Embroidery Library

Owl Stuffie in 3D (In-the-Hoop)

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Free project instructions for creating a classic retro truck, in-the-hoop.


You'll go wild for this plush owl design! Stitch each piece in-the-hoop, then sew together and stuff to create an adorable stuffed toy. Embroidered details and your choice of fabrics make each beautiful bird unique!


Project Needs & Notes:

- 1/2 yard thin, flexible fabric such as thin upholstery, cotton, linen, or flannel (for main color)
- 1/4 yard cotton, linen, or flannel (for tummy)
- Soft and flexible, fabric-like stabilizer (such as Sulky Soft & Sheer)
- Tear-away stabilizer
- Embroidery thread
- Scissors
- Sewing machine
- Hand-sewing needle and thread
- Polyester fiberfill
- Ruler
- Sewing pins

Designs featured in this tutorial include:
- X14884, Owl Stuffie in 3D (In-the-Hoop)

Finished size:
9" wide (from tummy to tail) x 8 1/2" tall x 6" deep (from wing to wing)

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

When you download the owl plush design, you will find multiple files. Some are the embroidery files, and the others are dieline files marked with the letters "DL". Dielines are used to cut the fabric to the correct shape and size.

Open and print each dieline file using a embroidery software. If you do not have a embroidery software, Wilcom TrueSizer is a free program to use.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Spray the back side of the first paper dieline with temporary adhesive. Then smooth it onto the right side of the chosen fabric.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Cut out the shape, and remove the paper. Then repeat to cut out all the remaining printed dielines. Notice that files "a" - "d" have a front and a back dieline, while files "e" - "l" only have a front dieline.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Once all the fabric pieces are cut out, it's time to embroider the design.

Hoop a piece of tear-away stabilizer. Madeira E-Zee 1.5 oz. or Floriani Tearaway Medium are good choices. Those brands are more fibrous, less like paper, and will tear more cleanly.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Attach the hoop onto the machine, and load the embroidery file (not the dieline files).

Use a 75/11 sharp sewing needle instead of an embroidery needle. The sharp sewing needle has a finer point, and it will make smaller perforations in the stabilizer.

Embroider the design. The first thing to embroider will be a dieline (or outline stitch). This marks the area on the stabilizer where the fabric piece will be placed.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

After the dieline has sewn, remove the hoop from the machine, but do not unhoop the stabilizer. Spray the wrong side of the first fabric piece with temporary adhesive. Smooth the fabric piece onto the stabilizer inside of the sewn dieline.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Then place the hoop back onto the machine, and embroider the "front piece tackdown". The tackdown will hold the fabric piece in place for the remainder of the design.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Next follow the color change sheet to embroider all the inner details. Make sure to stop before sewing the "back piece tackdown" step.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Before sewing the "back piece tackdown" step, remove the hoop from the machine, and turn it over so the back side of the embroidery is facing up.

Then spray the back side of the back fabric piece with temporary adhesive, and smooth it into place on the back side of the embroidery.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

As all the embroidery from here on out will be seen from both sides, wind a bobbin to match each of the remaining thread colors used in the design.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Place the bobbin into the machine, and embroider the "back piece tackdown".

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Then follow the color change sheet, and embroider the remaining outer borders. Make sure to match the bobbin to every thread color used in the top needle, as the embroidery will be seen from both sides.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Once the embroidery is finished, carefully tear the excess stabilizer away from the outside edges of the design.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Repeat the steps above to embroider all of the in-the-hoop pieces (files "a" - "d"). These files will all sew on tear-away stabilizer, have a front and a back fabric piece, and need matching bobbins for the outer borders. This includes the face (file "a"), the two wings (files "b" & "c"), and the tail (file "d").

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Files "e" - "l" are the pieces that make up the body of the owl. To keep the pieces as flexible as possible, these designs should be sewn on a soft and flexible, fabric-like stabilizer. Sulky Soft 'n' Sheer is a great choice, but something else that is similar could also be used. Using these stabilizers will fix the bulky stiffness that tear-away would add to the fabric pieces, allowing the plush to be soft and cuddly when it is completed.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Hoop a piece of the softer stabilizer, making sure it is taut and has no wrinkles.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Attach the hoop onto the machine, and load the embroidery file (not the dieline files). Use a 75/11 sharp sewing needle, and embroider the design.

The first thing to embroider will again be a dieline (or outline stitch), marking the area on the stabilizer where the fabric piece will be placed.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

After the dieline has sewn, remove the hoop from the machine, but do not unhoop the stabilizer. Spray the wrong side of the fabric piece with temporary adhesive. Smooth the fabric piece onto the stabilizer inside of the sewn dieline.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Then place the hoop back onto the machine, and embroider the "tackdown". The tackdown will hold the fabric piece in place for the remainder of the design, and also prevent the fabric pieces from fraying.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Follow the color change sheet to embroider all the inner details, if the piece has them.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Some pieces have no inner details at all to keep the plush from getting too stitch heavy, stiff, or dense.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Once the piece has finished embroidering, carefully cut away the excess stabilizer from around the fabric shape. Make sure not to cut the tackdown stitches. However, it is okay if some of the stabilizer shows and sticks out around the edges, as this will all end up in the seam allowances on the inside of the plush.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Repeat the previous steps to sew all the body pieces of the owl plush (files "e" - "l"). These pieces will all sew on the soft stabilizer, have only one fabric piece, and do not need matching bobbins. This includes the front body (or tummy) pieces (files "e" & "f"), the middle body pieces (files "g" & "h"), the back body pieces (files "i" & j"), the head piece (file "k"), and the base piece (file "l").

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Also repeat the steps to sew out a total of six head pieces (file "k").

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Begin by taking two head pieces (file "k"), and matching up their edges with the right sides together. Pin along one curved side.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned side, and remove the pins. For best results, make sure the seam stops 1/4" away from the top edge.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Repeat to pin and sew all six head pieces together along the curved sides. Sewing them all in a row will make a sort of half bowl. Do not sew the two outer curved sides together yet.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Then take all six of the body pieces (files "g" - "j"), lay them out on the table with right sides facing up, and make sure that none are upside down. Three will make up the right side of the body (files "e", "g", & "i"), and three will make up the left side of the body (files "f", "h", & "j").

To help match them up correctly, there are triangle notches on each piece. Simply match up the single and double notches accordingly to make sure every pieces is being sewn in its correct place.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

First, take the right, front piece (file "e") and the right, middle piece (file "g"). With right sides together, match up the edges that have the single, triangle notch. Pin along that edge.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Then sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned side, and remove the pins.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Next take the right, back piece (file "i"), place it on top of the sewn right, middle piece (file "g") with right sides together. Match up the edges with a double, triangle notches. Pin along that edge.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned side, and remove the pins. This completes the right side of the owl's body.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Repeat to pin and sew the left side's front, middle, and back pieces together as well (files "f", "h", & "j").

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Take both the left and right side sections, and match up the edges with right sides together. Pin along the remaining curved edge of the back pieces.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned side, and remove the pins.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Next take the head section, and lay it on top of the body with right sides together. Match up the bottom straight edge of the head section with the shorter top edge of the body. Make sure to match the seams, and pin the two pieces together.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

For best results, take extra care to match up all the seams on the head with the seams on the body while pinning.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Then sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge, and remove the pins.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Fold the connected owl head and body in half with right sides together. Match up the remaining curved edges of the two outer head pieces, and the remaining curved edges of the two front pieces. Pin along those edges.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Sew one 1/4" seam along the pinned curved edges of the head and body. Make sure to leave the bottom open.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

With the sewn body wrong side out, take the base piece (file "l"), and place it over the open bottom with the right sides together. Match the two triangle notches on the base piece up with the front and back seams on the owl's body. Pin along all the edges, leaving a 3" opening along one of the back piece's bottom edge.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Sew a 1/4" along the edges of the back piece, making sure to leave a 3" opening along the bottom edge of one of the back pieces for turning. Remove the pins.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

To allow all of the curved seams to be as flexible as possible, carefully trim slits or notches into all of the seam allowances. Be careful not to cut any of your sewn seams, but it is okay to cut into the tackdown embroidery now that the owl is assembled.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Then turn the owl's body and head right side out.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Stuff the head and body with polyester fiberfill until it is firm and plump.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Fold in the raw edges of the opening 1/4". Then use a hand-sewing needle and thread, matching the main body fabric to sew the opening closed.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Position the tail (file "d") over the back seam, making sure it is about 1 1/2" down from the where the head meets the body. Hand-sew it in place on the body.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Position the first wing onto the owl. Lay the upper corner of the wing just over the top of the seam where the front and middle body pieces meet. Then hand-sew it in place just along the top, flat edge.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Curl the wing around the body, so it slightly overlaps the tail. Hand-sew the wing to the body near the center back of the wing to help it stay positioned correctly.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Then repeat to position and sew the opposite wing.

Free project instructions to stitch an in-the-hoop owl stuffie.

Position the face piece as desired, so it slightly overlaps one of the wings. Centering it over one of the face pieces will make it look best. Hand-sew it in place by stitching through both cheeks of the face piece with thread matching the embroidery.

Owl Stuffie in 3D (In-the-Hoop)



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Products used in this Project:

Owl Stuffie in 3D (In-the-Hoop) $9.99

Available in 1 Size:

6.87" x 4.87"