I’m kicking off the Little Gifts Sew Along with the Heart Softie, a quick sewing project that makes a delightful gift year round. I’ve included different options for customizing it for the recipient, so read on for details.
This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. My sewing machine sponsor is Baby Lock. Additional materials for this post were generously provided by Fairfield World, Fiskars, and Plaid.
The Heart Softie is a cute little project that you can customize in several ways. First, choose how you will decorate the face.
- Use safety eyes, a craft nose, and embroidered mouth, or
- Use fabric paint to customize the facial expressions, or
- Embroider all the facial features.
You can also customize the stuffing.
- Make flat facial features with paint or embroidery and stuff with Fairfield Poly-Fil to make a pin cushion.This makes a great gift for the sewists or quilters in your life.
- Stuff with lavender to make an aromatic sachet. Check out my Upcycled Denim Lavender Sachet tutorial here for more details.
- Fill with Fairfield Poly-Pellets to make a weighted version. Use it as a paper weight.
- Or, just make a cute little softie like I did!
Are you just hearing about the Little Gifts Sew Along? Get all the details here.
- You can join in by sewing the projects as you have time.
- Share your progress and post pictures of your finished projects. Tag your projects and posts #sewlittlegifts and #stockingstuffersal on all social media.
- If you’d like to chat with other sewists, join the Underground Crafters Facebook group.
- By the end of the SAL, you’ll have up to 25 handmade gifts.
- Use the button below on social media. Right click (on desktop) or tap and hold (on mobile) to save.
Sewing Project by Underground Crafter
The Heart Softie sews up quickly and can be used to cuddle, or as a pin cushion, sachet, or paper weight. It also makes a great gift for your special Valentine. You’ll spend more time customizing the face than you will sewing and stuffing. This is the first of 25 free sewing projects by 12 bloggers in the Little Gifts Sew Along.
- 100% cotton fat quarter in red. I used one from the Riley Blake Christmas Confetti Cottons Fat Quarter Bundle.
- Heart Softie pattern.
- Sewing machine or tools for hand sewing. I used my Baby Lock Jubilant with Zigzag foot (J) and red Madeira Cotona thread.
- Basic sewing supplies (seam ripper, pins, etc.).
- Small amount of Fairfield Poly-Fil.
- Fabric scissors (I used my Fiskars RazorEdge Softgrip Fabric Shears) and paper scissors for cutting the pattern out.
- Iron and ironing board.
- For facial expression:
- 2 – 6 mm black safety eyes, 1 – 13 mm pink heart craft nose, small amount of white embroidery floss with needle, small amount of felt in light color, and sewing awl, or
- Plaid Fabric Creations paint in assorted blacks, pinks, and whites and paint brush – I used Fantasy Glitter for the smile and Plush for the eyes and nose, or
- Embroidery floss in assorted colors with needle.
- Print the Heart Softie pattern and cut out around dotted lines.
- Iron your fabric.
- Fold the fabric over and position with the pattern on top. Iron the fabric again on the folds (so that you can cut through 2 layers for each Heart Softie) and pin the pattern through the layers.
- Cut out the pattern.
- If you will be using safety eyes and craft nose, cut 3 small pieces of felt to use as backing (Shiny Happy World has a photo tutorial here).
Decorate facial features
- Use paint to decorate face, using pattern as a guide. Wait for fabric paint to set as instructed on bottle.
- Or, use safety eyes and nose to decorate face. Pierce fabric with the sewing awl (While She Naps has a video tutorial here), position eyes and nose with small pieces on back, and lock washers into position.
- Or, embroider facial features. Video tutorials for twelve embroidery stitches you can use are available at the end of this post.
Sew heart together
- Position heart with facial features face down onto other heart.
- Using your sewing machine or hand sewing needle, and a 1/2″ (1 cm) seam allowance, sew around the heart, leaving the bottom point and about 1” (2 cm) on each side of the bottom point unsewn. Since you will be stuffing the Softie, be sure to back stitch to make the seams more durable.
- Trim the thread tails so they don’t snag on the stuffing. Turn the Softie right side out.
- Stuff firmly with your chosen stuffing. See notes before the tutorial for options.
- Once your Softie is full enough, sew the last seam closed by hand. Start with the thread knot on the inside of the Softie so it will be hidden. Then fold the raw edges towards the inside so the seam allowance will be similar to the rest of your Softie. Sew along the edge. Back stitch to finish and then draw the needle through the inside of the Softie. Trim the thread on the outer edge so the thread tail recedes into the inside.