A little boy once had an obsession with diggers. His mummy, an obsession with creating. One met the other, and the digger softie was born! After a couple of requests, I have typed up a basic outline of how I went from vague idea to finished softie. The pattern and process is all my own design, please do not reproduce this tutorial, or use it to create softies for sale without permission. Thanks!
MATERIALS: Small amount of fabric for sides (where I used spotted flannel) – one fat quarter would get the sides for at least two softies, but I just used scraps; small but long piece of fabric for middle (where I used orange/purple) – again, I only used fat quarters; thread; sewing machine; printer for pattern; hand sewing needle; pins; scissors; healthy sense of adventure.
METHOD (or lack thereof):
1) print the pattern below at A4 size.
2) cut out paper patterns and lay on a double layer of fabric, right sides together.
3) pin to fabric, and cut out fabric – add your preferred seam allowance as you cut. This should give you two large digger pieces and two small scoop pieces.
4) cut a 4.5″ wide strip of fabric that will be used to join the two halves together. I only had a fat quarter of the orange fabric I wanted to use, so on one end I attached a 4.5×2.5″ peice of purple to form the windscreen.
5) Press the first 1/4″ inch of fabric of the strip under the rest, so you have a small segment right sides together. As I was adding a windscreen, I pressed under the purple end. Pin this folded end in place on one side piece. – for my digger, it was where the bottom of the windscreen would sit. Add a second pin approximately 1/2″ up from the first tog et your starting alignment right. This is the only pinning I did.
6) SEWING – I just fed the strip of fabric in with one hand, and slowly worked my way around the digger shape. As the corner curves were quite gentle, I could ease my fabric around, and didn’t get too many gathers, but didn’t worry if there were some. I slowly worked around, and overlapped the strip at the starting point by around 1/2 – 1″. I then zig-zagged around the edges.
7) Trim any excess from the 4.5″ strip.
8 ) Line up the second side piece, and pin the top and bottom of the windscreen. Attach the second side as per step 6.
9) Clip the corner at the bottom of the windscreen, and turn the digger right side in.
10) Add stuffing, and stitch the bottom of the windscreen closed. (NB – If you aren’t adding a windscreen, you could put the starting point, and hence the seam, at the bottom of your digger if preferred.)
10a) Yet to be done on my version, but I intend to use some black embroidery cotton and chain stitch around the window, and add some wipers as well. Possibly a couple of black buttons for wheels, and some vlisofix and spare fabric to add windows. One day. Embellish your digger as you see fit!
11) – Construct the scoop in the same manner, creating the closure seam at the back.
12) Stitch the scoop to the digger, fixing firmly. The first thing my not-quite-two-year-old did was attempt to remove the scoop!
13) Blog your softie and add a comment to this post so I can come find it!
I hope this tutorial is easy enough to understand. I did it as simply and as lazily as I could, hence the lack of pinning etc. I just kind of worked by feel, and didn’t pressure myself to make it perfect. It’s just a cuddle toy for my little boy, and he’s not too fussy about gathers in corners or if the windscreen didn’t line up quite right. I hope your children enjoy their digger as much as little Chubba Bubba does his.
Next on the softie list, an aeroplane!