20.5” x 14” main fabric (we used Riley Blake’s Giraffe Crossing collection flannel) you will need more fabric if the pattern has a clear direction and you aren’t happy to use it at an angle for inside legs.
6.5” x 11” contrasting fabric or fabric scraps for ears, horns and hooves (we used Riley Blake’s Sasparilla collection).
Cut out your pattern pieces, taping together the two halves that make up the main body piece.
Fold you main body fabric in half, vertically, so that the right sides are facing each other, place your body, legs, ears and tail pattern pieces on the folded fabric, trace and cut out (the layout shown works for fabrics where you don’t have a right way up, or where you don’t mind which way up the pattern appears inside the legs).
Making up the Parts
Starting with the ears. Place an external and internal piece together, right sides facing, and sew around the curved edges (see image below). Snip into the seam allowance around the curve, turn out and iron flat. Repeat with the second ear.
Complete the same process with the tail pieces, this time only sewing along the two long edges (see 2nd image below). Once turned out, sew a line across the tail as shown in the 4th image, then snip into the part of the tail below this line, up to the seam, to create the tassels on the tail.
For the horns, place one piece of horn fabric in front of you, right side facing you. Tie a large knot in a piece of cotton and lay this down the centre of the fabric, so that the knot is just above the piece of fabric, and the other end of the cotton is below the fabric. Place a second piece of horn fabric on top, so that the right sides of the fabric pieces are facing each other, and sew around the outside edge, leaving the bottom edge open. Snip around the curves (in the seam allowance) and turn out, the piece of cotton you inserted will make this easier, it gives you something to hold onto, and once you have started pushing the shape through, a quick tug and the rest will follow. Cut the cotton away from the top and bottom. Repeat these steps with the second pair of horn pieces.
Attaching the Hooves
Take one of your main body pieces and pin a hoof to the bottom of each leg (fabrics right side together, with the curved edge of each hoof at the top (see image 2). Sew the fabrics together along the bottom edges, iron flat. Repeat with the second body piece and then with the remaining hooves and the leg pieces (see final image in sequence below).
If you are not used to sewing soft toys this step may panic you, just go with it, it will be fine. Take one of the leg pieces and fold the top (tummy section) over at the point where the tummy meets the legs (image 2 below). At the top of each leg measure in 1” from the outside edge, and then 5/8ths of an inch down from the crease line, make a dot. Draw an oval shape, starting and finishing on the crease line, and going from one side of each leg to the other (see image 4 below). You will sew along these lines to remove excess fabric from the leg joints, which will help the giraffe keep its legs together when stuffed! The important thing is to start and finish at the crease line, so that you are not reducing the overall length of each leg. Go for it, sew a seam along each of your lines and give your giraffe some dignity!
Repeat with the second leg piece.
Now pin the two leg pieces together, right sides facing, and sew a seam long the top curve, leaving a gap of 1-2 inches in the middle for turning out and stuffing.
Attaching the Tail
You now need to decide where you want your tail to appear, bear in mind that the body will end up ¼” smaller on all sides, making the gap between the tail and the body bigger, so you need to place the tail approx. ¼” closer to the body than you think. Once you are happy with the position of the tail, flip the tail over 180 degrees at the point it meets the body. Pin the two pieces of fabric together, close to the edge of the body piece, in the direction of the yellow line in the second image below, then bend the tail back across the pin, you are now looking at the final position of the tail, if correct, tack into place just under a ¼” from the edge of the body piece (so that this seam falls outside the final ¼” sew line when you sew the body pieces together).
Attaching the Horns and Ears
Place your body pieces together, right sides facing each other, place the body template on top of the fabric and draw over the guidelines for the horn slits. Remove the template and as long as you pressed hard enough, you will be able to see soft creases in the top layer of fabric marking the slit lines, draw over these. Cut along the slits, through both pieces of fabric.
Put one body piece to one side and turn the remaining piece over so that you are looking at the right side. Fold an ear in half vertically or gather to create a shape of your liking, and slide it into the largest slit.
When you are happy with the position, fold the body fabric down over the ear so that the slit is on the fold. Sew the slit closed, sewing just below the slit, using the smallest seam allowance you can get away with. Fold the fabric back over and check that there are no raw edges or holes showing around the join. Don’t panic that the fabric doesn’t lie absolutely flat, the creases will disappear when you stuff the giraffe. Repeat this process with the horn piece. Now repeat these steps with your remaining body piece, ear and horn.
Pin one half of the inside leg piece you made up earlier, to one of the body pieces, right sides facing each other, starting at the join between the two leg pieces. The leg fabric won’t look like it lines up at the top, just manoeuvre it into place, remember this is a 3D shape and so it shouldn’t lay completely flat at this stage. Sew from the top of one of the leg pieces; all the way round to the top of the other side (don’t go over the join between the two leg pieces).
Fold the remaining legs down (as in the second image above) and then place the second body piece on top (right sides facing). Pin the body and leg pieces together, moving the first set of the legs and body back out of the way first. Sew together as above.
Lay your giraffe out in front of you and pin the unsewn edges of the body pieces together, ensuring that the horns, ears and tail (except the tacked edge), are tucked away inside the giraffe. Sew around the raw edges, from the top of the legs on one side to the top of the legs on the other (second image below).
Turn out through the hole in the middle of the leg pieces, making sure you push out all the edges and curves. Stuff with toy filler and sew up the gap, we recommend using ladder stitch – If you are new to ladder stitch we recommend the following clip for a great demonstration.