Craft - Easy-sew Dorian the Tortoise

This is a quick how-to for Dorian the Tortoise - he could be a toy, a quirky cushion or a doorstop, depending on how big you make him and what you use to stuff him.
I had it in my head that I wanted to try a sewing project, an easy one to get me started. I was searching around and came across this exceptionally cute pattern and instructions for a toy turtle from Purl Bee ( The tutorial is for a cushion-sized toy in a Liberty print. Unfortunately Liberty fabrics are a little pricey, although they are the best, so I used a bit of upholstery fabric for mine. Plus I decided I wanted mine to be a tortoise rather than a turtle.
What you'll need:
Fabric of your choice for the shell and soft parts (head, feet etc)
Felt for the underside
Sewing kit
Buttons for eyes
This template from Purl Bee - print it off at whatever size you want your tortoise and cut it out (
Step 1. Cut your fabric from the template and work out what goes where.
Step 2. Take one shell piece, the correct way up, and pin the feet, arms, tail and head on top of it, as shown:
Step 3. Sew in place. This would be so much easier if you had a sewing machine (which I don't), but I managed fine sewing by hand! Then fold out the blue pieces and iron the seams away inside the shell. You should then end up with a tortoise shaped piece.
Step 4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the other side of the tortoise. You should end up with two opposite-facing tortoise silhouettes.
Step 5. With the correct sides together, pin your tortoise shapes together, leaving the underside open. Sew together.
Step 6. Open up your tortoise and place it (still inside out) onto your felt underside. Pin in place and stitch together, leaving a gap at the back. Turn the right way out.
Step 7. Fill with stuffing. You can buy toy stuffing in craft shops but I was impatient so just used bits of fabric, old socks etc. Alternatively, fill him up with rice and dried lavender for a heavier, sweet-smelling pillow.
Step 8. Stitch together the opening. Give him some eyes by sewing on some buttons.
Isn't he cute? He took me a couple of hours to make, but it'd be super speedy (ironically for a tortoise) if you used a sewing machine.

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