the body pieces together
7. Then place the body pieces with the right sides together, still with the feet pointing up so they are between the two layers. Baste the two layers together and then sew them together except for the turning opening between the feet as marked on the pattern. Once again, secure the beginning and end of the seam with back stitches.
8. Next, turn the cuddly sheep the right way out and stuff it with fiberfill.
Then close the turning opening by hand (e.g. using an overcasting stitch).
Finish the ears
9. Fold the seam allowances at the bottom edge of the ears inwards and sew the opening closed by hand (e.g. likewise using an overcasting stitch).
10. Then sew the ears onto the body by hand.
Attaching the eyes to the cuddly toy
11. Finally, sew the buttons on as eyes.
Please note: Buttons should not be used for children under three years of age as these are small parts that can be swallowed. In this case, the eyes can be painted on with the textile pen or sewn on with embroidery or woolen thread.
Your home-made cuddly sheep is now finished and ready to cuddle.
I hope you have lots of fun sewing it.
Finished product photos ©copyright of
photographer Marjo Koivumäki