I started making a few fabric balls for my toddler as he's reached that "lets chuck everything around the house to wind up my mum, stage" and I needed something safe and appropriate to use for indoor football practice.http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll222/seamlessgem/crafts/0082.jpg
When I'd made a few, an idea started to come together in my head and soon the simple ball pattern began to elongate and legs appeared.http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll222/seamlessgem/crafts/0092.jpg
With a wee bit more tweaking and some chunky textured velvet, my octopus was fully formed and ready to meet his public! http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll222/seamlessgem/crafts/0102.jpghttp://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll222/seamlessgem/crafts/0143.jpghttp://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll222/seamlessgem/crafts/0112.jpg
Except for a few sock monkeys,this was my first soft toy animal and I'm really happy with it.
I'm especially happy about how the pattern just kind of happened!
Here's a picture of the paper patterns I used for the balls and the octopus.http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll222/seamlessgem/crafts/octopattern.jpg
I suggest that you try putting together a ball first, it's good practice for getting mr octo's head right:
Cut 8 shapes, sew together in pairs then sew the resulting ball quarters together so you get two halves then sew these together leaving a gap to turn it right side out and stuff. I found doing it in this order made it easier to get the points to meet neatly at either end.
The octopus top can be pieced in a similar way, but only join the pieces together as far as the wide centre point leaving the righthand sides (roughly marked with yellow dots- a bit to small to see on the photo... sorry) free as these form the tentacles.
The undersides need to be stitched together along the short left hand triangular shaped bit(marked with purple dots - you can see them if you zoom in) so they fan out into a star shape. leave the final join unsewn to give you a hole to turn him right side out through. Pin the underside of the tentacles to the tops and stitch together. turn right side out through the gap in his underside. it took me a lot of time and poking about with a knitting needle to get his tentacles right. Stuff the head and tentacles firmly but don't put too much in the flat skirt shaped part of his body. sew up the hole in his underneath and quilt in triangles between his tentacles to give the webbed effect.
His eyes were just circles of white fabric I sewed with a running stitch, then pulled up to make a little pouch which I stuffed and sewed shut then hand stitched on eyelids made of the body fabric and slot like octopus pupils made of black felt.
Sorry I couldn't find the time to do a more detailed tute with pictures, but I'm up to my neck with work all to be finished by Christmas!