Remember that toy dog you loved so much as a child? Here’s how to make one with a distinctively vintage feel – the perfect present

Donald

To make Donald the dachshund, you will need:

• 2.5cm-squared graph paper or access to a photocopier
• Tracing paper
• Sharp pencil
• Three 30 x 23cm pieces lavender felt
* 4cm squares of white and black felt
• 25 x 15cm rectangles of two coordinating patterned cotton fabrics – we used Pastel Patchwork fat quarters
• Fabric glue (optional)
• Black and white stranded cotton embroidery thread
• Washable toy stuffing
• Two snap fasteners
• Matching sewing threads
• Water-erasable pen
• Bodkin or safety pin

Making paper patterns

Following pattern diagram, copy the outlines, square by square on to graph paper. Or use a photocopier to enlarge diagram by 250%.

Trace patterns on to tracing paper, placing any folded pieces on folded tracing paper, matching fold lines against fold.

Mark arrows, dots and details on each piece. Cut out pattern pieces. Open folded patterns out flat.
Vintage dog toy

Cutting out

Ensure that arrows run in the same direction as the grain of the patterned fabric. Cut one pair of underbodies, one pair of dogs, four paws and one head gusset from lavender felt.

Cut two outer eyes from white felt and two inner eyes and one nose from black felt. (To make it easier to neatly cut out small felt shapes such as the outer and inner ears, smear one side of the felt with fabric glue first and leave to dry.)

Cut two pairs of ears from one patterned fabric. Cut one pair of coats and two 7 x 4cm rectangles for straps from the other patterned fabric.

Making the dog

1 Pin the underbodies together with right sides facing. Stitch A-B, taking a 4mm seam allowance, leaving a 10cm gap to turn through later.

Press the seam open. With wrong sides together, pin one half of the underbody to one dog. Stab stitch A-C, D-E and B-F. Repeat to join the other half of the underbody to the other dog.

2 Fold the paws lengthways in half and mark the position of the dots with a pin. With wrong sides facing, pin the paws to the legs, matching the dots to C and D on the front legs and E and F on the back legs.

Stab stitch the paws to the legs.

3 Stab stitch the dogs together A-G, wrong sides facing. Mark the position of H on both dogs with a pin.

With wrong sides together, pin one edge of the head gusset to one dog, stab stitch the head gusset to the dog G-H.

Repeat to stab stitch the other edge of the head gusset to the other dog. Pin the dogs together H-B, wrong sides facing.

Stab stitch H-B.

4 Stuff the dog firmly and slip stitch the gap closed. Pin the rounded edge of the nose to the head gusset, matching G.

Bring the V-shaped edges at either side of the nose together and pin to the dog. Oversew the nose to the head gusset and dog.

5 Pin the inner eyes to the outer eyes and oversew in position. Embroider a French knot at thedots on the eyes with three strands of white embroidery thread as a highlight.

Refer to the template to draw the mouth on either side of the dog with the water-erasable pen.

Embroider the mouth, using three strands of black embroidery thread, in stem stitch. Pin the eyes to either side of the dog.

Oversew the outer eyes to the dog.

6 Pin the ears together in pairs with right sides facing. Stitch the outer edges taking a 6mm seam allowance and leaving a gap on the straight edges to turn through.

Clip the corners and snip the curves. Turn the ears right side out and press flat. Slip stitch the gaps closed.

Pin ears to either side of the dog just behind the eyes with the straight edges facing forward. Sew the top of the ears along the stab stitching for 1cm.

Vintage dog toy

Making the coat

1 Fold the straps lengthways in half with right sides facing. Stitch the long edges taking a 6mm seam allowance.

Turn the straps right side out with a bodkin or safety pin. Turn in one end of both straps and slip stitch the ends closed.

Press the straps flat. Pin and tack the raw ends of the straps to the dots on one edge on the right side of one coat.

2 Pin the coats together with right sides facing. Stitch the outer edges, taking a 6mm seam allowance and leaving a gap on the straight edge to turn through.

Snip the curves and turn the coat right side out. Press the coat and slip stitch the gap closed.

3 Sew one section of a snap fastener to the right side at the ends of both straps. Lay the coat over the dog, slip the straps under the other edge of the coat and mark the position of the snap fasteners.

Sew the other snap fastener sections to the underside of the coat, taking care not to sew through to the outer side.

Fasten the coat on the dog.

How To Do Stab Stitch

Stab stitch is a running stitch where stitches are made one at a time. Pin the edges of the felt pieces level.

Use a double length of sewing thread and take a 3mm seam allowance. Bring the needle and thread to the top layer.

Insert the needle back through both layers 2mm to the right-hand side from where it first emerged.

Repeat to stitch the layers together, making 2mm long stitches and keeping the needle at a right angle to the felt.

Oversewing

Using a single length of embroidery thread, bring the needle to the right side 2mm in from the edge of the motif.

Insert the needle just outside the motif and bring it out on the motif 2mm from where it first emerged.

Repeat to stitch the motif to the layer of felt underneath.

Vintage dog toy