Up-cycle a Tee Shirt into a Manatee Pillow Pet (Tutorial & Pattern)
I am so excited to be sharing this adorable Manatee Tutorial with you all. She’s so fluffy and is, in every essence, a pillow pet.
I’ve always loved manatees… and if you have ever seen Veggie Tales, chances are that you know who Barbra Manatee is… and this stuffed animal is based off of her!
First, things you will need for this tutorial:
-An Extra Large Grey Tee Shirt
-Grey Thread to match Shirt
-Black Felt (one small sheet is good)
-Black Thread to match Felt
-1 Bag of Poly Fill (I only used 2/3’s of it)
-Fake Flower (optional)
After printing & cutting out your pattern pieces, you need to assemble them as illustrated above. Tape the pieces connected with blue
Next, lay them out on your tee shirt as illustrated and cut them out!
Sew the tail and flippers with a 1/4th” seam allowance together then turn them inside out.
Fill them with some poly fill.
Fold the sides up of the first layer of the body. Now place the flippers and tail on the fist layer of the body, as shown, with the openings for stuffing facing outward.
Now pin the flippers & tail in place on the first layer of the body.
Next, lay the top piece of the body over it and align & pin it. Now sew it, leaving a medium opening (to turn it inside out & fill it with fluff!)
Turn it inside out.
Fill it with lots of Poly Fill. I added a big bump to the “nose” area to give the face definition. Sew the opening for stuffing closed.
Cut your felt into a long strip for the mouth, little oval dots, for the nose, and eyes with eyelashes for the eyes. When I sewed the eyes and the nostrils, I went back and forth between them to give them a little pucker. To see more details about how I like to sew stuffed animal eyes, go here.
Next, I added a cute grey bow on top of her head. In my opinion, she would look too plain without it!
Now to make the cheeks “pucker.” In similar fashion to how I make the eyes and nostrils indent, but using very strong thread, I went back and forth between the tips of the smile a few times. Then I pulled it as tight as I wanted it, and knotted it.
See how cute she’s starting to look! I just love those smiley dimples!
Now she need her chin. Manatees are naturally rolly polly, so you need some sort of cute rolls in there (otherwise your manatee will just look like a weird snowman!)
To achieve this “chin,” secure your thread to one of the tips of the smile again. But this time, pull the thread across the underside of the smile & then make a secure stitch into the other corner of the smile. I did this a few times to make sure it was strong.
Now obviously, if you just leave the thread there without stitching it all the way across, it won’t stay. So I stitched a “tunnel” enclosure for the thread.
I just had to go “over the top” and add a splash of color to her too… thus the bright pink flower.
She is so adorable!
I couldn’t resist doing a photo-shoot with my baby girl and her newest “best friend”
Anyways, hope you love it & make one for yourself (they make really good pillows! 😉 )