Dog sewing pattern tutorial
Darcy Dog has a cheerful face, with a lovely smile and big eyes, big floppy spaniel ears, and a tail that’s ready to wag. He is sitting down, and his back and front legs are stitched in so no need to sew tricky joints. If you are making him as a keepsake the ears have plenty of room to embroider names and dates on
I am a very experienced keepsake maker. I have shared all of my knowledge and techniques in the photo tutorial that comes with this pattern to help you sew a really beautiful professional standard dog keepsake or soft toy
This is the tutorial to go with the Darcy Dog sewing pattern, to buy my Darcy Dog sewing pattern click here
Before you start
1st tape together the 2 pieces of your dog’s body (the back body and the front body), and do the same for the 2 pieces of your dog’s under panel (the chin end and the stomach end)
All seam allowances are 5mm
There is a 5cm scale on the page with the dog’s back body to check your pattern has printed out the correct size.
Ensure you start and finish every line of stitches with a few reverse stitches to secure
The back legs draw out / cut out 2, 1 of which is reversed with the arch shaped hole cut out, then draw out / cut out 2 without the hole, 1 of which is reversed.
To strengthen your keepsakes / soft toys, give them a smooth appearance and stop them stretching when they are stuffed, I would recommend you always interface your fabric. To do this draw round your templates onto your interfacing. If you intend to make the pattern more than once, it’s a good idea to glue the pattern pieces onto thin cardboard first.
Follow the directions for how many pieces you need and whether any are reversed. Cut out your interfacing with a margin around each piece, iron onto the reverse of your fabric and cut out neatly.
(I wanted to use the seam effect from the denim so I ironed my interfacing across the seam).
Fabric: 1/2 m will make the whole dog
I made the chest, chin and paws from pink fabric measuring 20 cm x 40 cm
And the ears and tail from fleece measuring 30 cm x 30 cm
For the collar a rectangle measuring 38cm x 8cm (15” x 3”)
Or: If you are using this pattern to make a baby clothes keepsake you will need 8-10 baby grows or an equivalent amount of clothing, or for an adult clothes keepsake 1 medium short sleeve t-shirt or an equivalent amount of clothing.
Iron on fleece: for the ears and tail 30 cm x 30 cm
Interfacing: medium weight iron on woven cotton interfacing, I use this one
Eyes: 18mm craft eyes
Wool felt: 2 square inches to make the nose
Embroidery floss: 20” to sew the smile
Tracing paper or baking paper: 11cm x 5 cm to make the smile template
Toy stuffing: 500g
A stuffing tool: a plastic chopstick, or something similar that is long with a blunt end, to insert the stuffing and push it into all the corners
Plus: pins, cotton thread that matches your fabric, hand sewing needles, scissors regular size and large, plus pinking shears if you have them
Dog sewing pattern tutorial
Check you have taped together the 2 pieces of your dog’s body, and do the same for the 2 pieces of your dog’s chest
1 – Drawing around the ear insert pattern piece twice onto your iron on fleece. Then cut out neatly
2 – Place the ear inserts so that they sit against the contours of the base and sides of the inner ears on the wrong side of the fabric. There will be approximately 2cm of the top of the ear uncovered by the fleece. Iron the fleece on.
3 – Next put the ears into pairs, right sides of the fabric together. Sew from A around to B as shown by the dotted line. Leave the top of the ear open. You will be able to sew more easily if the ears piece with the fleece on is uppermost as if it is against the sewing machine it can get caught in the feed dogs.
4 – Snip the curves of your ears or cut around with your pinking shears – be careful not to snip through the line of your stitches.
5 – Turn your ears through so the right side of the fabric is showing. Run your stuffing tool all around the inside of the ear to make sure it’s a nice smooth shape. Top stitch around from A to B
1 – Put the 2 marks on either side of the forehead piece and add the ● and the *. Also put the ● and the * on each jaw piece.
2 – Tack one ear onto the forehead between the ear placement marks, so the edge of the ear is against the edge of the forehead marked ear seam. Ensure the outer ear fabric is against the right side of the forehead. Use little stitches that will be hidden within the seam allowance.
3 – Next pin the jaw piece to the ear and forehead that you have just tacked together, so that the right side of the jaw fabric is against the inner ear fabric, the ear will be sandwiched between the forehead and jaw. The ● of the forehead will be against the ● of the jaw and the * against * the *. Sew from ● to *
4 – Then repeat for the other ear and jaw piece. Snip the excess fabric away from point ● and point *
5 – Sew the 2 face pieces together right side to right side from C to D as shown by the dotted line. Trim the excess fabric from point C and point D, then snip the curves.
6 – Pin the G of the face to the H of the jaw, on either side with the right sides of fabrics together. And pin the central seam at C to the central point of the forehead. Pin all the way around and then sew from GH to C to GH. Snip the excess fabric away from the seam allowance at points GH.
7 – Sew the neck piece from I to K as shown by the dotted line, snip the excess fabric away from point K
8 – Pin the neck piece to the jaw / forehead piece. Pin point L to point M, and pin point K to the center point of the forehead. Pin all the way around and then sew from LM to K to LM. Snip the excess fabric away from the seam allowance at points LM.
9 – Next insert the craft eyes.
10 – Pin the central point of the chin to the face at point D, right sides of fabric together
Pin point O of the chin to point ML of the jaw, the pin all the way around from O to the central seam to O the other side. Sew, then snip the excess fabric away from the point O’s.
11 – Turn your dog’s head so the right side of the fabric is on the outside. Your dog’s head is complete
1 – Drawing once around the tail piece onto your iron on fleece. Then cut out neatly.
Iron the fleece onto the wrong side of one of the tail pieces.
2 – Next put the 2 tail pieces together right sides of the fabric together. Sew from O to P as shown by the dotted line. Turn the tail through so the right side of the fabric is on the outside.
Sewing the body
1 – Pin one of the back leg pieces with a hole to one of the body pieces, right side of fabric to right side so the arch shapes are lined up, one sitting exactly over the other. Pin round the arch, with the toes facing the same direction as the toes of the front leg. Sew all the way around the arch, make sure there is no gap in your line of stitches as this will cause problems later when stuffing.
2 – then clip the curve.
3 – Repeat for the other leg piece with hole / body panel
4 – Fold the leg out of the way of the back seam and pin the tail between the 2 markers as shown on the pattern. Pin the tail so it points towards the front legs, and the curve at the end is on the top side. Tack the tail into position – place the stitches near the raw edge so they will be inside the seam allowance
5 – Pin the back pieces together from R to Q and sew. Snip the excess seam allowance from point R
1 – Pin the dart with the fabric right side to right. Sew from the edge of the fabric at the bottom of the leg along the dart and do some reverse stitches to secure.
2 – Repeat for the dart on the front leg of the other body piece and for the 2 inside leg pieces.
1 – Pin the first inside leg to the under panel so the toes point towards the chin seam.
2 – Sew then clip the curves. Repeat for the other leg
3 – Pin the center point S of the under panel to the seam end at point R of the back – right sides of fabric together
4 – Pin the bottom of one inside leg heel to the heel of the body, pin all the way from the heel one side round to center point S. Ease the fabric around so it is evenly distributed, be especially careful not to have a lack of fabric in the ‘armpit’ as this area is under strain when your dog is stuffed.
5 – Sew from the heel to point S then take out the pins and pin and sew from S to the other heel. I recommend sewing this as two different sections as otherwise the curve around point S is awkward. Snip the excess fabric away from the heels
6 – Pin the inside leg toe to the toe of the body piece, and pin the under panel at point T to the body at point U. Pin all the way from the toe to point TU. Then sew. Snip the excess fabric away from the toe and point TU. Repeat for the other leg.
1 – Pin the heel of one leg to the heel center point of one paw piece.
Pin the toe of that leg to the toe of that paw piece. Pin all the way around the paw. Ensure the fabric is evenly distributed all the way around. To get an extra neat paw pad put your first row of pins from the pad through to the leg, And then add a second row of pins in between the first pinning from the leg through to the pad.
Sew all the way around the paw with the paw flat against the sewing machine. Then clip all the way around the paw/trim with pinking shears.
Completing the back legs
1 – Pull one of the back leg with the hole’s fabric through the hole from the right side of the body through to the wrong side
2 – Next pin the back leg piece without the hole to the back leg piece with the hole, right side to right side.
3 – Sew from point V to W as shown by the dotted line. Clip the seams on the curves. Especially snip into the V shaped area so it does not pucker when turned through and stuffed. snip the excess fabric from the seam allowance at point V and W Also put some snips in the faintly curved area directly below the V, it will make a big difference when you stuff the leg.
4 – Fold the toe of the leg piece together so the seams of V and W touch. Sew around the toe end. Clip the curves.
5 – Repeat for the other leg
Put the head onto the body
1 – Sew a line of guide stitches 5mm from the raw edge of the fabric on either side of the back from X to Y (this line does not sew the 2 sides together it is to help you when you ladder stitch your dog closed.
2 – Ensure the dog’s body has the wrong side of the fabric facing outwards.
3 – Check your dog’s head has the right side of the fabric on the outside. Put the head inside the body so the chin seam lines up with the under panel seam and the opening at the back of the head lines up with the open back. Pin Y to X on either side, the chin is the same width as the under panel so pin O to T either side. (the right sides of the fabric will be together). Then pin all the way round and sew. Snip the excess fabric away from XY.
4 – Then turn the dog’s head through so it is inside out. Pin and sew the back of the head closed from I to Y, and pin and sew the back closed from Y to Q. Leave X to Y open as this is your turning and stuffing hole.
Turn your dog through the hole so that he or she is the right way out.
Turn the back legs out the right way. Stuff the legs first, stuff the back legs firmly with very small pieces of stuffing at least until you are past the very narrow area by the paw. Stuff the front paws firmly too making sure they are nicely rounded out. If you hold your dog on a flat surface like a table and push down onto the surface, it will give a better appearance.
Next stuff the head. Push plenty of stuffing into the nose so it is firm. Finally stuff the body. If you want a really firm dog, wait 24 hours then add more stuffing before ladder stitching closed.
Ladderstitch the body closed- see the blog post here for instructions on ladder stitching
Sew month and nose
1 – To create the nose and mouth. Trace the smile template from your pattern. Pin the tracing paper onto your dog so the central pin is at the junction of the chin and face seams and put a second pin directly above it into the seam. Smooth the paper upwards towards the end of the smile and pin one side, pushing pins through the smile line on the tracing paper into your dog at approx. 3mm intervals
2 – Pull the pinheads out a bit away from your dog’s face, so you can lift the paper up and see where the pin enters the fabric. Lean around the paper to push a pin directly (not through the paper) into the dog’s face at exactly the point where the first pin entered the dog’s face, take out the first pin. Repeat one at a time for all of the row of pins so your dog’s smile is marked out by pins, and the paper is removed. Check your pins are in a smooth curve, adjust a little if necessary
3 – Cut out your felt nose and pin into position on your dog check it is central and looks good.
4 – With your embroidery floss, lift the bottom edge of the dog’s nose and push your needle in so the end of the embroidery floss will be hidden by the nose felt, and come out by the first pin of the smile, pull the needle through leaving a tail of around 2 inches so you can tie off at the end. Stitch with back stich along the smile.
5 – If you push your needle in and out of the entry points marked by the pins it will stay neat.
6 – When complete take the needle and embroidery floss to the point where you originally started under the nose, and tie to secure. Snip off the excess embroidery thread.
7 – Whip stitch all the way round the nose in a matching thread to secure it onto your bear.
1 – Cut a rectangle of fabric 15” x 3”. Draw a line 3/4 inch from one end and fold the raw edge of the fabric to this line. Do the same the other end. Press with your iron to hold.
2 – Draw a line along the center of the fabric, fold the raw edges of the fabric into this line, press along the folds, then fold in half again so the raw edges are inside. Press and pin to hold and top stitch all the way along the open edge 5mm from the edge
3 – Put round your dog’s neck and secure with a couple of stitches. I have added a button for extra detail.
Your Darcy Dog is now complete!
Copyright terms and conditions
It is not permissible to make a copy of this sewing pattern except for your own use. It is not permissible to share this pattern either in person, by post or by email. It is not permissible to sell this sewing pattern or a copy of it on to another person.
It is permissible to sell an item that you have made from this pattern in small quantities – for example as keepsake bears and soft toys to sell through your in-person or online shop or at craft fairs. Please include the information that your keepsakes / soft toys are made with a pattern from Rachel Leggett at messystork.com in online descriptions and on Instagram please tag me at @rachel.at.messystork . It is permissible to add or remove a limited number of features to this pattern eg altering the ears / adding a tail etc, please then state in the description that your item is made with a pattern from messystork.com with added / altered etc. If you have any queries regarding this please email me at email@example.com
If you have enjoyed sewing Darcy Dog
and would like to try some of my other patterns, here are the links for some of my other tutorials
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