This stuffed bunny rabbit is Alabama Chanin’s version of the old-time childhood favorite, the sock monkey. My grandmother used to make sock monkeys for all the children in our family. Each one she made took its own personality and looked different from the others. Our DIY Bunny Rabbit doll is an easy project to complete, and is a perfect handmade gift for the little ones this holiday. And each time you make this project, your bunny will take on its own unique personality, much like the well-loved sock monkeys from my childhood.
Get creative with your bunny rabbit – you can customize the fabric colors and embroidery floss, change his face to reflect any mood, or even turn him into another woodland creature. (One of our studio team members recently made a little stuffed bear by altering our pattern a bit.)
Two 15” x 10” cotton jersey scraps
One 6” square cotton jersey scrap
One 10” x 8” cotton jersey scrap
Tailor’s chalk or disappearing-ink fabric pen
Cotton batting, cotton balls, dried beans, rice, or any stuffing material you prefer
Basic sewing supplies: fabric scissors, pins, needles, ruler, rotary cutter
Alabama Stitch Book
Prepare your bunny pattern. The pattern has four pieces – the Body, Apron, Ear Appliqué, and Apron Pockets. Cut out the Body from the two larger jersey scraps, cutting through both layers of fabric at once. You’ll have two identical body pieces: a front and a back. Next, cut out the Ear Appliqués from the square scrap. Then cut out your Apron piece, using the 10” x 8” scrap. Cut out your Apron Pockets from the same piece of fabric.
Next, you are ready to attach the Pocket pieces to the Apron using a backstitch.
After attaching the Pockets, place one Body piece flat and right side up, and lay the Apron, right side up, on top. Align the curved edges. Starting on the left side of the bunny’s “waist”, stitch the Apron’s top layer in place 1/4” from the edge across the entire top edge to the other side waist. Begin and end your seam. Secure your knots on the fabric’s wrong side. Repeat process for bottom edge. This is now your Front Body.
(Find all of these stitches detailed in our Alabama Studio Book Series.)
Using your ruler, align and position the cut Ear Appliqués in the center of the Front Body’s ears, making sure the grain lines run in the same direction. Pin into place. Using a backstitch, stitch one ear to the Body 1/4” from raw edges. Repeat this process to sew on the other ear.
Draw the bunny’s face with a disappearing-ink pen – be as creative as you like. We whipstitched the nose and eyes on our bunny, and made double knots with long tails for eyelashes (the long-tailed double knots would also make good whiskers).
Using any large scrap available, use your rotary cutter to cut a strip of fabric 12” long and 1 1/2″ wide, using your ruler as a guide. This will be your bunny’s tail. Using a basting stitch, stitch a line down the strip’s center from one end to the other – do not knot off the thread; instead, slide your fabric down the thread to gather it up next to your beginning knot. Once the strip is completely gathered, knot off your thread with a double knot. With the thread still attached to the gathered strip, stitch the tail directly to the right side of the Back Body, centering it between the bunny’s legs.
Lay the Back Body and Front Body on top of one another, with wrong sides facing. Check your edges to make sure everything is lined up evenly and pin into place. Beginning in the middle of the Front Body’s right edge, backstitch 1/4” from the edge around the entire body, stopping 4” from where you began.
Push the stuffing material of your choice into the 4” opening, filling out its shape. (We used rice to fill our bunny rabbit, so that we could warm it in the microwave for a few seconds and use as a heat pack.) Stitch to close the opening, and secure the knots on the fabric’s right side.
OUR DESIGN CHOICES
Fabric weight – 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey
Fabric color – Black on Black
Embroidery Floss – Black
Embroidery technique – Backstitch reverse appliqué