Snug as a Bug Caterpillar Free Pattern

Another great free pattern, using Melly and Me’s Snug as a Bug fabric for Riley Blake.  I had this fellow in my head for months before the fabric arrived and have now had the chance to make him for real.  I hope you enjoy making your own caterpillar, let us know how you get on.

Approx. finished size: 19” long.


3” x 44” strips x 4 (for the first 4 balls)
2.5” x 44” strip x1 (for the last ball)
5” x 20” for head
300g of toy stuffing
Embroidery thread for eyes and mouth
You can use off cuts from the balls for the nose, eyes, tail and antenna (the antenna won’t both be the same fabric).  If you don’t want to use the off cuts you will also need:
3” x 2.5” for the nose
8” x 3” for each eye
3.5” x 8” for each antenna
5.5” x 3” for the tail.


Start by cutting out your body pieces, first ball, last ball and main ball pieces (x6 for each ball). cutpieces

Now you need to sew each of the balls together, the method is the same for all the balls, including the first and last ball where the shape is different.

Take the fabric for the first ball and place the fabric pieces together in pairs, right sides facing, and then sew a seam down one side of each pair.pairs

Now sew the pairs together, take two of the pairs from above and place together, right sides facing, and sew a seam down the right side (blue line on image below). Open out the finished piece, take the third pair and place it on top, right sides facing, with the left hand edges lined up, and sew a seam down the left side.


Repeat this process for each of the balls.
caterpillar 141

Now you need to sew them together, take the first and second ball and place the fabrics right sides together, pin together and sew a seam along the raw edge.


Now take the next ball and place that on top, right sides facing, and sew that seam, continue doing this to add all the balls right to the end of the caterpillar.
all balls

Turn the caterpillar over, fold the fabric over lengthways and sew a seam along the raw edges (shown as a blue line in the image), leaving a gap at one end for turning out and stuffing.

Turn out, stuff and sew up the gap left for stuffing, if you are new to sewing visible seams, we recommend watching the following You Tube clip about ladder stitch.

Now for the head.  Cut your fabric pieces out.
cutttingtheheadTips: the Front Head Top piece needs to be placed on top of a piece of fabric which has been folded in half, so that the straight edge is lined up with the fold, trace the shape and cut round on all sides EXCEPT the folded sided.  For the Head Front Bottom piece, fold a piece of fabric in half, right sides facing, trace the template and cut out, you will have two pieces of fabric, transfer the mark, circled above, to the fabric.  For the back pieces we recommend folding the fabric in half, right sides facing, marking the shape on the top piece and then sewing the seam shown above (third image), before cutting the shape out, that way you can avoid pinning and in the worst case, having to recut because the fabric slips when you sew the seam.

If you haven’t already done so, sew the seam on the back of the head (final image above).

caterpillar 211

Now take the Head Front Bottom pieces, place them together right sides facing, and sew a seam down from the mark.  Then snip the fabric along the mark, up to, but not over, the seam.headbottom

Place the Head Front Top piece on top of the Head Front Bottom piece, so that the points marked below with circles, are lined up, then sew a seam (second image).  Then repeat on the other side (line up the points marked on the third image below).


Now you need to sew the front to the back, place the pieces, right sides together, pin in place, taking particular care to get the cheeks lined up and the seams at the bottom lined up (all marked on the second image below).  Sew around the shape, leaving a gap at the top for the antenna and stuffing.


Turn out and then stuff the head until medium firm, but not too firm, you can add more stuffing later.


Put the head to one side and make the nose.

Sew a running stitch around the nose BY HAND, then light pull to gather the nose together, then stuff and gather more until the opening is closed.  Sew the opening shut.


Attach the nose to the head.  Use the longest needle you have, insert into the front of the head and pull through to the back, make a small stitch and send the needle back to the front.  Repeat once more, making a stitch in the back and sending the needle to the front.  Pull the thread and get the nose into position, you will notice that the cheeks pop out nicely.  Work around the nose, sewing it to the front fabric to ensure it is secure.

attaching nose

Add more stuffing if required.

Now for the antenna.  Take the fabric for 1 antenna and fold it in half, place the template on top and mark the shape.  Sew around the shape, leaving the bottom open, then cut the antenna shape out.  Repeat for the second antenna.


Take the end of a spoon or pencil and push the fabric through from the top.  When you are half way through add some stuffing, then push the rest of the way through and finish the stuffing.antennastuff

Place the antenna in the space at the top of the head and sew into place, finish by sewing up the gap in the middle. TIP: keep checking the stuffing, you may find that you want to add more as you sew the gap up.caterpillar 010Now for the eyes.  Cut two eyes and sew each of them in the same way as the nose earlier, attaching them to the front fabric of the head only (there is no need to take the needle through to the back of the head).attachingeyes

To finish the face, use embroidery thread to sew the centre of the eyes and mouth.

caterpillar 023

Finally, the tail.  Cut a semi circle (using the template) out of one of the off cuts.  Fold in half, right sides facing, so that the straight edges are lined up and sew a seam.  Turn the fabric out and hand sew around the opening (as with the nose and eyes), stuff and pull shut.  Sew the opening together and then sew onto the end of the caterpillar.

 Why not?
Add a rattle to one of the balls and/or a squeaker to another one or the face.
Stuff the tail with cellophane for a crinkly noise when crushed by little fingers.

Download printer friendly instructions

Click here for the templates

Visit our store to buy this project in kit form.

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