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Creating Sewing Patterns?

Does anyone have experience making sewing patterns? I usually just wing it when I'm trying to sew something, and I've found patterns online a couple of times. But I want to make a small plush dolphin and I don't really know how to make it work. I tried making a 3 piece pattern with a bottom and two sides for the dolphin but they didn't fit together correctly when I tried to sew them and it looks like crap. I'd love some suggestions. Thanks!

There's a real nice example of one at Amazon (if you enter Stuffed Dolphin into amazon search you'll find lots of them):

http://www.amazon.com/Plush-Dolly-Blue-Dolphin-22/dp/B001AS2WXE/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=toys-and-games&qid=1260166003&sr=1-7

Here's one:

http://www.tias.com/11862/PictPage/1922775448.html

Here's a pattern for one, but the pattern isn't too exciting but still, better'n crap.

Here'a a free dolphin pattern for crochet.

http://members.optusnet.com.au/we2/dolphin.html

This is what I would do. I'd look at some pictures, examples, toys or scultures in 3D are best, and draw some sketches from different angles, then draw a pattern, then draw a pattern with a heavy black felt pen on newspaper. Then I'd fit those pieces together, pinning them with straight pins, just as if they were fabric. Pin in darts, and tape down gathers or ease. It may take several trys. Unpin and trim away parts of the paper patterns as necessary. Then  repin, etc. Then try it in muslin, basting it together and stuffing to see if you are pleased with the design. If so, then make it with your final fabric.

Good Luck.

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What I do for small things is take thick butchers paper and fold it into a shell of how I want to to look. Start with a big piece and wrap it around into the general shape you want - say one side. Copy it and make the other side. Tape it together to see what kind of shape it is. Take the scissors and make refinements. It takes awhile, but eventually you will get it down to the shape that you want. Once there, pin to fabric and start cutting.

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Thanks, LilyRoze and Evergreen.  I definitely looked at pictures of plush dolphins to try to figure out how they were made. I guess it just takes more trial and error than I realized.  I'm glad to know that it's supposed to be done that way :)

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You"re welcome. Sorry it's not easier! Of course, if you have access to a stuffed (or even sculptural) dolphin, you can drape it in muslin, section by section, pinning, and marking seams with chalk. have you checked the stuffed toys and crafts sections of the fabric store pattern catalogs?

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i've always had a hard time making the three piece patterns for stuffies like you are trying. i've found that a) less tight angles/turns b) making it bigger/fatter than you think you need to and c) making the R and L body the same work well. as does making it with fleece (stretchy and forgiving).

now you have me wanting to make one.

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