These cute little tortoises would make a really irresistible gift set. Stitch them as a pair of pattern weights or individually as a pincushion. Each one has been patchworked from six segments of fabric to achieve the rounded shell shape, and padded with fibre filling and split lentils to add extra weight. The unusual hand-dyed fabric, embroidery and button detail add further interest to these irresistible little critters.
- Hand-dyed batik cotton, selection
- Cream cotton, 22cm x 30cm
- Toy filling
- Embroidery thread, green, yellow, lilac, pink, black
- Flower buttons, green, pink
- Split yellow lentils
- Scrap of pink felt
- 10cm x 15cm
Sew a tortoise
1 Download the template, print and cut out. Pin the lozenge shape template to cotton fabric and cut out six sections, varying the shades. Pin the remaining templates to cream and trim two heads, eight legs and two tail sections. Pin the belly template to coloured fabric and cut one out.
2 Place one lozenge with a different colour each side. With right sides facing, pin and machine stitch two together, then repeat adding the remaining shape to the other side. Stitch three more pieces together in the same way.
3 With right sides facing, pin the two sections together, making sure that all the points meet, and machine stitch, leaving a 3cm gap at the base for turning. Finger press all of the seams open and turn out. Stuff the ball with filling and a handful of split lentils to add weight, then sew up the gap using small stitches.
4 With right sides facing, pin two leg sections together and machine stitch. Trim the seam slightly, turn out and stuff with toy filling. Sew the remaining legs, head and tail together and stuff in the same way. Turn the tortoise over and pin the head, tail and legs to the underside. Hand sew firmly into place using back stitches.
5 Press the edges of the belly section to the wrong side by 5mm. Pin to the underside of the tortoise, covering the raw edges of the limbs, head and tail and sew into place using neat whip stitches. Sew a flower button to the top of the shell using embroidery thread. Embroider star stitches into each segment in a contrasting colour.
6 Add features using French knots for the eyes and a back stitch for the mouth. Cut out two small circles from pink felt and stick each rosy cheek to the side of the face with PVA. Repeat as desired.