23.7.12

Make a hedgehog pincushion - tutorial


I love hedgehogs.  I would consider moving to New Zealand just so that I could have them living in my yard, even though I hear that they can be a real nuisance.  Oh, but they are so cute!  And to be able to say hedgehogs live at the bottom of your garden would be a rather amazing thing to say, as if you lived in a children's story book.  They are certainly a nicer looking than the snotty slugs and fuzzy-fat-goo-squirting caterpillars I keep accidentally stepping on in my own garden.  Blerk.

I remember my mother making me one of these when I was very young and just beginning to sew.  It's a perfect addition to a youngsters first sewing kit.  The faux fur does a great job of emulating a hedgehog's spines, but you don't have to use fur.  Maybe a fun printed cotton or some towelling.  Of course, she won't look as prickly, but you'll just have to stick more pins in her!

What you need:

- 20cm square (or equivalent measure) of fabric (we'll call this 'fabric 1') for head, belly and ears.  I used a woollen fabric which, although looks great all finished, was an absolute SOD to work with on such a small scale.  Lots of fraying.  If you have some about  and you also have the patience of a saint, by all means, use it.  A strong cotton or linen would be less taxing on the nerves.

- 20cm square of fabric (fabric 2) for the back.  As mentioned faux fur is great, but towelling or cotton is fine, too.

- Sewing needle and strong thread.  The smaller ear pieces and some of the curves are best tackled with hand sewing.

- Polyfill stuffing.

- 2 black seed beads for eyes.

- 50cm black embroidery thread or perle cotton for embroidering nose.  Or you could use a bead or tiny pompom instead.

- Embroidery needle for embroidering nose.

- Optional ribbon for bow.


What you do:

Print out the pattern sheet and cut out the pieces (click on the image below to view full size image, then right click and save as a file, then print it).  On the head piece, mark the nose because it helps!  All pattern pieces include a 0.5 centimetre seam allowance.  

From fabric 1, cut one belly piece.  Fold remainder of fabric in half and cut two head pieces (that are a mirror image of each other) and four ears.


From fabric 2, cut 2 back pieces (again, that are a mirror image of each other).  *Important note - if using fur fabric or towelling, be sure to cut the piece with the nap (pile).  For more information about this, read this.




With right sides facing stitch ear pieces together (because these are so tiny, it's best to hand sew these with backstitch).  Carefully clip seams, turn and press.


Pinch a pleat in the ears as shown, and securing with a few stitches.


Place ears on body pieces about halfway up edge with pleats facing upwards.  Baste securely.


Place one head piece and one body piece right sides together, and stitch, making sure you catch that ear in nice and tight.  Give it a very light press from the back (if using fur, pressing will flatten the pile, but you can brush it up again with your fingers.)


 Do the same with the other head and body piece to give you a mirror image.  Ta-daa!


 Now, place the two piece together and pin.  If using fur, comb it as best you can away from the edge so you don't sew too much of it in the seam (see the above link again for tips on how to sew fur).  Stitch from the back end all the way to the tip of the nose.  Clip carefully, and turn out, and carefully comb out any fur that may have been caught in the seam.


Time to sew on the belly!  Remembering that the pointy end of the belly piece meets the nose, place body and belly pieces with the wrong sides together, pin and stitch, leaving a gap open at the rear end (about a half inch either side of the back seam) so she can be stuffed.  You may wish to hand-sew the tricky bits around the nose (although I had no trouble; it doesn't have to be absolutely perfect - embroidering the nose will help hide any minor hiccups!)



Again, clip seams and carefully turn out.



Stuff firmly with polyfill, paying special attention to the nose, (something long, thin and blunt will help here too) and the face area in general.  Shape your hedgehog gently in your hands to flatten the bottom so she doesn't roll about too much.


When you're happy with your stuffing job, it's time to sew her up.  The belly piece left open at the back can get a bit flappy, so take your needle and thread and hand-gather along the seam line, and pull gently on the thread, drawing up the fabric until the belly and back opening edges are a pretty good match in size.  Turn in edges of the belly and back pieces and sew the seam shut with a close ladder stitch.




For the face, thread up your embroidery needle with your black embroidery thread.  Tie a knot in the loose end.  Enter your needle through the tip of the nose and out through the face into the position of where you want the first eye to be sewn.  Thread the first bead on and slide it down the thread, then the needle re-enters the head at the point of the first eye position and exits on the other side in the second eye position.

(Tip! If  you place the eyes to close together, your hedgehog will look more like  a hairy rat.  Things look cuter and more gormless when their eyes are place further away from each other.  That's not to say hedgehogs are gormless, but they definitely aren't shifty looking either, even though they may well be sneaky creatures).  Thread the second bead on and slide it down the thread.  Pass the needle through the head again back to the other eye and through it's hole again, pulling the thread slightly to indent the eyes.  Pass the needle back and forth a few times between the eyes, making sure they are secure.



When you're finished with the eyes, bring the needle back out through the nose.  Cut the tail hanging from the nose (but leave the knot!)  To make the nose, embroider a few very small satin stitches around the knot left on the nose.  When you're happy with her nose, cut the thread and you're done!


You can then fancy her up with a cute little bow if you like, or embellish her in any other way you might think of.   She would make a lovely wrist-band type of pincushion if you sewed her to a band of elastic to fit your wrist, making her look like she's taking a stroll up your arm.  Oh, and don't forget to stick some pins in her bottom.


Although she's very handy as a pin cushion in mini-size, you could try enlarging the pattern and making a larger hedgehog as a toy or a decorative cushion for a child's (or adult's) bed.  Not as handy, nor mini, but she would still look very cute.

Awwwww.  I'm sorry I called you gormless.

53 comments:

  1. oh gosh!!! this is so cute my eyes are about to fall out of my head.

    Do you find that it's very rolly on your table? Or is it easy to keep track of?

    I think I would have to make it a stuffy-- I'd feel terrible poking pins in something that adorable.

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    1. Palak, I hope your eyeballs have remained intact! To answer your question, I don't find her too rolly (I gave her belly a nice massage to make it nice and flat!) When stuffing her up, you could perhaps include something small and flat and weighty to hold her down if you thing she might roll about. My little lady is just fine, though.

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  2. What a cute hedgehoge! It's absolutelly lovely :)

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  3. This is sooo cute! Thanks very much for the details!
    With my best wishes: Maminti, the little green fairy

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  4. I have just come over from Craftgossip for the tutorial, love it and have enjoyed looking through your blog too.

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  5. This has to be one of the cutest in cushions I have ever seen. I ADORE it!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

    I hope you will consider uploading a photo of it into my new website - SewSet. SewSet is an on-line sewing pattern / tutorial search engine, and I would be honored if you would share this so others would be able to find this as well!

    Thanks so much!
    - Jess, SewSet.com & MeSewCrazy.com

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    1. Thanks Jess, have checked out both your sites and joined up! Many thanks!

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    2. Thank you Lainie! I just adore this hedgehog so much, I just may need to make one. Seriously though, so cute.

      I featured it as one of today's top patterns!

      Thanks again!
      - Jess

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  6. This is ADORABLE! As always, super impressed!

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  7. I am a very practical sewer, so I rarely have time for little stuffed cuties, but this one certainly caught my eye, and it's practical! Very cute and tutorial easy to follow. Thanks!

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  8. This is ever so cute! Thank you for the tutorial!

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  9. Thanks so much for all your lovely comments - I'm so glad you like her!

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  10. What a gorgeous pin cushion, I will be making a few I think..
    Alison
    x
    now following

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  11. That is the cutest thing ever!!! Gotta get me some fur! Thank you for the tutorial.
    Olga

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  12. Awwww I love this little guy!

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  13. Dear Lanie,
    I just popped over from Totally Tutorials (oh, and from Cape Cod, Massachusetts!), and have already added you to my RSS feed -- love your blog.

    Even though I live on a peninsula where everything is ocean and beach-themed, I have a woodlands Christmas tree which reminds me of my New England childhood a hundred miles from here in Northern Massachusetts. Your little hedgehog will be joining my deer, fox and other forest creatures this Christmas.
    A big thank you wave from over here on the Atlantic coast,
    Judith Ann

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  14. This is so stinking cute! Thank you so much for posting this.

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  15. there aren't words to describe the cuteness of this adorable thing!!! I can't wait to make this - thank you so much xxx

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  16. So cute hedgehog. I loved the tutorial...

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  17. I plan to make one today, and fill with sand, it will sharpen pins, and be weighty enough to stay in one place, thank you

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  18. oh how sweet! Thanks for sharing

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  19. Thanks for this! Too cute! I've just finished mine, not half as cute as yours but I'm still pretty fond of him. :) http://beinginspired-blog.blogspot.ie/2012/09/hedgehog-pin-cushion.html

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  20. This is just too adorable. I think this will make the perfect Christmas present for my sewing buddies. Thanks for the tutorial!

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  21. Grazie molte per il tutorial.
    Questo riccio è semplicemente stupendo!

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  22. I do have hedgehogs in the garden here in New Zealand. Don't mind them as long as the cats stay away.

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  23. Here you can find my version: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=495597630474909&set=a.401233173244689.101111.121406227894053&type=1&theater
    It is a fun little proyect, and finally I've got a super cute pin cushion!

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  24. Hello!
    I work with Kristin on the Sew,Mama,Sew! blog (http://www.sewmamasew.com/blog2). Each November we post a series of tutorials, gift suggestions, recipes, shop features and giveaways every day. Our 6th Annual Handmade Holidays series consists of a great assortment of ideas to make the holidays unique, fun and handmade.

    We'd like to use one picture from this tutorial. We will not publish your tutorial- just use one photo, a link to directly to your site and give you all of the credit, of course! Would this be OK? We respect the copyright of all crafters so all links and photos from blogs on our Handmade Holidays posts are used with permission. If you'd like to learn more about Handmade Holidays please see this compilation post from 2011: http://sewmamasew.com/blog2/2011/11/the-ultimate-handmade-holidays-list-2011/.
    Please let me know via email (irene@sewmamasew.com), and also feel free to include any relevant information you'd like me to post with the tutorial link.

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  25. Way too cute! I can't wait to make one!

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  26. Forget the girlfriends (saw this tutorial on Sew Mama Sew) ~ I want to make one for me!
    Thanks so much for this sweet hedgehog!

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  27. I love hedgehogs and used to have pet ones.

    But what does SOD stand for? is it good or bad?

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  28. Cute cute cute! I need to make this. I featured this on my Favorite Things Thursday post today. http://missloviecreations.blogspot.com/2013/01/my-favorite-things-thursday.html Come check it out and grab a button if you like!

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  29. Since the wool looks so nice, why don't you paint the back with matte medium or ModPodge to keep the edges from fraying? This is such a cute gift idea!

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  30. Oh my goodness!! That is so very, very cute! I love it!!

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  31. Thanks so much for this tutorial--your hedgehog is adorable, and it's a great, easy to follow pattern.

    You can see mine here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/76452380@N00/8489361067/in/photostream

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  32. Just found your pattern. It is SO SO adorable! Thanks so much for the adorable pattern. I will have to find some fabric to make one or maybe five.

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  33. Very sweet and very creative! Thanks for sharing.

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  34. Love him! I'm wondering if I could substitute felt for the wool as it is so much easier to work with, and doesn't fray.

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  35. This is so cute!!! I'm cleaning out my craft room and just found a ton of fake fur and was wondering what to use it on. I can either make one the size of a volkswagon beetle or a swarm of mini ones.....

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  36. Thanks for sharing

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  37. love it, i've been looking for something similar long time!! thanks so much for sharing :) Can't wait for trying do it!!

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  38. To good to be overlooked.Love the little hedgehog.Thanks Ria

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  39. Used it to make a great corduroy doorstop.

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  40. Found you on pinterest...this hedgehog is the cutest pincushion I've ever seen...LOVE it!

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  41. Очень красиво!!! Ежик замечательный!!!

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  42. Hi, i just finished making my first hedgehog. I thought your pattern would be a great introduction to fur fabric for me. He turned out fine and I had great fun and learnt a lot.

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  43. Oh, yes! I thought she'd be just too cute taking a stroll up a stitching friend's arm [attach elestic band], then I noticed you had the same thought. GMTA :D

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  44. Hi! Just wanted to stop by and tell you that I followed your tutorial and made two little hedgehogs! Although, I wanted them to be more of a cushion, so I made them twice as big. Still, they turned out really adorable! I posted them on my tumblr, they're in the link here.
    Anyway, thank you very much for the tutorial!

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