Let's get started!
+ pattern (free download -- HERE!)
+ felt, fleece or minky fabric for the cloud - 10" x 14" (25.4 cm x 35.6 cm)
+ fabric scraps* for rainbow strips
+ fabric marker
+ embroidery thread
+ needle and thread
+ sewing machine
+ stick for turning
+ stuffing (I prefer Premium Poly-fil, as it's non-allergenic and made from recycled materials)
* You can also use ribbons cut to 8" (20.3 cm) lengths, or bias tape, or rick rack....
~ Seam allowance - 1/4" (.6 cm)
Print. . . .
~ Print and cut out pattern pieces. Be sure to print pattern at "actual size," and allow for printing outside printer area.
you can get the pdf pattern HERE
Prepare. . . .
~ Trace and cut out pattern from fabrics.
~ On one of the cloud pieces, mark the circles for the stuffing opening, and mark where you want the face features to go.
Embroider. . . .
~ On the right side of one of the cloud pieces, embroider your cloud's face. I used 6 stands of embroidery thread.
~ I backstitched the mouth and eye outlines, and filled the eyes with a satin stitch. Set aside for now.
Make the rainbow. . . .
~ Fold one strip of the rainbow's fabric in half lengthwise.
~ Stitch along that long edge, using a 1/4" seam allowance. . .
. . . and at the end, turn and sewing along the short edge. You'll now have a tube with one end open, and one end closed.
~ Clip the corners close to the stitching for nice, crisp corners.
~ Turn the tube right-side out, using your turning stick (I use a skinny paintbrush, since all of my turning sticks / chopsticks have somehow become little boy drumsticks or weapons.)
~ Repeat for the 5 remaining fabric strips.
Connect. . . .
~ Now take your embroidered cloud piece, and place the rainbow strips on the face, matching the raw edges of the strips with the bottom edge of the cloud.
~ Space them evenly if you like, leaving ~1" of cloud fabric on either side of the strips.
~ Pin the strips in place.
~ Sew the strips to the cloud, sewing very close to the edge. (~1/8")
~ Remove pins.
~ Now, fold the attached strips down, and pin them away from all other edges of the cloud. (This is so the strips don't get caught in the seams when we sew the cloud pieces together.)
~ Place the remaining cloud, right side down, on the cloud-and-strip assemblage.
~ Pin in place. Be sure to remember (and re-mark, if needed) the opening between the circles!
Sew. . . .
~ Sew the two cloud pieces together, starting at one circle (with a few reinforcing /back-and-forth stitches,) and stitching 1/4" from the edge.
~ Go slowly around the curves and pivot carefully at the indentations and corners.
~ Stop at the other circle, with a few reinforcing stitches here, too.
~ Stitch once more along the flat edge of the cloud, to reinforce the strips.
Clip. . . .
~ Clip notches inside the seam allowance along the curves, being careful not to clip the seam threads. Cut notches into the deeper cloud indentations, and clip the corners along the cloud's bottom edge. This will make all the difference in your cloud being bunchy and wrinkled, or smooth and properly puffy!
Turn. . . .
~ Reach inside -- carefully! -- and remove the pins from the strips.
~ Now, turn the cloud right-side out. Take your time, as it's a little bit of a squeeze to get it all out of the opening.
~ Run your turning stick gently along the inside of the cloud along the seams, pushing out stubborn corners and edges.
Stuff. . . .
~ Stuff your cloud with stuffing. I used a lot of poly-fil to make it firm, but you can have it as squishy or plump as you like. I meant to add a little core of lavender, but forgot... and that would have been a nice addition, I think!
Close. . . .
~ Pin the opening closed, making sure to tuck all the stuffing nicely inside.
~ Hand-stitch the opening closed with your needle and thread. I use a ladder stitch, as it's pretty much invisible, but any stitch you're comfortable with will do.
Knot. . . or not. . . .
~ You can knot the ends of the strips of you'd like. I think a teething baby would probably prefer it this way. Donovan didn't care one way or the other. He just wanted to roll around and chew on it. . . .
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, and please - if you have any questions at all, just ask! I'd love to hear what you think!
And the fine print stuff -- Feel free to make these for personal or charitable use. Please do not sell my pattern, or post it without permission. As with all toys, supervise your child during play, and look for signs of wear and tear.