Can any dog lover resist watching dog shows on TV? The past few weeks have been dog show heaven: first, the Eukanuba Invitational, and just the other day, the Westminster Kennel Club show. It made me want to post a sweet doggie for you to make.
This cute little life-size dachshund from Runo Dollmaker fits the bill: there is a printable free pattern, and a photo tutorial to accompany it. You'll need sewing notions, several kinds of cloth and thread, stuffing, and eyes.
Please join me after the break for some tips on working with fake fur fabric, as well as a link to one crafter's absolutely precious hand-sewn success.
Fake fur fabric will hide most sloppy hand-stitching, but you should expect fuzz -- a lot of it -- to fall off of the edges when you're cutting the fabric. You'll want to be careful about the direction of the fur, making sure it falls naturally.
It's helpful to trim down the fur's pile around seam allowances. Scissors will work, but electric clippers -- the kind used to groom real dogs and shave heads -- are faster and give more consistent results. You'll also be trimming long fur, if any, from around the dog's face and paws when you're finished stitching it up.
The fact that the pattern is designed to be printed out on A4 paper will present a minor problem for some people. A4 is a metric paper size, used around the world, that is slightly longer and narrower than the 8.5"x11" letter size that's standard in the US.
The size differences in question are fractions of an inch, though, so try printing on letter-size paper anyway. You can eyeball the pattern to make sure it's the correct scale, making sure nothing has been cut off on the edges, and drawing it back in if necessary.
A while ago, Craftster's Mermaide used this pattern to make an adorable blue plush pup. She recycled a low-pile plush fabric that would have been easier to work with than the fabric that Runo used for the original, and even gave her dog a heart. (This pattern would be a great re-use for a baby's favorite blanket or another meaningful snuggly fabric.)
Runo herself has used variations on this pattern to make all sorts of dogs, like a Borzoi, a Border Collie, and a Papillon.