Despite being a little tubby, Doodles the Deer requires cozy accessories to stay warm during the winter. Doodles will make the perfect gift for a child, or anyone who appreciates plump, cuddly animals! Doodles can be made from new fabric or, for an eco-friendly plush toy, upcycled clothing or eco-friendly felt or fleece. I’ve made a video tutorial (this is the extended version, not the one from social media) as well as a step-by-step photo tutorial below for making Doodles.
The deer in the video tutorial was made with Kunin felt made from recycled plastic bottles, a misprinted shirt I salvaged from a local screen printer, a ripped pair of flannel pajamas, and a scrap of organic cotton fleece. I also made a Doodles with all organic knit fabrics (pictured below). You can see how the difference between the non-stretch plush felt and the stretchy organic fleece makes for an even fatter deer!
To make Doodles, you’ll need:
This pattern can be sewn with stretch or woven fabric, just don’t mix and match knits with wovens unless you know what you’re doing. There’s nothing more frustrating than having a sewing project turn out poorly because your chosen fabrics are a nightmare to work with. I recommend sewing with fabrics you have some experience with. If you want to use upcycled fabric for the deer body, I recommend using old cotton or cotton/poly hoodies/sweatpants or a woven fabric that isn’t too heavy or frays easily. For the socks, you want to use a medium weight stretch fabric (nothing too thin or overly stretchy like some t-shirts can be). Test a small pattern piece with any upcycled fabrics you are using. You want to ensure the needle does not leave holes on knits (with certain knit fabrics, you may need to use a ballpoint or stretch sewing needle and reinforce your straight stitch with a stretch stitch). With woven fabrics, you want to make sure the fabric does not fray up to stitchline when turned and stuffed. You may need to add additional seam allowance with some woven fabrics. Unfortunately, I can’t be there with you to help you select your fabrics. If you’re relatively new to sewing, I’d recommend using the same fabrics I did for the tutorial.
Line up arrows on pattern pieces with grainline/nap direction of fabric. Trace all pieces and transfer all markings. Note that the body and sock pieces have a 1/4″ seam allowance. It is easiest to trace the stitchline for the ears, legs, arms, and antlers, so those pattern pieces do not have a seam allowance added. If making the nose and eyes with felt, I recommend taping the pattern pieces directly to the felt and cutting them out (watch this video for a detailed tutorial).
Cut out body pieces. Stitch arms, legs, ears and antlers on folded fabric. Cut out, clip curves, and turn right side out.
Machine stitch or hand-stitch around nose 1/8″ from edge.
For the eyes, you can do the same, or you can use a satin stitch, safety eyes, or embroidered knot eyes like I used for the organic deer (here’s a video tutorial on embroidering eyes with a French or colonial knot).
For an added touch to felt eyes, you can embroider a single stitch with white thread or floss in both eyes.
Cut out socks. Fold 1/2″ hem at top of sock and press. Topstitch across sock hem 1/4″ from fold with a stretch stitch or narrow zig zag stitch. Lay sock pieces RIGHT sides together and stitch around U shape with a stretch or zig zag stitch. Trim seam allowance and turn right side out. Put socks on legs.
Stuff antlers. Stuff all the way to the ends to help hold the antlers upright. Stuff arms and legs about 2/3 of the way up.
Baste stitch ears 1/8″ from bottom edge. Fold in sides of ears to meet in middle. Baste stitch again across the bottom to hold in folded position.
Stitch body pieces RIGHT sides together around U shape, leaving the openings for arms, ears, and antlers.
Place the arms ears and antlers in position. (Make sure the inside of the ears are touching the body side with the face.) Stitch arms, ears, and antlers in place.
Position legs with the longer side of leg touching the outer seam on body. Stitch in place.
Hand baste the seam allowances of the opening on the bottom of the body. Clip all curves and corners.
Flip the body right side out. Run your hemostat clamps or chopstick along the inside seams to help open them up.
Stuff the body. As you can see in the video, Doodles can hold a lot of stuffing. Take extra care to stuff the corners of his bottom and the area around the opening.
Close with a ladder stitch (here’s a video tutorial on how to ladder stitch).
Depending on what fabric you’ve chosen and how well you have stuffed your deer, you may need to make a shorter or longer infinity scarf. The deer I made with the Kunin plush felt were 16″ around the area where the neck meets the body, and the deer I made with organic fleece was 20″ around. I made scarves with a circumference of 38″ after being sewn, and I was able to use them interchangeably between the thinner and fatter deer.
Press fabric, fold in half lengthwise with RIGHT sides together. Cut folded fabric to 5″ x 39.5″ (or shorter/longer to fit your deer).
Stitch along the raw edge of the long opening with a 5/8″ seam allowance (if using knits or woven fabrics that fray, stitch with a narrow zig zag stitch).
Reach hand through inside of tube, grab ends of opening and pull through to the other side until the seam allowance of both open ends match up. Stitch around open ends leaving a 3″ opening for turning.
Reach hemostat clamps inside scarf opening and pull scarf right side out. Fold raw edges in and ladder stitch opening closed.
This is a standard infinity scarf, for which there are dozens of awesome tutorials on the internet. If you find the scarf too difficult, you can also just flip the tube right side out, fold scarf in half widthwise, and stitch ends together. The ends won’t look as finished, but they’ll be on the back where they won’t be as noticeable. Doodles won’t mind 😉.
To double the infinity scarf over, slide the circular scarf over hands, holding the circle open with the back of your wrists. Twist scarf into a figure 8, and slide one end of the eight into the other. Pull doubled over scarf over your deer’s head and adjust so the tops of the arms are held down by the scarf.
You’re finished! I’d love to see your Doodles the Deer! You can join my facebook group for people sewing with Fluffmonger patterns or share your photos on social media with #fluffmongerpatterns.
Note: If Doodles is intended for a child, you may consider hand-stitching the socks and the scarf to the deer.
*These are affiliate links. I was not given any of the products used for this tutorial for free. I purchased them with my own money. If you make a purchase through one of my links with an asterisk (*), I get a small percentage of the sale. It’s not much, but it helps me keep making fun tutorials like this one!