Textiles- Red Panda Plushie

These past two weeks we were introduced to the basics of sewing and embroidery.

I have never operated a sewing machine in my life and thought that it would be a tough thing to maneuver but I was pleasantly surprised when I began to get the hang of it. In the first lab section, I learned how to thread a sewing machine and the basics of operation including what a bobbin is, how to thread a machine and the basic importance of understanding what not to do during operation.

In class, we were shown how to create bags that were made of cotton. Once I created the bag I was really intrigued as to how I could make it look as good as possible. This led me to make the tassels on the side out of fabric, double-sided using the iron. I was really pleased with the overall quality of the product at the end.

Then we were introduced to the embroidery machine, utilizing Ink Scape and the sewing software to create a 3 color embroidered patch. 

With the historic KAMS closing that week I decided to draw inspiration from the infamous logo.

The final product was great, all I had to do was take apart the connected stitching. 


The final project I worked on was creating the Red Panda Plushie that was given as a pattern. 

I started by cutting all my materials out of fleece that I found in the scrap drawer. 


All of these pieces were then used to construct one aspect or another of the body of the plushie.


Feet of the panda
The feet of the plushie after being flipped outside
Hand Sewing the mouth on because I forgot to include this before sewing the bear up!

The bear and the tail waiting to be hand sewn together

The final product with embroidered Kung Fu Panda


Overall I was really happy with how this turned out, I followed the instructions to a tee mostly and am happy with the quality that I got for using all scraps. The process was really time-consuming and I think the majority of the time was spent making sure that all of the fleece pieces were cut extremely accurately. I thought this would aid in the overall look and I am sure it did but I did realize that it really comes down to how skilled I am at sewing the pieces together that has a larger effect on the appearance of the bear. Duncan and Emilie were especially helpful in troubleshooting the sewing machine and providing techniques for me to deal with mishaps in the overall project.

What I would do differently

Buy better materials. I think that the bear has some really great potential to be something that I might want to make again using better materials. If I had the ability to go to Jo-Ann fabrics and get some of that Minky fabric I definitely would have because I saw how much of a difference it made in other students’ projects. Also, I would make sure to embroider the patch onto the fabric first before sewing up the body, along with the mouth. I realize that mistake was also a factor in the presentation of the overall product, but I do not think that it affected the look as much as I thought it would have. I also would take more time to plan and execute the project because it would have saved me time in the long run and would not have necessitated such long periods of uninterrupted work which I think had consequences in the overall quality of the product.