Harriet, our pretty March hare, is full of the joys of spring. Her long ears and limbs mean she’s bursting with character, and to top it off we’ve fashioned her a stylish lace-trimmed dress stitched in prints from Cloud9 Fabrics’ Wildwood range. She’s the perfect picnic companion, but is shaped to perch on a shelf or sofa when she’s not attending tea parties.
- Fabric: four prints, fat quarter of each;
- lining, scrap
- Thread: sewing; embroidery
- Fibre filling
- Yarn, white
- Lace, white
- Beads, small, black, two
- Buttons, 1.5cm, two
- Snap fasteners, small
- 14cm x 60cm
Make harriet hare
Download and print your templates. Add a 5mm seam allowance to all. Cut two ears from lightly patterned fabric and two more from another print. Pair them up, right sides together, and pin onto quilt wadding. Stitch around the edges through all three layers, leaving the end open for turning. Trim the wadding close to the seam, before turning the ears out and finger-pressing the seams. Make a pleat in the bottom edge of the ear and tack.
Cut two bodies from fabric. Clip the bottom dart, fold in 5mm on each straight edge and tack down. Place the pleated end of one ear against one straight edge of the dart in the top of the head and fold the head fabric over to sandwich it. Stitch along the straight edge to secure the ear. Repeat for the other body piece. Pin the two body pieces right sides together and stitch around the edge leaving a gap at the bottom darts and along the back seam. Take care not to trap the ears as you sew. Clip the curves and turn out through a gap.
Cut four leg pieces from patterned fabric. Pair up right sides together and sew around each one, leaving a gap at the top edge. Clip the curves, turn out and stuff firmly. Flatten the top of the leg so the front and back seams touch and tack closed. Insert the tacked end of each leg into the gap formed by the hemmed darts at the bottom of the body. Pin the hemmed edges to the legs and oversew to hold them in place. Stitch up any remaining space between the legs.
Cut four arm pieces from the same patterned fabric as the legs. Pair up right sides together and stitch around the outside, leaving a gap along the back of the arm. Clip the curves, turn out and firmly stuff. Fold in the edges of the gap and slip stitch closed. Stuff the head and body of the hare, fold in the raw edges of the gap and close.
Pin the arms to either side of the body and attach with a button joint. To do this, take a long needle and a length of embroidery thread. Knot the end and pass through the top of one arm, horizontally through the body and through the top of the other arm. Thread through two holes of a button and pass back through the arms and body in the opposite direction. Place a second button on the thread and stitch back through. Continue passing the thread through both buttons, both arms and the body, pulling fairly taut as you do so. When happy with the joint, fasten off the thread.
Embroider a neat nose with satin stitch and add a vertical line of back stitch. Gently push the head in with your finger just below the nose to form a mouth. Hold this indentation in place by stitching from the centre of the dent, through the head and out to the side of the face. Add a small black bead and sew back through the head to the other side, add a second bead and sew back to the mouth. Repeat this pattern of stitching several times, pulling the thread fairly taut as you do so to sculpt the face. Pass the needle up through the embroidered nose and fasten under the satin stitches to hide the end. Create a small white pom pom and attach it to the back of the hare as a tail.
Create a dress
Cut two bodice pieces on folded fabric, one from print, one from plain cotton for the lining. Sew together with right sides facing, leaving the bottom edge and shoulders unsewn. Clip the curves and turn out. Finger-press the seams.
Cut two 2cm x 20cm strips of contrasting fabric. Fold in half lengthways and sew down the long edge and across the bottom. Turn out using a knitting needle to make two pieces of piping. Fold in the raw edge of the shoulders and insert the raw ends of the piping. Pin in place.
Topstitch the bodice 2mm from the edges, securing the piping straps as you do so. Do not sew along the bottom edge. Cut 10cm x 50cm of contrasting fabric. Fold in 5mm on one long edge and pin gathered lace underneath this. Topstitch in place, hemming the fabric as you do so. Hem the short edges of the panel.
Gather the remaining long edge of the panel and pull up to the same width as the bottom of the bodice. Place the gathered skirt against the bottom of the bodice, right sides together, and stitch to the top layer of the bodice only. Flatten out the raw edges to the bodice side. Fold under 5mm of the bottom edge of the lining and pin to the seam. Topstitch to enclose the raw edges. Add fasteners to the back seam of the dress, allowing a gap for the tail to pop through.