A Friend for The Purl Bee: Purl Rabbit
Purl Rabbit is our first project for 2007! Rabbit arrived with a snappy outfit and lots of energy. We’ll be adding new clothes, toys, and friends for Rabbit in the coming weeks that we hope you’ll enjoy making with us.
Rabbit is a simple pleasure; just a bit of cotton stuffing, all-natural muslin and polished stitches. Purl Rabbit stands 12 inches tall from heel to head.
- one 1/2 yard of quilter’s muslin or another solid light weight cotton for the body
- machine sewing thread in a neutral color
- one or more balls of colorful embroidery thread for the face and feet
- hand sewing needle for attaching the ears
- embroidery needle for the face and feet
- cotton stuffing, which creates a soft, malleable body for your doll
Wash and press your fabric.
Cut the pattern pieces indicated on each sheet of the Purl Rabbit PDF.
Cut the fabric according to the notes for each pattern piece. Some pieces need to be cut two or four times; this can be done easily by folding the fabric in half and pinning the pattern piece through both folds.
Helpful Reminder: All seam allowances are 1/4-inch unless otherwise indicated. Seam allowances are included in each pattern piece.
Piece together the body parts, beginning with the arms.
Sew a seam around three sides of the arm.
Stuff arms to 90% capacity, or your desired firmness. Consider the weight of your doll, and how floppy or firm you want the limbs to be.
First, turn a 1/4-inch hem along the waist edge of each body piece and sew it into place.
With right sides together (so that the neat sides of the hems are touching), sew a 1/4-inch seam around the head and neck.
Lay one arm along the side seam of the body, between the front and back layers. Close the layers and pin the arm in place.
Sew the arm into place.
Repeat for the other arm; move the first arm out of the way of the seam to avoid sewing it.
Sew a seam the length of each side, reinforcing the arm seam.
Turn the body right side out and press it flat. Our rabbit is starting to shape up!
Sew a seam along the front of the leg, stopping at the toe. Sew a second seam along the back of the leg. There is an opening at the hip and another one at the toe.
Pull open the toe and press it flat so that the top seam is directly on top of the sole seam. The top and sole seams should be facing opposite directions so that they lay flat. Pinch the toe and secure it with a pin.
Sew a seam parallel to the cut edge of the toe, perpedicular to the top and sole seams.
Clip the curve of the foot to ease the fabric. Turn the leg inside out, press it, and fill it with stuffing.
Attach the legs to the body by pinning them between the front and back body pieces (where you created a 1/4-inch hem). Sew in place.
Layer two ear pieces together. Sew a seam around the edge of the rabbit ears. Trim the excess fabric at the point of the ear (try not to clip closer than 1/8-inch to the seam). Turn them right side out and press flat.
Fold the ears in half lengthwise and press them. Position the rabbit ears to your satisfaction. Droopy floppers or pert antenae?
Hand sew the ears, working around the outer edge. Take an extra stitch at the front edge of both sides of the ear.
Your doll’s face can express a whole range of personality with just a few stitches. Give your doll a laughing smile, arching eye brows, and of course, a nose to wiggle.
To embroider the feet, bring the needle up from the bottom of the foot, draw it through the top, and backstitch the bottom stitch before continuing to the second stitch.
At the top of the toe, repeat the back stitch as a long stitch. Bring the needle up 1/8-inch away from the first line of stitches to begin the second line. Repeat for the third line.