A disclaimer: I'm not well practiced in writing instructions so if there are any questions, please ask me! Also, apologies for my dodgy diagrams. The photos were of poor quality (black fur fabric + black thread isn't a great for photos) and Illustrator keeps crashing, so I have resorted to making the images with Paint.
How to make Terry the Tarantula
You will need:
- Medium pile black fur fabric, 30cm x 110 cm
- A small square of white polar fleece
- Black cotton thread (good quality, as you will be doing some gathering and cheaper cotton may break)
- 2 x 25mm white safety eyes
- Small scraps of fabric for the fangs
- 2 large circles, the size of a dinner plate (~30 cm diameter)
- 1 small circle, the size of a tumbler rim (~10 cm diameter)
- 8 strips of fur fabric, 15 cm x 4 cm
Make the head/body (a.k.a. 'cephalothorax'):
- Take one of the large circles and make a running stitch right around the edge, approximately 1cm in from the edge, and .5 cm stitch length. Pull tightly so the edges gather up to create a ball, being careful not to snap your thread. Tie off. (The fur fabric will not gather up completely, so you will be left with a hole in the bottom that will later be covered over with the smaller circle of fur fabric).
- With each of the 8 strips of fabric, fold them in half with the pile facing outwards. Do a whip stitch along all 3 sides. The depth of your stitches should be small (~3mm) and closely spaced. You may need to brush the fabric pile downwards to expose the edge of your fabric and to prevent any of the fur getting caught in the seam.
- Sew each leg securely to the side of the body, 4 each side, using ladder stitch, about 3 cm from the edge of the hole in the body piece.
- Insert the safety eyes at this point. I like to half stuff the body so I can see how the fabric and eyes will sit when the fabric stretched out. I place the eyes, carefully remove the stuffing, insert the eye backings and then re-stuff the toy. There is a tutorial here on how to install safety eyes. When you are done with the eyes, finish stuffing the head/body.
- With the small circle of fabric, place it over the hole and the edges of the legs. Stitch it down with ladder stitch. Make sure that your stitches are small and catch all of the fabric underneath so that it is secure.
- Take the second large circle and gather as per the head/body. Stuff.
- Attach the abdomen to the body with ladder stitch, making sure your stitches are small and tight as possible.
- Cut two triangles out of fabric scraps, 4 cm wide and 5 cm tall. I used old, green curtain fabric.
- Fold in half, stitch down the side. Turn out.
- Turn the top edge in and ladder stitch closed so you have a closed, triangular shaped fang.
- Ladder stitch to the head, just below the eyes.