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Stuffed Animals: From Concept to Construction Paperback – May 7, 2013

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Stuffed Animals: From Concept to Construction + How to Make Stuffed Animals: Modern, Simple Patterns and Instructions for 18 Projects + Stitched Safari: 18 Adorable Animals to Make with Felt
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Lark Crafts (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1454703644
  • ISBN-13: 978-1454703648
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Glassenberg (The Artful Bird) provides a variety of patterns for stuffed animals, along with hints, tips, and guidance for drafting original patterns for soft toys. Following the book from beginning to end, sewists will not only create a menagerie of adorable creatures, they'll also learn a variety of lessons that will allow them to bring their own ideas to fruition. The projects range from a simple felt-and-cotton fish to a traditional jointed teddy bear. The directions are excellent, with plenty of detail, and many of the sewing pointers that Glassenberg offers will be useful to sewists of all types, not just those making stuffed toys.” —Library Journal
“I've been eagerly awaiting this book since the moment I heard Abby was writing it. It's a collection of adorable projects to make, sure—but more importantly, it's a detailed manual of all the little sewing techniques that give a soft toy its best shape and most winning personality.” —Diane Gilleland,
Stuffed Animals is the perfect one-stop handbook for bringing your softies to life. From selecting your design and finding the proper tools to the easy-to-follow construction steps, Abby will help bring your creations to shop level.” —Betsy Burger, Design Director for the Craft Department, Simplicity
“Abby has created a detailed and informative resource that will inspire you to stitch adorable characters while giving you the skills to design and construct them with ease.” —Betz White, author of Warm Fuzzies and Sewing Green
“This book is FANTASTIC and I think everyone should own it…This really gives you the information to make your own toys, your own designs while also offering up patterns as well.  From sewing darts, to eyelids, to sewing various shapes to adding various details, this book has it all!” —Schmancy
“Stuffed animals are treasured by young and old, and those of the handmade variety are even more special. But where do you start if you've never made a plush friend before? The world has an easy answer now: Stuffed Animals by Abby Glassenberg. Some books on making stuffed creations jump in with very little extra information, which can be intimidating to someone like myself with limited experience. That's not the case with this book…This book is the next best thing to taking a class from Abby herself.” —Wild Olive

About the Author

Abby Glassenberg creates unique patterns for stuffed animals from her home studio in Wellesley, MA. Since 2005 she has shared her creations and her ideas on design, technique, and the online culture of craft through her blog ( Her work has been featured online on SewMamaSew, Design*Sponge, WhipUp, and CRAFT as well as in numerous print publications including Stitch magazine, Cloth Paper Scissors, and the Boston Globe. She has contributed to half a dozen craft books and is the author of The Artful Bird (Interweave, 2011).

More About the Author

My name is Abby Glassenberg and I'm a sewing pattern designer, craft book author, and sewing teacher. I live in Wellesley, MA and work out of my home studio. I'm also the mom to three daughters. I sew every single day!

I design and make original soft toys and soft sculptures. For several years I worked exclusively on creating soft sculpture birds of every variety, from flamingos to penguins, from larks to peacocks. This work culminated in The Artful Bird: Feathered Friends to Make and Sew. Writing this book was an amazing experience and seeing other people create their own birds based on my patterns brings me so much joy! I'm so pleased that The Artful Bird was named a top 10 craft book of 2011 on the ALA Booklist!

My second book, Stuffed Animals: From Concept to Construction, was published by Lark in the spring of 2013. My goal with this book is to help you design and create your own, original softie patterns by showing how soft toy construction works. Everything from creating a simple outline toy to an advanced jointed toy with gussets and darts is explained in detail. The book has 16 new projects accompanied by 52 lessons which break down the patterns and explain how they were constructed. This book is both a project book and a reference book and I hope you love it!

To follow my crafting, parenting, and teaching adventures, check out my blog: Thank you so much!

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Customer Reviews

The instructions are step by step, complete and easy to follow.
I really like how Abby has designed lessons for each stuffed animals that explain the techniques of stuffed animal design and construction.
Margo G.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in soft toy making.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Gingerbreadforest on April 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoy making plush animals using existing patterns, and recently I have become interested in making my own patterns - especially for usual creatures that patterns are not available for. I read through this book last night and I am happy to say it is full of sewing revelations. I would say this book will most benefit the crafter that has some previous sewing experience, but beginners should not have any problems if they follow the lesson plan.

The book begins by reviewing basic tools and materials that are used in softie construction. The Introduction covers the fundamentals of stuffed animal design - sketching, pattern making basics, prototyping, fabric marking and fabric selection. The author uses freezer paper when making her patterns, and explains why this is the perfect material for her to use for several reasons. The Introduction concludes with physical construction basics - pinning, sewing machine setup, seams, clipping, basting, turning, stuffing and finishing. Reading through this introduction I either learned / or was reminded of several important things regarding softies including: matching the grain when cutting mirror images, reinforcing important seams with frequent backstitching, and the importance of drafting prototype patterns.

The lessons are set up to progress in difficulty from basic to advances techniques. Lesson 1 is Creating a Simple Outline Toy - in this case a fanciful Fish. The author is very good at explaining both the design process and the construction. For every Lesson she includes many helpful notes both to help with design but also to help visualize your design. For instance, when describing an outline toy that basically has two sides she recommends you think of the completed toy as "an embellished pillow".
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Reader on April 26, 2013
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This book is incredible... I'm more of a knitter who has dabbled in sewing, and this book is so inspirational it gives me courage to start doing some more sewing and design some of my own stuffed animals! I love it so much I just bought a copy for my Mom.

The book is brilliantly laid out to include lessons and then projects that incorporate the design / sewing lessons so you can read about a design feature and then have an opportunity to use it (or see how it would be used) in a real pattern.

Everything is explained so you understand the importance of different shaping techniques, which parts of the sewing instructions are responsible for making the legs or arms or whatever look a certain way.

You really could use this book and design your own stuffed animal, even if you're a beginning sewer, it's that well explained! But even if you're more interested in learning to sew stuffed animals than in designing your own, this book is fantastic because the sixteen projects in it are ridiculously cute and a great variety. It's got an elephant, a monster, a teddy bear, even a camel and a crab! Something in it for every kid.

I love this and can't wait to use it to create my own pattern (maybe a dragon?!) to give to one of my kids.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jane A Rasmussen on September 6, 2013
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My high school fashion II students have made several stuffed animals from this book. All though the animals are very cute, the instructions are hard to follow.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Diane on December 14, 2013
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I have an Etsy store in which I sell my rag dolls. I am always interested in seeing how other people make their soft creations and this book was a welcome addition to my library of craft books. Abigail Patner Glassenberg leads you through various projects, each one showcasing a different skill, all have patterns and good photos to follow. I found a great supply list in the back that showed me where I could get wool stuffing from an Amish community in Pennsylvania.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By kitchengirl on April 18, 2013
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Lovely and informative, both if you want to make the patterns included in the book - or figure out how to tweak her designs into designs of your own.

Informative and inspirational
Great pictures and tutorials
Excellent advice on techniques and construction

I know this will come in handy for many, many craft projects - not just the one's she has included (which are all adorable however!)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sunny's Mom on May 11, 2013
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I was thrilled when I got my first look at this book and decided to try the easiest toy--the fish--first. The instructions and illustrations were great for the first steps, but the most difficult part, attaching the head to the body, was neither illustrated nor explained adequately for someone without sewing experience. In addition, the head pattern includes the 1/4 inch seam allowance, which must be an error, because all other pieces need to have the allowance added. Once I cut off the seam allowance that I had added to the head, I was able to sew the head to the body---not something someone without sewing experience would have had an easy time with. I first sewed along the the edge of both the head and body where they join (between C and D) at 1/4 inch in from the edges--(stay stiching). Then I clipped the curves and pinned the head and body, right sides together and sewed them together just beyond the stay stitching. The fish turned out cute. I haven't stuffed him yet, but will do so tomorrow since the curved hemostat that I ordered from Amazon just arrived in today's mail
I shall try the elephant next and hope that there are no mistakes in his pattern. You definitely need a hemostat to turn small pieces like the fish fin. Would have given the book 5 stars if there hadn't been a mistake in the pattern and better instructions. I shall write another review after I finish the elephant.
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