Quick-to-sew soft little critters make perfect playmates for baby. These two softies (along with six others) are easy to make from a fabric panel. Fabric is from the Urban Zoologie by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman Fabrics.

Project design: Erica Jackman


The materials given are for eight animal softies. Instructions are for making one.

  • One panel (makes 8 animal softies)
  • 8--9" squares assorted prints or 2--18x22" pieces (fat quarters) for backing
  • Polyester fiberfill
  • Water-soluble marking pen
  • Chopstick (optional)

Finished hippo: about 8x4"

Measurements include 1/4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.


Assemble the Softie

1. Cut out animal print along printed border. With a water-soluble marking pen, draw a line around animal shape about 1/2" from outer edges.


2. With wrong sides together, layer and pin marked animal print and 9" backing square. Cut out layers on marked line.


3. Pin cut shapes with right sides together (printed sides). Using a water-soluble marker, mark a 2" opening along one edge of animal shape.


4. Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew around shape, leaving marked opening free. Clip around curved edges.


5. Turn right side out. Stuff hippo shape with fiberfill, using a chopstick to pack filling into small areas. TIP: Using small "tufts" of polyester makes a smoother finished stuffed softie.


6. Fold unstitched seam allowances to inside; pin in place. Using a needle and thread, stitch opening closed to complete animal softie.