While randomly browsing online recently, my attention was drawn to a little graphic about how to make a plushy chipmunk from a retired glove. With so many winter gloves roaming around our house, I thought it could be a good idea to give Dexter a new toy and recycle my tatty mittens at the same time.
Forgive me because I don’t know where this image is originally from. If you do, let me know and I’ll add a credit. Anyway, this was the image that randomly popped up a few months ago, and I’ve been dying to do something with it ever since.
For the record, I know nothing about sewing, nor do I know how to follow a pattern. So everything I’ve done was just eyeballing and using (or possibly abusing) a needle and thread to get the effect I wanted. If you are knowledgable about sewing, you’ll probably be better at this than I am. As it is, as long as it works, I don’t really mind the approach.
The first step is to take your glove and turn it inside out. All the sewing should be done on the inside of the glove so that there will be neat seams when you turn it the right way around.
The next step is to cut out the shapes. I didn’t mark anything beforehand. I just took a pair of scissors and started cutting, based loosely on the infographic above. The main difference is that I shortened the tail to make it more bear like than chipmunk like. I also didn’t make the arms thinner than the legs, as it seemed a lot of extra work.
I then stuffed and sewed the head to the best of my ability.
Again, I’m not great at sewing, so it probably took a lot of unnecessary thread. I tried to keep it as neat as possible, and I think I did an okay job.
One note I would make is that here and on the body, I think I may have OVERstuffed them. The weave of the knit is very stretched because of all the stuffing I added.
I think next time I will add less and see what that looks like.
My big worry is that the thinner weave will mean it will be more likely a seam will rip more quickly.
Then we can go ahead and add the ears to the side of the head. This one was trickier than I’d imagined, and I found I needed to sew the bottoms closed before adding them to the head. But if you’re more experienced, I’m sure you can figure out how to do it more easily.
The other problem I had was that I seemed to keep getting knots in my thread, which meant that there were clumps of it behind the ears. I will be more careful in future.
I did the body in the same way as the head, stuffing it and then using my primitive sewing methods to close the top of the neck. I then attached the head to the body as best as I could. I ran into the same problem with clumps of knotted thread. This is an ongoing issue for me it seems!
The infographic suggested adding pipecleaners to the legs, which allows them to be adjustable. I did this for the bear (in the arms as well as legs), but I won’t do it in future. I don’t think it adds anything special, and in fact because of the thin weave, you can SEE the pipecleaner through the bear. But then again, maybe I did it wrong…
I attached the arms after stuffing them. As with the ears, I had to close them off before attaching, but I think it would have looked better if I could have figured out how to add them open.
For the final touches, I added a couple of buttons for eyes, a piece of black felt for the nose, and using the ribbing on the bottom of the glove, I fashioned a little scarf for the bear. This was great, as it covered up the shoddy job I did attaching his head to the body!
So the end result? My kid still prefers his toy truck, but he at least let the bear ride along!
I have half a dozen gloves laying around, so I may try this again soon, learning from the mistakes of this one. I’m thinking about trying a bunny rabbit for next time! Wish me luck!
And if you try this one out, please come and share your results! I’d love to see them!