Embroidery Library

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

Free project instructions for creating a layered organza design in-the-hoop.

Free project instructions for creating a Chicken Stuffie in 3D (In-the-Hoop)


Craft country charm with this plush chicken design! Stitch each piece in-the-hoop, then sew together and stuff to create an adorable 3D chicken. Embroidered details and your choice of fabrics give this project sweet one-of-a-kind flair!


Project Needs & Notes:

- 1/4 yard cotton fabric (in 5 colors)
- Water soluble stabilizer (like Vilene of Sulky Ultra Solvy)
- Tear-away stabilizer
- Temporary spray adhesive (such as Gunold KK100)
- Embroidery thread
- Scissors
- Sewing machine
- Hand sewing needle and thread
- Polyester fiber fill
- Sewing pins

Designs featured in this tutorial include:
- X15072, Chicken Stuffie in 3D (In-the-Hoop)

Finished size: 6 3/4" tall x 7" long x 4 1/2" wide

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

When you download the 3D chicken 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 an embroidery software. If you do not have an embroidery software, Wilcom TrueSizer is a free program to use.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

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 for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Cut out the shape and remove the paper. Then repeat to cut out all the remaining printed dielines.


Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Files "k" & "l" have a front and a back dieline, so make sure to cut out both for each wing. Labeling the paper and leaving it on the fabric piece for now can also help with telling the pieces apart.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Then also repeat to cut out the felt pieces. These will be sewn onto the chicken during assembly, so set them aside for now.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Files "a" - "j" are the pieces that make up the body of the chicken.

To keep the pieces as soft and flexible as possible, these files need to be sewn out on water-soluble stabilizer. Then the stabilizer will be washed away after the pieces have sewn.

There are several different kinds of water-soluble stabilizer available. For this demonstration, Vilene was used.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

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

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Attach the hoop to the machine, and load any chicken body embroidery file ("a" - "j") (make sure you are using the embroidery file and not the dieline file).

Use a 75/11 sharp sewing needle, and embroider the design. The first thing to embroider will be a dieline (or outline stitch), marking the area on the stabilizer where the fabric piece will be placed.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

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 and smooth it onto the stabilizer inside the sewn dieline.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

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. It will also prevent the fabric pieces from fraying as it stitches all around the raw edges.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

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

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Some pieces have no additional inner details beyond the dieline and tackdown steps. Make sure to still embroider the tackdown around all these pieces, as some of the edges of the fabric pieces will be seen on the final product.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

After embroidering, trim away the excess stabilizer from around the fabric piece.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

The stabilizer's packaging should give instructions for removing the excess.

For Vilene, soak the embroidered piece for a few hours, changing out the water occasionally to prevent discoloration.

For best results, soak all the embroidered pieces together. This way if any discoloration occurs, it will happen evenly to all the pieces.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Allow the piece to air dry, and then press it with a pressing cloth on top.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Repeat the previous steps to sew all the body pieces of the chicken plush (files "a" - "j").

These pieces will all sew on water-soluble stabilizer, need the stabilizer washed away, have only one fabric piece, and do not need matching bobbins.

This includes the head pieces (files "a" & "e"), the upper body pieces (files "b" & "f"), the lower body pieces (files "c" & "g"), the tail pieces (files "d" & "h"), and the base pieces (files "i" & "j").

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Files "k" & "l" are the 2 wings of the chicken.

To make these pieces more sturdy, they will both be sewn onto 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 for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Hoop a piece of tear-away stabilizer tightly, so there are no wrinkles.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Attach the hoop onto the machine, and load either wing embroidery file ("k" & "l") (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 for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

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 for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

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 for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

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 for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

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 for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

As all the embroidery from here on out will be seen from both sides, wind a bobbin to match the final thread color used.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Place the bobbin into the machine, and embroider the "back piece tackdown" as well as the "finishing border".

These steps will first tack the back piece onto the stabilizer, and then sew the final border around the edges of the fabric.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

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

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Repeat the steps above to embroider the two wing pieces (files "k" & "l").

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 both the wings (files "k" & "l").

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

To help with placement, small triangle points stick out around the edges of the fabric pieces.

These are notches, and when the correct notches on two separate pieces are matched up, they make the pieces line up correctly.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

First, lay the first head piece (file "a") on top of the first upper body piece (file "b").

Line the lowest left and right notches on the head up with the highest left and right notches on the upper body piece. Make sure all right sides are facing up, and pin the two pieces together where they overlap.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

For best results, sew with the embroidery thread that was used for the tackdown of the head piece. This way the stitching will be hidden in the tackdown and not visible on the finished product.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Using thread matching the head's tackdown stitching, carefully machine sew right along the inner edge of the tackdown border.

Sew just along the bottom edge of the head piece where they overlap to attach these two pieces together. For best results, try to sew right on the edge of the embroidered tackdown, and not onto the open fabric at all to hide the stitching.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Then lay the first upper body piece (file "b") on top of the first lower body piece (file "c"). Line the lowest left notch on the upper body up with the leftmost notch on the lower body piece.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

These pieces don't have a second notch to help with placement. Instead, look at the overlap closely, and make the pieces overlap as evenly as you can.

Pin the pieces together where they overlap. Then take the pinned piece and first tail piece (file "d"), and make sure the pinned pieces end up same height as the tail piece. It is very important to make sure the height is correct as it will allow the four notches shown here to match up properly.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

After checking the height, use thread matching the upper body's tackdown to carefully sew right along the inner edge of the tackdown border.

This will adhere the pieces together while hiding the sewn line in the tackdown border.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Using the two threads matching the upper and lower body pieces' tackdowns, carefully machine sew right along the inner edge of the tackdown border.

This will adhere the pieces together while hiding the sewn line in both of the different the tackdown borders.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Repeat the previous steps to overlap and sew together the other half of the body (files "e" - "h").

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Take the three felt pieces, and lay them on top of either face piece. The felt pieces have notches on them as well. Make sure to match each of them up to the correct notch on the face as shown, then pin them in place.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

For best results, baste stitch each of the three felt pieces in place on the face using a 1/8" seam allowance. This will prevent them from shifting when you sew the two side pieces together.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Next, lay the other side of the chicken on top of the side piece with the felt pieces. Make sure right sides are together. Match up the edges carefully, and pin the two sides together around the edges.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

When sewing, the entire bottom half of the chicken will be left unsewn and open for the base piece. This means you will only be sewing along the top edge. To know where to start and stop sewing, locate the two notches shown in this photo.

To clearly mark it for yourself on your chicken, you can pin only between these two notches, so you know to stop once you reach the end of the pins.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Sew a 1/4" seam from the center of the front notch and over the top of the chicken until you reach the center of the back notch.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Then take the two base pieces and match up the edges with right sides together. Locate the flat side with two notches, and pin only along that side. This time, you will be sewing just on the left and right sides of the two notches, leaving in between them open and unsewn.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Sew a 1/4" seam from each notch to the closest edge, leaving between the notches open. This will leave a hole in this piece for turning and stuffing later.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Open up the side pieces, and match one point on the base piece up with the front of the chicken where the side seam ends at the front notch.

Make sure to overlap the point 1/4" with the front notch. Then pin the base piece to only one side of the chicken. For best results pin from the front to the back. When you get to the back the back point should slightly overlap the back notch.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Then sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge. Make sure not to catch the other side of the chicken while sewing.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Repeat to pin the other side of the base piece to the other side of the chicken. Make sure to pin from front to back for best results.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Sew another 1/4" seam along the pinned edge. This will leave the only remaining opening in the center of the base piece.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

To prevent the fabric from puckering around the seams, cut notches or slits into all the seam allowances.

Be careful not to cut into the sewn seams or inner embroidered details of any of the pieces. It is okay to cut the tackdown stitches that will no longer be seen. If you do accidentally cut some stitching, use a bit of glue or sew over the stitching again to prevent it from unraveling.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Once all the seam allowances are cut, turn the chicken right side out.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Stuff the chicken firmly with polyester fiberfill. A washer or weighted filler can also be added to the bottom of the chicken to help it sit more securely. This will prevent it from being knocked over easily, but the chicken does stand upright without it.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Then fold the edges of the opening in 1/4", and hand sew the opening closed.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

To add the first wing, position it as desired on the correct side of the chicken.

Use the same thread that embroidered the finishing border on the wings and sew the front edge of the wing in place by sewing around the satin stitch border (so your stitching blends in with the embroidered satin stitch).

This means sewing from the inside of the satin border up and over to the outer edge of the border, then sewing down into the chickens body, and then back up through the wing, so the needle comes out on the inside of the border again. Repeat this stitch six to ten times to hold the wing in place along the front, upper edge.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Then repeat to sew around the satin border at the back of the wing to secure it in place. Sewing in just these two places is enough to hold it in place.

Free project instructions for creating a 3D Chicken Stuffie in-the-hoop

Repeat to place the second wing on the opposite side of the chicken. Hand sew it to the chicken at the front and the back to hold it securely in place.

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



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Products used in this Project:

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

Available in 1 Size:

4.86" x 6.72"