This plush little Chocolate Bunny is a long-lasting alternative to his candy kin. With all the jelly bean eggs, Peeps and other sugar-coma-inducing treats in the average Easter basket, a sugar-free huggable rabbit certainly has its place. Plus, no more dilemma over whether to eat the ears or tail first!
This Little Softees is quick and easy to make. We chose a double-sided luxury fleece, which is so forgiving, even a beginner can turn out a bunny that will hop into the basket looking like star. For more information, take a look at our tips and techniques tutorial: Sewing with Plush Fabric.
If you’ve never tried making your own stuffed toys, this bunny is a great first project. There is a free pattern download below, and we show you how to stitch right through the paper pieces to make it simple to keep your curves and angles spot-on, even around the tips of Mr. Bunny’s ears.
As mentioned below, our bunny features button eyes, which are not appropriate for very young children. Instead, hand embroider the eyes at the same time as you make the kitten’s mouth.
We also show you the steps for the fluffy bunny tail from standard yarn.
After you’ve made our kitty, you may want to try the matching Cotton Candy Kitty project.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing machine and standard presser foot
Fabric and Other Supplies
- ⅓ yard of 54″+ Luxury Plush Fleece in Pink; we used Shannon Cuddle Fleece in Chocolate Brown
NOTE: This is enough deliciously soft fabric to make three little kittens.
- Scrap of printed cotton quilting weight fabric for ears
- Polyester fiberfill: we used Fairfield Ultra Plush in the small 8oz bag
- 1 yard of ½” wide ribbon for the bow at the bunny’s neck
- Embroidery floss
NOTE: We used natural for the nose/mouth. You may also prefer to embroider the eyes for children too young for button eyes. If so, black embroidery floss would be a good choice.
- Knitting needle, chopstick or point turner
- All purpose thread to match fabric
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Hand embroidery needle
- A couple yards of yarn for tail: we used a soft blue-green to match the fabric for the ears
- Download and print both of the 8½” x 11″ pattern sheets using standard weight paper: Bunny Body Template and Bunny Ears Template
IMPORTANT: You must print these PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
- Cut TWO 8½” x 11″ pieces of the fleece for the body. Our fleece was double-sided. If you choose this type, you will likely find that one side is slightly fluffier than the other and should be considered the right side. Treat luxury plush like any napped fabric and place all patterns in one direction. You’ll use scraps of fleece for the ears.
- Press the printed fabric scraps prior to use. The fleece should NOT be pressed; it can melt with the heat of an iron.
At Your Sewing Machine
NOTE: Luxury plush is fluffy and a bit slippery. It can be easier, especially for beginners, to sew the fleece right through the pattern paper, using the seam line as a stitching guide. This is what we show below. When you finish sewing, gently tear the paper away from the seam. If you prefer not to do it this way, you will need to add a ¼” seam allowance all around the main kitty body pattern.
Make Bunny Tail
- Wrap yarn around your fingers as shown photo 1. Cut a piece of yarn to tie in the center and slip between ring and middle fingers.
- Cinch up the tie tightly to form the bow tie shape shown in photo 2.
- Slip your scissors into the loops formed on either side and clip as shown in photo 3.
- Fluff and trim to form the bunny tail shown in photo 4.
Make Bunny Ears
- Cut out the two ear pattern pieces. Place one piece of fleece and one piece of cotton fabric, each slightly larger than the ear pattern piece, right sides together. Pin the pattern piece to the layers. We pinned on the cotton side so we could to fussy cut my ear patterns over an appropriate motif on the fabric. Repeat for the second ear.
- Stitch along the outer edge of each ear along the dotted stitch line.
- Trim the fabric back to the cut line. Gently tear away the paper.
- Turn the ears right side out. Finger press to flatten (remember… do not iron the fleece).
Make Bunny Body
NOTE: The Bunny Body identical in construction to the Kitty Body in our Cotton Candy Kitty project. For additional photos, check this link.
- Place the Bunny Body printout on top the wrong side of one of the 8½” x 11″ pieces of fleece. Anchor with a few straight pins.
- Use pins to mark the location of ears.
NOTE: The ears go beneath the fleece, NOT between the pattern and the fleece.
- Use the pins to find the corners of the ears and pin the ears in position underneath the fleece.
- Lay the piece of fleece with the ears pinned in place rights side together with the remaining 8½” x 11″ piece of fleece. You now have a little sandwich with the ears between the two layers of right-side-together fleece.
- Pin the sandwich all around.
- Stitch along the dashed seam line (again – right through the paper), beginning at the marked dot on the arm. Backstitch to start, then continue along the dashed seam line all around to the second marked dot. Stop at this dot and backstitch, leaving the space between the dots open for turning and stuffing.
- Gently tear away paper pattern and trim the fleece to approximately ¼” from the seam line.
- Turn bunny right side out. Push out arms and legs with a long, blunt tool; a knitting needle, chopstick or point turner all work well.
- Use thee tool to push the polyester filler into all parts of the Bunny Body until pleasingly plump.
NOTE: We have a tutorial on pillow stuffing you can review if you are brand new.
- Slip stitch opening closed.
- Hand stitch the tail to the back side of the Bunny Body about where shown.
Make Bunny Face
- Sew button eyes to face. Depending on where you put them and the size and style of the buttons, you can achieve a variety of facial expressions. We sewed from one eye across to the other and snugged it just a little to slightly indent the eyes.
- A simple X makes an easy nose and mouth. Again, this is an area to be as expressive as you’d like with your embroidery floss.
Project concept and sample creation: Alicia Thommas