I don’t know any unicorn stories. Do they grant wishes or what? Anyway, my granddaughter mentioned wanting one this summer, so I’m making one for her birthday.
I thought I had sworn off making any more stuffed animals, but this time, unlike when I turned a 2D drawing of a hen into a 3D stuffed hen, I’m working from a pattern to save a few headaches. I’m using the downloaded Horsey Horse and Unicorn from Funky Friends Factory. It seems like it will be complicated enough, given the size of some of the pieces, but at least I know they should work together. I’m most worried about the unicorn’s horn, getting that twisted look right, so I’m prepared to try it out multiple times to get it right.
I’m using flannel for the body and flannel-backed satin for the contrasting elements, except for some stretchy silver satin swimsuit fabric to make the horn stand out and take the eye off so much pink—pink is not this child’s first color choice, but my choices were limited.
The instructions, which are in a convenient checklist, get you though all the stitching, even the hard parts.
The trickiest parts are the feet, mane, tail, eyes, and horn. Well, getting the gusset around the neck and head was its own kind of tricky and required patience and lots of pins.
The round feet pads, as all circle pieces, required patience. I only had to redo part of one, so that was pretty lucky. Just pin all around the circles as shown above and take your time.
I had never worked with fake fur before, and while I’m happy with the results, I am not really sure I did it correctly. Although the pattern comes with instructions, there are no pictures to accompany them. After making the unicorn, I found this video on the Funky Friends Factory site about working with the fur on this exact pattern—I wish the pattern had told me to look for it! Turns out I did fold the strip of backing in half, as directed, but mine is not as neat as in the video and I don’t think my fur is as thick and long:
Now that I’ve seen the instructional video, I think I did the tail correctly, and that my extra steps of making it look like a braided tail were good choices.
After stitching the raw edges together, I then folded the tail again, with that whipstitched seam to the inside and proceeded to wrap and stitch through the tail with decorative metallic embroidery floss, as in the photos below. I made a practice tail with the instructional dimensions, then made a final thicker tail with a wider strip of fur (1″ instead of 3/4″):
The instructions of how to embroider eyes after the head is stuffed are not clear about how to tie off your threads. The back opening is too far from the eye area to reach in and tie them on the inside, but I found this good video that shows hiding the knots in a spot that will be hidden, and on the unicorn, that turns out to be under the horn in the middle of the head. Whew! I am so grateful for this video:
The horn is difficult because it is so small, but it’s the piece that makes the horse a unicorn, so you have to get it right. The instructions do tell you to use stretchy material for the horn, and they are right about that.
I think my horn looked a little lumpy after stuffing, but that doesn’t matter after you wrap it to make the traditional twisted horn look. I tried every small pointed or flat-ended tool I could find to stuff that point, and everything eventually pushed through the batting. So, I called it as good as I could get.
It’s hard to turn under the bottom edge of spandex, so I gathered the edges in with a running stitch before sewing it on the head with the suggested ladder stitch.
My unicorn is stuffed tightly enough to stand up, but still be soft to the touch and squeezable. I think a floppier unicorn would work out if made in fleece, but I am going to state again that I am done with stuffed animals, so you’ll have to try that on your own.