Plushies (or softies) can be a fun sewing project that not only helps you clean up scraps and other notion bits, but also channel your creative energies into an adorable little soft toys to be loved by friends, family or even pets! With the popularity of stuffed animals never experiencing a lull, plushies make great gifts or craft items to sell.
Whether you are stumped on design ideas, or similar a by the book seamstress, the Internet has a wide world of free patterns available that can be printed for easy cut and sew. Here is a detailed list of the best online resources for free plushie patterns.
AllCrafts.net has over 50 free patterns for making plushies of various sizes, shapes and types. With links to external blogs and websites, you can gain instant access to tutorials, pdf or printable patterns, and a wealth of instruction on crafting your own plushies. Unique plushie items include: a car pillow, a book of bean bag underwater creatures, and patterns for tiny felted toys. Links are accompanied with a product picture, so it’s easy to quickly scan for the plushie that captures your imagination.
A similar site with a library of free patterns (they advertise over 180!)is SewingSupport.com. They have some same patterns featured on Allcrafts.net, as well as a host of other trendy and cute plushie patterns. The patterns are also listed individually with a product photo which will not only give you instant access to patterns and tutorials but also provide as a source of inspiration for fabric selection, patchworking ideas, and a list of plushie making essentials.
CraftGossip.com features a wealth of crafty resources, including user submitted freebies like patterns and tutorials. Up to the minute trendy patterns, including Angry Birds plushies, can be found by using the search tool or perusing the sewing pattern and tutorial forums. They also have a newsletter or twitter account you can subscribe to for up to the minute updates.
Craftster.org also features pattern rich forum posts and a lot of great content for both general and specific crafting. One crafty user submitted a list of Japanese crafting sites, including plushie making patterns, so no translation needed.
Some additional resources worthy of a look for that special plushie pal are: http://www.craftbits.com/sewing-crafts.
For more advanced tutorials or specialty items, etsy is a great place to find low to moderate costs plushie patterns. There are also several books available both retail and online, although it is recommended that crafters read user reviews to find out the ease of use and value for money.
There is also a wealth of information available to demonstrate how to draft and design your own plushie patterns. http://whileshenaps.typepad.com/whileshenaps/2011/01/elements-of-soft-toy-design.html tells you all the points to consider in a thorough post on creating your own plushie designs.