A New Friend – Smuggles the Otter!On March 16, 2016 by fluffmonger
With two handmade markets coming up, I wanted some new faces to display at my booth. Otters have always been on my list of favorite animals, so I took advantage of some free time over the past two weekends to work on a pattern for a stuffed otter.
When I’m coming up with a new animal character, I like to read facts about that type of animal to get ideas for its story line. Reading about otters was pretty entertaining.
Sea otters had the most fun facts. They can weigh up to 100 pounds, and they hold hands when sleeping to prevent drifting apart in the water. They also store their favorite rocks that they use as tools in a pocket they have under their arm. I initially thought about making a pocket on the otter’s body underneath the arm, but I really wanted to make a river otter. So I ended up only putting pockets on the sweater. Otters are also members of the weasel family, so that gave me a lot of inspiration for the personality of my otter character.
I often don’t sketch my ideas, but I felt inclined to make one this time around. I came up with Smuggles the otter:
While normally well-mannered, Smuggles the otter finds it hard to resist his weasel instincts to sneak treats when he’s out shopping. Otters often use their pockets for storing their favorite rocks, but Smuggles uses his for hiding snacks.
I struggled with whether to have the legs cut out from the side of the body. I went through a few prototypes before deciding the webbed feet emerging from beneath the otter’s belly looked the best.
I dyed organic cotton sherpa and hemp/organic cotton knit fabric for the body.
Smuggles is the first animal I’ve given whiskers. At first I didn’t think he needed them, but they really helped transform him from an odd looking weasel-bear into an otter.
For his pocketed sweater for hiding weasel snacks, I dyed hemp/organic cotton stretch knit fabric.
Smuggles is ready to waddle his way to a new home! You can find him here in my Etsy shop!
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Are you selling the pattern anywhere? I make stuffed toys for charity and these would be great snugglers for the children.
Hi, JulieAnn! I do not have an otter pattern for sale at the moment, but I plan to make one in the near future. That’s so kind of you to make stuffed toys for charity. I have a few free patterns that you are more than welcome to use for for your charity projects.
Like this otter! Hope it can come back soon.
Hi, Chen Liang! I don’t plan to make more for my shop, but I do take orders if you would like one made. Just send me an email through my contact page if you’re interested.
Do you have a Smuggles the Otter pattern for sale yet? If so, I am interested in purchasing one.
Hi, Nancy! I don’t, unfortunately. I do have Squeakers the Otter as a free pattern, though!
Hi Julie Ann. I am a cartoonist and I would like to design a cartoon beaver character for my comic strip. I was searching everywhere for an idea to make a stuffed animal out of her and your otter is the closest basic shape to what I wanted. Would you mind if I did something similar but just made my beaver shorter than your otter, and added white felt buckteeth and a dark-gray beaver tail abd gray webbed feet ? I will not imitate the jacket. Thanks. I am starting to make “Beaver” this evening and if you want to make sure our creations both stay original, I am more than happy to share pictures. I am trying to create a new email address for my comic strip, so if you want you can text me at (804) 874-1901, that is the best way to contact me. Also, you can email me temporarily at email@example.com if you prefer that. Happy to sharey creations with a fellow artist…if I have something you’d like to use I’d be happy to share that as well. Take care and have a nice day. ?
Hi, Brian! Congratulations on creating your comic strip! I appreciate you reaching out to me. Some of the plush characters I have created are characters in my children’s book or may become characters in my future books, which is why I would kindly request for you to not use my Smuggles the Otter design or elements from my design for your characters. I hope you can understand why I would not want other plush characters to look similar to plush characters I may have in my own books.
I do have a free otter pattern that can be used for making small quantities of toys by hand. I just ask that you credit me with a link to the pattern anywhere you post images of your plush. http://fluffmonger.net/2018/07/squeakers-the-otter-free-sewing-pattern-and-tutorial/
Please note that none of my patterns should be used for mass production. They are only intended for creating handmade toys in small quantities. Please let me know if you have any other questions, and thank you again for reaching out to me in advance.
I really want to make THIS otter. Last comment in 2018 suggested it may be available, but can’t see in the store. PLEASE!!!
Do you have any Smuggles the Otter pattern yet and would you sell the material required to complete him as well I would love ? to have him he is gorgeous ?❤️
Are you selling the pattern for Smuggles the otter yet I would love to make one for my daughter who is infatuated with otters
Hi, Helen! I don’t have a pattern for sale for that otter at the moment, just the free pattern for Squeakers. But I definitely hope to release another otter pattern in the future!
Hi! This is the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen! Please, please make a pattern for this?!
Omg I LOVE him! I saw sea otters at Vancouver aquarium and learned so much about them! They have the bite strength of a lion to eat those pesky shell fish. They have as much fur in the area of a finger print on their pelt as a whole human head. And as you say they keep much valued tools in their arm pit pockets. I love that you’ve made him a coat so he can have his cousins pocketses! Xx
I did not know they had the bite strength of a lion! That’s so neat you’ve seen them in Vancouver!
I’m in love with and obsessed with this otter. Looking forward to a pattern!
Thank you so much, Avery!