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Stella the Penguin

animal sewing

Stella would make the perfect accessory for a little one's bedroom or play space. A quick and easy make, you'll have her stitched in no time. Knit her scarf with just a small amount of yarn in a single colour, or use lots of different coloured scrap yarns for something bold and stripy!

Sew Your Own Animal Dolls

You will need


20½ x 11½in (52 x 29cm) of dark gray felt for body and wings

6 x 9½in (15 x 24cm) of white felt for face/belly panel

1¼ x ¾in (3 x 2cm) of yellow or peach felt for beak

1½ x ¾in (4 x 2cm) of black felt for eyes

Approximately ½oz (15g) of mustard-yellow fingering weight (4-ply) yarn for the scarf

US1 (2.25mm) knitting needles

Basic sewing kit

Embroidery floss (thread) to match each felt colour

Glue pen

Peachy-pink pastel or blusher

2 x ¼in (6mm) buttons to attach wings

About 4oz (110g) of toy stuffing


Cutting out the doll

Cut out two bodies, one base, and four wings from dark gray felt. Cut out face/belly from white felt. Cut two eyes from black felt. Cut two beaks from yellow felt.


Body and face

  1. Baste (tack) the face/belly piece onto one of the penguin body pieces, then backstitch all around the edge of the white panel. Remove the basting (tacking) stitches.

Sew Your Own Animal Dolls

Tip: As the face/belly panel is quite big, I choose to secure it with basting (tacking) stitches instead of using a glue pen. It would require a lot of glue to hold it in place, but basting (tacking) stitches will hold it firmly, and they won’t get in the way as pins sometimes can.


  1. Using the photographs as a guide, sew the eyes in place with blanket stitch. Embroider eyelashes and add highlights with French knots in white floss (thread).


  1. Pin the front and back body pieces right sides together and backstitch around the sides and the head, leaving the base open.

 Sew Your Own Animal Dolls

  1. Turn the body right side out and stuff it. Stuff the head and body quite firmly, but leave the very bottom of the body only lightly filled for now; as you sew in the base you can add more stuffing to make it firm.


  1. Turn the penguin upside down and place the base over the opening at the bottom. Use ladder stitch to sew the base to the body all the way around. Add more toy filling as you go, but don’t over-stuff or the base will become rounded and the penguin won’t stand up straight.

Sew Your Own Animal Dolls 


  1. Place the two beak pieces wrong sides together and whip stitch around the sides and tip of the beak; leave the base open and don’t cut the floss (thread). Take just a pinch of stuffing and roll it between your fingers to make it smaller and sturdier, then add this to the inside of the beak, and snip off any excess.


  1. Hold the beak in place on the face with two pins. Ladder stitch all around the base to sew it in place, removing the pins as you go.

 Sew Your Own Animal Dolls

  1. Add a little colour to the cheeks using the pastel or blusher




  1. Place two wing pieces wrong sides together and whip stitch all around the edges, adding a very light padding of stuffing. You need just enough to give the wing a bit of body but not enough to change the shape of it. Repeat to make a second wing.

 Sew Your Own Animal Dolls

  1. Add the wings in much the same way as adding the doll arms. Use a long doll needle and sew back and forth through the arms and the body, adding buttons at the end for extra security.

Sew Your Own Animal Dolls 

Seed (moss) stitch scarf

Cast on 11 stitches.

Every row:K1, p1 to the end of the row. Rep this row for around 29½in (75cm). Bind (cast) off .


Tip: If you aren’t a knitter, either ask a knitting friend to whip up a scarf for you, or make a fabric one yourself from a strip of jersey or fleece fabric. If you do knit, try casting on more or fewer stitches to make a thicker or thinner scarf, and play around with different weights of yarn and sizes of needles. Use scraps of yarn to make stripes. Design your very own mini scarf!


This project is taken from Sew Your Own Animal Dolls by Louise Kelly.

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