The Little Felt Bunny is a small stuffed animal, which began as a play companion that I made for my daughter some years ago. I was inspired to make a bunny because we were reading Watership Down by Richard Adams at the time. (It is a beautiful book, by the way!)
I always begin the process of designing a new creation by making sketches. Sometimes, after making a few sketches and finding that I cannot yet capture what I have in mind, I will put aside the design for a few weeks or months while I slowly consider the best way to make my mental image into a reality.
Next, I make three-dimensional paper models. Transforming a two-dimensional sketch into a three-dimensional model is a process that I find fascinating. Although paper is not as flexible as felt or fabric, seeing the paper animal in three dimensions for the first time is still quite exciting. At this stage, I have to fine tune the creature’s angles, proportions, curves, … .
More adjustments are necessary when I make the animal with felt or fabric. In the photo above, you can see three creatures, which I made while fine-tuning the bunny’s body shape. The first bunny (on the left in white) had a nose that was a little too flat and it leaned forward a bit too far. Next, I made the brown bunny. Its nose was much better shaped, but it still did not sit right. After some more trial and error, I came up with the final design for a bunny that sat upright with its back nicely curved in a rabbit-like manner. (The final design is the moss green bunny on the right, in case you could not tell!).
After settling on the Little Felt Bunny’s body shape, I wanted to add those big round beady eyes that rabbits have. So I decided to make its eyes from very round and large french knots. Once an eye is sewn on, the piece of felt no longer feels like a mere piece of felt! I have read that our brains are tuned to recognize faces by identifying the eyes first. So, that must hold true even with eyes that are made of thread!
Hand-sewing is a slow process, but I find it very peaceful and less intense than machine-sewing. In short, it is a great pastime. Plus, handmade stuffed animals make special gifts.
The patterns and the step-by-step instructions you will need to make a Little Felt Bunny of your own are available from Muumade.esty.com. You can also click on any of the above photos to go to the item page to download the instructions instantly upon purchase.
If you would like to see more photos of the Little Felt Bunnies, please visit my blog page.