Since SHB's baby shower and nursery were marine-themed, I decided that making sea animal plushies/beanbags for his little baby friends was a doable undertaking that would be kind of on theme. Because Back to School Night was two days before his party (seriously, whose bright idea was it to have a birthday at such a busy time of year?!), I ended up staying up late the night before to make six of the simplest animal I could come up with: stingrays! No fiddly little flippers or fins or snouts, no appliques or weird pieces to insert. For a last minute project, it went fairly quickly and smoothly for once!
|Except for this guy: his eyes make him look especially derpy, and his mouth ended up too large and off-center...ah, the perils of being the experimental prototype!|
I didn't stop to take pictures while I was churning these guys out, so no tutorial here, but it's a fairly simple plushie to make. If you'd like to take a stab at your own stingrays, I've made the pattern (and brief instructions) available for download here.
Pattern: My own
Fabric: 1/4 yard of gray anti-pill fleece (enough for six rays)
Notions: Are polyfil fiber stuffing and beads notions?
Hours: Four, from drawing the pattern to cutting to sewing and then stuffing. Not bad at all! Assembly line stitching works really well for mass production.
Total cost: All the materials were from my stash, but they probably average out to about $1.50 each.
Will you make it again? After reading the comments on my IG posts, I'd love to make an enormous one big enough to wrap yourself in like some kind of weird sleeping bag/bed-type thing. You could sleep on the stuffed body and use the fins like blankets! Maybe one day when SHB is older he'll want such a thing.
Final thoughts: Even though I didn't "hardcore" DIY SHB's party, I'm really glad I at least personalized this one little aspect. Plus, it was an immensely satisfying race-to-beat-the-deadline project, which is unusual. I secretly love the intense motivation I get when I'm mildly stressed and racing against the clock, but that situation usually sets me up for stupid mistakes when I'm sewing. I guess it's a testament to how easy these guys were to make that they came together so smoothly!
I don't know what it is about a whole bunch of more or less identical tiny derpy animals all gathered in one spot, but I was seriously in love with my little rays and ever so briefly considered keeping them all. Instead, I settled with posing them with my manatee made from the same gray fleece:
Speaking of the manatee, this is probably the coolest thing that's happened to one of my plushie patterns:
|No, Dr. Frankenstein didn't get ahold of it.|
I don't understand most of what the article is about, but if you scroll halfway down she talks about using the manatee pattern to house a device to help stay in touch with their elderly loved ones. So neat! Also, w00t w00t female engineers!