I designed a simple barn owl stuffed toy years ago which has been one of my most popular soft toys. I think I've made hundreds of them and have even adapted it to create a larger, more sculptural clawed barn owl that also has wings - which I still make today.
Anyway, I've decided that it's time to offer my little barn owl softie as a digital sewing pattern, so that you can enjoy making them for your little ones. Their cute Babushka-like shape reminds me of the shape of a chubby penguin, so my sewing pattern also includes templates and instructions for making penguins!
I've spent the past couple of months designing the penguin soft toy and putting together a new sewing pattern for both of them. It is now available to download via my online store.
Of all the embroidery and hand-stitches, ladder stitch is the one I use the most. It's how I close up all of my soft toys, dolls and soft sculpture, sew on extremities like ears and tails and attach tiny sleeves to doll dresses.
I recommend ladder stitch in all of my soft toy sewing patterns and, as I am often asked how to sew a ladder stitch, I thought it was time I filmed a little demonstration for you.
Please excuse the poor quality, my less than lovely gardening nails and the sound of macadamia nuts being harvested on the farm across the road!
If the seam turns out a little puckered (as it has in my demo), you can go back over it with a second row of ladder stitch to smooth it out, or just make your stitches a bit closer together.
I also drew a diagram (below)...
I hope that helps!
My name is Margeaux Davis. I'm a doll-maker, sewing pattern designer and illustrator.