This cheery little bunny is all ready for a glamourous day of shopping along the Champs-Élysées - complete with a stylish dress and traditional beret, she’ll look right at home among the à la mode natives. But the European fun doesn’t stop there – designer Corinne Bradd has also whipped up two bonus projects in the form of a tote bag and hair bow, so your little one can join in on the Eiffel Tower action, too.
- Fabric, cotton
- Toy filling
- Quilt wadding
- Embroidery thread
- Chalk pencil
Make the bunny toy
Download and print the templates from sewmag.co.uk. Trace around the template pieces onto folded fabric and cut out, adding a 5mm seam allowance. Place pairs of ears, right sides together, onto wadding and stitch around each pair, leaving the bottom straight edge open. Clip the seam allowance with pinking shears, turn right sides out and press.
Fold the top of each head piece so the edges of the darts line up. Insert an ear into each dart, matching up raw edges, and stitch across securely. Sew the darts at the bottom of the body before matching up the body pieces and stitching all around, leaving a turning gap in the back edge. Avoid catching the ears as you do this. Clip the curves and turn out. Stuff firmly, fold in the raw edges of the gap and slip-stitch closed.
Pair up the arms and legs, right sides together, and sew around, leaving a 3cm gap in the top back edge of each. Turn each limb out and stuff, then fold in the raw edges of the gap and slip-stitch closed. Attach the limbs to the body with button joints using a double thickness of thread for extra security.
Use two strands of dark embroidery thread to stitch the nose and mouth on the point of the face. Add two closed eyelids with lashes on either side, sketching with a chalk pencil first to ensure symmetry.
Sew a beret
Cut two circles of fabric and one of wadding. Layer fabric onto the wadding, right sides together, and sew around the edge. Cut a 4cm long slit in the centre of the circle. Turn through so the wadding is sandwiched between the fabric. Use a buttonhole stitch to bind the slit and sew across the centre to make two holes. These can be slipped over one or both ears.
Stitch the dress
Cut the bodice front and back pieces from patterned and plain fabric. Match up the shoulder seams of each set and stitch together, then layer the outer and lining, right sides together. Sew around the neckline, down the back seam and around the armholes before turning right sides out by pushing the back of the bodice through the shoulders. Match up the side seams individually and stitch. Press the bodice well.
Cut a 40cm length of fabric, fold in half right sides together and sew up the back seam. Turn up and stitch a small hem along the bottom edge using a decorative stitch. Run a line of large straight stitch around the top edge and gather the skirt to a diameter of around 16cm.
Pin the bottom edge of the bodice to the gathered edge of the skirt, allowing the back panels of the bodice to overlap on the back seam. Sew together with a 1cm seam allowance, then trim and neaten the seam with zig zag stitch. Remove the gathering stitches and add a fastening to the top of the bodice back. Add coordinating buttons to the shoulders.
Create a tote bag
Cut a panel of patterned fabric, 21cm, and place right sides together onto a white 21cm square. Stitch all around the panel leaving a 5cm gap in one edge. Clip the corners and turn right side out. Fold in the raw edges of the gap and press well. Topstitch the top edge of the panel only. Cut two 32cm squares from patterned fabric and two from plain white. Pin the lined panel to one of the patterned squares at an angle and topstitch around the remaining three edges to make a pocket.
Cut two straps, 4cm x 45cm. Fold in half lengthways, right sides together, and sew down the edge. Turn out and press the seams to one side. Tack a strap to the top of each patterned square with each end, approximately 5cm out from the centre, matching the raw edges. Lay the plain white squares over the top and stitch along the top edge.
Open out the sets of squares and place one on top of the other, right sides together. Sew down both long side seams and across the bottom of the patterned squares. Stitch across the bottom of the white squares leaving a 5cm gap in the centre of the seam. Turn out the bag through the gap, fold in the raw edges and topstitch closed. Push the lining back into the tote and press well.
Craft a hair bow
Fold patterned fabric right sides together and cut two tail pieces. Sew around the edges leaving the flat section unstitched. Trim the seam allowance and turn out through the hole. Press well and gather up the flat section of each piece.
From the folded fabric, cut a bow piece and layer onto quilt wadding. Sew all around the edges, then clip a small slit in the centre of one layer. Turn right sides out so the wadding is sandwiched between the two pieces of fabric. Oversew the slit on the back, then gather the centre of the bow vertically.
Hand stitch each tail to the back of the gathered section of the bow. Secure a hair comb or clip to the back of the bow by either sewing directly onto the bow, or with a rectangle of double thickness fabric slipped throughthe fastening, then sewn to the bow. Decorate the centre with a diamante embellishment or small brooch.