Making Felt monsters tutorial by Nina (www.ninana.com), originaly posted on http://www.craftster.org

Ok, here’s a tutorial for the stuffed felt monsters. Even if this one isn’t really a monster..
He looks maybe more like a cat of some sorts.. but you get the idea, no?

1 - Gather what you'll need
- Nails (thin for sewing thread and thicker for embroidery thread) and pins
- Scissors
- Two layers of felt (light blue and grey in the picture), big enough for your template
- Smaller felt pieces for eyes, nose and decorations
- Colored embroidery thread for mouth and decorations
- Sewing thread in colors matching your fabric
(in this case, light blue, white and pink – not pictured)
- Fabric marker

And two other things that are not in the picture (sorry!):
- A wooden chopstick (for turning the fabric)
- Filling (I use synthetic cotton of some sort, the stuff
you usually find in small pillows)

Oh, and of course a template for your “monster”!

 

2 - Tracing the template
Place the template on the felt and trace the design, marking where you’ll leave an opening to turn the fabric inside out. The opening should be of an inch, more or less. Put the other felt piece under the one you’ve traced onto, and pin in place.
 
I trace my drawings on light cardboard paper, so they’re easier to trace and can be used over and over.

Actually, as I am lazy and not very good at drawing symmetrically, I usually draw only half of the design, then I bend the paper lenghtwise and cut the folded paper.. and.. voilà, a perfectly symmetrical creature.

 

3 - Machine sewing
Start sewing from one side of the opening, and follow the
line all around the body.

For straight corners, sew all the way to the corner, make sure the needle is down (so the fabric stays in place) then raise the foot of the sewing machine, pivot the fabric around, lower the foot and start sewing again. Do some backstitches at the beginning and the end of the line, to secure the thread.

I usually leave the opening between the bottom legs, so it’s less noticeable if I mess it up. In this case, I felt very confident and left it open betweent the ears (and the legs were to close to each other, too).
4 - Machine sewing - done
Ok, so here he is, all sewn and ready to go.
I prefer to sew first and trim later, as I find it easier to move the fabric. This way you probably end up using a little bit more fabric, but not really that much in the end.
5 - Trimming
Trim off all the excess fabric, making some slits for sharp
corners and be extra careful with the pointy edges!
6 - Turning the fabric
Turn the fabric inside out through the opening.
Start from the smaller parts (ears, arms, etc) then turn the body.
Use a chopstick or something similar to help you with the smallest pieces and to push out the corners.

Be careful not to rip the fabric (even if felt is pretty sturdy).
7 - Filling (halfway)
Start filling  you creature, pushing the stuffing through
the opening.Stuff smaller parts first (legs, tails, arms, ears) until they’re stiff enough,then fill the body.

I usually don’t stuff it completely at this step, only a little so it’s easier to hold and sew, but the stuffing doesn’t get in the way.
… Half stuffed and ready to get a face.
8 - Making the face
Prepare the face pieces: two discs for the eyes, triangles
for nose and teeth, for example.
9 - Tracing the face
Trace the face on the monster. Try different expressions and layouts, until you’re satisfied. I love erasable markers!
10 - Pinning the face
Pin the felt pieces on your design. I guess you could
glue the pieces in place, but I never tried.
What kind of glue should one use, I wonder.
Would it hold?
11 - Sewing eyes and nose
Hand sew the pieces on the face. I use something that I think it’s called.. a vertical hemming stitch, you’ll find a short description here http://www.fiber-images.com
Everyhting (threads, stuffing) goes in and out through the opening.
When I’m done, I even secure the thread on the “trim” of the opening.
12 - Securing the thread
As you can see here. Maybe.. picture could be too small/blurry.. sorry!
13 - Embroidering the face
With embroidey thread, stitch the eyes and the mouth with backstitch or chainstitch, whatever you prefer.

As said before.. I’m a little lazy, so I tend to use one very long thread, to avoid having to cut, tie, secure it more times!
So I stitch one eye, go through to the other eye, then through to the mouth…
Ready! Almost…
14 - Additional decoration
I added a big heart as decoration, you can add whatever you like: flowers, letters, polkadots.. back and front..
there’ lots of space. Buttons, pockets..
 
The stitch is the same I used for the eyes and nose, but this time I used embroidery thread
in a contrasting color.
15 - Final stuffing
Finish stuffing your monster. Fill it until it’s as stiff or soft as you like it.
16 - Finishing up
With a sewing thread in matching color, close the opening.
I use a slipstitch (also called, I think, ladderstitch, you’ll find a definition on the same link as above) that gives an almost invisible stitch.

Secure the thread with some tiny tiny backstitches then pull the thread through the body, exiting a couple of inches away, then cut. This should keep the thread nicely inside
the body.
 

Ta daaa!  Here he is!

Have fun!

Nina