What is an easy way to sew an easy softie using a sewing machine?

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Answered by: LeAnn, An Expert in the Craft Blogging Category
Don't let your sewing machine intimidate you; use it to sew an easy softie. In this beginning sewing project, we'll sew a sweet stuffed heart softie. It's a perfect project for older kids, teens and adults, and it's a great way to get comfortable with your sewing machine.

Your softie will be soft, cuddly and designed by YOU. This method uses forgiving fleece, a fabric that is ideal for beginners. Fleece fabric clings to itself, so it generally doesn't require pinning (a time consuming and fiddly step). Also, fleece fabric doesn't unravel, so the seam edges don't need finishing. The technique you'll learn is an approach to sewing that can be adapted for many projects. Akin to drawing with the sewing machine, it allows you to turn any 2d shape into a sweet, pillow-like softie. The "sew first, cut later" technique is a really fun and simple way to dip your toes into the world of sewing. Let's sew!

*Note: this tutorial isn't meant to cover basic sewing machine usage. Please refer to your sewing machine's manual.

Materials Needed:

- Sewing machine

- Scissors

- Sewing marker (with vanishing or water soluble ink)

- Fleece Fabric, two 10" X 10" pieces

- Thread in coordinating color

- Fiberfill stuffing

- Embellishments

- Craft glue

1. Draw the heart. Using the sewing marker, draw the outline of a heart on the outside of one of the fleece pieces. If you'd like, first make a template from paper or cardboard, then trace that onto the fabric.

2. Prepare the fabric. Stack the two pieces of fleece, insides together, with the heart outline on the outside. You could pin the two pieces together at this point, but an advantage of using fleece is that it sticks to itself, making pinning unnecessary in many cases.

3. Sew! Put the fabric under your sewing machine's presser foot and sew along the drawn line, leaving a 2" opening along one of the straight sides. Sew slowly, especially around the curves. When you get to a deep curve or corner, "pivot" the needle by putting the needle in the lowest position, lifting the presser foot, turning the fabric, then putting the presser foot back down and continuing sewing.

4. Trim. Cut around the sewn shape, cutting fairly close (1/8" to 1/4") to the seam. Tip: don't cut quite as close along the 2" opening.

5. Stuff! Use small (grape sized) pieces of fiberfill, and poke them, one at a time, into the corners of the heart, then fill up the rest of it. For a firmer heart, add more stuffing (many beginners underestimate the amount of stuffing needed). Stuffing carefully, one piece at a time, makes for more even results.

6. Close. Use your hand to push down the stuffed heart and put the 2" opening under the presser foot of your sewing machine. Slowly sew the opening closed.

7. Final Trim. Cut along the now-closed 2" opening, cleaning up any other uneven spots along the cut edge.

8. Embellish! Decorate your heart with lace, felt shapes, googly eyes, feathers... the sky is the limit. Use a good craft glue that will dry fairly quickly and hold well.

Now that you know how to sew an easy softie heart, you can use the same method to create other stuffed animals. Will you make a bear, kitty, bunny, or even a monster? If you can draw it, you can sew it!

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