How do you sew a little felt panda? Well, it’s not as hard as you might imagine. And Little Panda’s not only cute and cuddly, he’s really simple to sew.
Little Panda goes back quite a while. The first panda softie I designed was for a student in my holiday workshops. She started coming as a 5 year old and continued until she was 11 or 12. She loved pandas and their antics and really wanted her own panda to sew. I designed an easy-to-sew panda softie. She fell in love with him straight away. So did the other kids in my workshop.
The important lesson I learnt from this was to ask my young students what they wanted to sew. When the workshop was off and running, with everyone sewing and little knots of conversation going on, I would send around a book where the kids could write down their wish-list softies or whatever it was they wanted to sew. Some of my favourite projects have come from that wish-list: my giant strawberry softie, my watermelon softie and of course, Little Panda.
Ask kids what they want and they’ll never disappoint. And they always have the best ideas. I’m very proud of Little Panda. He’s come with me a long way, silently waiting his turn in the background. He’s very patient. And I’m very proud that he’s leading the charge as the opening tutorial for Sew a Softie in July, 2020.
I hope you enjoy making Little Panda, but one warning: pandas get very, very hungry…so lots of bamboo in the pantry is a must!
What you need
10″ X 10″ black felt
8″ X 9″ white felt
Pins or sewing clips
Weighting material (rice)
Hole punch (optional)
What to do
Download the Panda_Template.
Trace the template for Little Panda’s back, eye patches, nose and chest marking onto the black felt and cut out as shown above.
Trace the template for Little Panda’s front onto the white felt and cut out.
I used a hole punch to punch out two eye circles from white felt. Alternatively, you can draw a circle with 1/4″ diameter for each eye on the white felt and cut them out.
Glue on the black eye patches, nose and chest marking.
I’ve sewn on the eye circles using a french knot for the pupils. Alternatively, you can glue them on and make the pupils by placing a soft lead pencil in the centre of each circle and twirling it gently around. This will leave a dark dot for the pupil without damaging the felt. Make sure the point of your pencil isn’t too sharp.
I’ve made the mouth using two stitches. Alternatively, you can make a simpler mouth using a single horizontal running stitch.
Pin the front and back of Little Panda together. Use a running stitch to sew around Little Panda as shown above. Remember to leave an opening at the top of his head as indicated on the template.
Use a funnel to fill the bottom third of Little Panda with rice. Then fill the rest of him with stuffing and sew the opening closed.
And by this time Little Panda will probably be boiling hungry so you should search for some juicy bamboo shoots. Hope you and your new little friend have lots of fun and adventures together.