2023 is the Chinese Year of the Rabbit.
So it seemed like the perfect time to design a rabbit softie pattern.
I love rabbits and I have been thinking for a long time, I really should create a little rabbit softie...and because art teachers keep writing to tell me how sewing softies with their classes, especially sewing zenkis which are by far the simplest funnest softies you can sew, relax and calm their students…and according to my source, rabbits in China symbolise, amongst other things, calmness and relaxation!
So here is my easy-to-sew zenki-style soft toy pattern for a rabbit.
I know yellow and blue aren’t natural colours for most of the rabbits we see hopping around, but Rabbit is a zenki, and the other zenkis I have made assured me that yellow and blue are perfect colours for a zenki rabbit…and Rabbit told me, post factum, that he was very pleased with my choices.
But your Rabbit might have different ideas, so choose whatever colours feel right. You can check with your own Rabbit after you’ve completed him.
Happy Year of the Rabbit, Trixi.
Supplies for your rabbit softie
Grey felt for nose
White felt for eyes
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How to sew your rabbit softie
Trace the templates for Rabbit and cut out as shown above. If you want perfect circles for the eyes, you can punch them out using a hollow punch. This video will show you other easy ways to cut out circles from felt.
Position and sew on each eye with a french knot as its pupil. Here is my simple video on how to make a french knot. I’ve used black thread but you can give Rabbit whatever coloured eyes you want.
Position and glue on Rabbit’s nose. I’ve made his mouth from three stitches. You can see how I do it by watching this video on making a wombat softie. The mouth stitch comes up at about 5:20 in the video.
Pin or clip the two sides of his body together. Use a running stitch to sew around his torso. Remember to leave an opening for stuffing as indicated in the template and shown above.
Ive used Aurifil’s Mako 12, multi coloured Marrakesh thread to sew around his body.
Fill the bottom half of Rabbit’s body with a granular weighting material.
A funnel is helpful. I’ve used uncooked rice grains as my weighting material. Have a look at this post on the best stuffing materials for softies to see other alternatives as well as one disadvantage of using rice as a weighting material.
Then fill the top half of his body with stuffing…
…and when you have stuffed him as much as you want, pin and sew the opening closed.
Glue on the pompom to create his tail.
Position and glue on the insides of his ears…and your little easy to sew rabbit soft toy is complete.
Very Important Note: Unlike ordinary run-of-the-mill softies, zenkis can feel a little hungry after they have been created, so you might like to give Rabbit something to eat. A little grass should do the trick, but of course, I don’t think he’d say no to a radish or carrot.