For the past two months I've been saving small scraps of fabric and thread that can't be used for any other projects in hopes of cutting down on my sewing waste. In looking for ways to use these scraps, I came up with a whale plushie design, and used the scraps as batting! Follow this video and/or written tutorial and free printable pattern to make your own, and encorporate scrap-saving into your sewing practice!
Around 5-6 handfuls of fabric scraps* or batting
1/4 yard medium weight woven fabric like cotton or linen
Two small buttons, preferably matching, for the eyes
Hand sewing needles
Whale Plushie pattern (below)
*Fabric scraps will be used as batting to stuff the plushie, so aim to use scraps that are too small to use for other projects as well as ends of threads that can not be reused to sew with. I got the idea for using scraps as batting from an Instagram friend, @lifeby.vivi, and be sure to check out her page for more sustainable sewing project ideas!
Step 1: cutting the fabric
Cut out the pattern pieces and lay them on your fabric folded in half with the "right" sides of the fabric facing in. Match the "align with fold" side of the Belly of the whale piece with the fold of the fabric, but keep the Side of the whale piece away from the fold so that it will come out as two separate pieces once cut.
Cut along the edges of the pattern pieces leaving no seam allowance, resulting in three pieces: two Sides of the whale, and one long Belly of the whale.
Step 2: sewing the face
This optional step is a cute addition to the final product! Trace a short "smile" onto the backside of the Side of the whale pieces with a pen/pencil/chalk, and, using a straight stitch, embroider a smile to roughly match the markings on the pattern piece.
Then, stitch on a button above the embroidered smile, roughly where it is on the pattern piece. For more on how to attach a button, follow this button tutorial.
Step 3: sewing it all together
Pin one Side of the whale piece to one edge of the Belly of the whale piece, starting by matching the tail-end of the Side of the whale piece to the base of the "tail fins" on the Belly of the whale. Contine to pin the bottom edge of the Side of the whale to the edge of the Belly of the whale, keeping the pieces connected edge-to-edge.
Continue pinning the edges of the Side of the whale piece to the Belly of the whale, turning the belly piece to stay in-line with the side piece until you've pinned all sides of the Side piece.
Repeat on the other side of the Belly of the whale with the second Side of the whale, but ths time, leave 3 inches open on the bottom edge so that you can turn the whale right-side-out and stuff it after sewing.
Moving to the tail of the whale, pin the two layers of the tail together so that the edges match up, and sew them together. Begin sewing right before where the seams from the side pieces end to ensure that you don't end up with holes between the side pieces and the tail.
Step 4: stuffing the whale
Using the 3 inch gap we left on the bottom edge of one side, turn the whale right-side-out. Use a pin to pull out the corners of the tail, and iron the sides to crease them as necessary.
Using the fabric scrap batting, fill the whale until firm, being sure to stuff the tail first.
Once you are content with how full the whale is, stitch the opening closed, keeping the raw edges of the fabric folded in so they aren't visible.