Jill from Snugglebug University sells patterns and printables in her shop, and she loves to create with and for her children. This little felt Dog + Dog House Soft Toy would be a great portable summer project to do with kids, and Jill has a matching cat tutorial coming up on her blog tomorrow.

Learn more about Jill in her introduction, and check out our other super-fun Toys + Softies.

I love sewing for kids for two reasons: because kids love what you make for them even if your seams aren’t straight, and because inside I think I’m really an eight year old at heart.

This latest project came out of my love of quiet books, mixed with my desire for a quiet portable toy without a lot of pieces. It actually all started with these little guys:

However after making lots of felt dolls, my youngest animal-loving daughter was quite distraught over the lack of animals among her new toys. She wanted a dog, and not just a dog: a dog house, complete with a dog bed…

…And clothes to accessorize her furry friend (including a crown, of course, because crowns are the most important of accessories for a two year old).

And she loved it until, as she said, “Dog lonely.” So we made a cat.

And that was the end of that. So today here on Sew Mama Sew I’m going to show you how to make this little house and dog which is loved by both my two and four year old. Tomorrow on my blog, I’ll share the template and instructions for the cat!

Alright let’s get started with the dog. First use the PDF Dog/Doghouse Template to cut out all of your pieces. None of the pieces require additional seam allowances. I recommend felt for the dog and bone. I’m partial to wool blend felt, but craft felt (the kind made from plastic bottles) will work too. The house can be made of lightweight fabrics. The accessories are made by fusing a lightweight (quilting cotton) fabric to felt with fusible interfacing. Take your time cutting out the pieces with a sharp pair of scissors; it really makes all the difference with a felt project!

Dog Tutorial:
Step 1: Begin by embroidering the dog face and attaching the dog’s eye patch. Whip stitch on the dog’s eye spot onto the dog’s front according to the guide. As a personal preference, I use three strands of embroidery floss, but use whatever you are comfortable with.

Mark the location of the eyes and nose and embroider. Set aside.

Step 2: Whip stitch the dog’s ears (front and back of ears together). Now place the ears between the dog front and back. Sew dog front to dog back, catching the dog’s ears into your stich (and adding a tiny bit of poly-fil as you go along; this is optional). Whip stitch the dog bone front to the dog bone back in a similar manner.

You want your dog to be relatively flat, even with poly-fil, so that you can place the dog’s outfits easily on top of the dog. All finished. Isn’t he a cutie?

Accessories/Outfit Tutorial:
My kids wanted the dog to be able to play “dress up,” just like their baby dolls. The template has a pattern for a shirt, a bow (or bow tie) and a crown. The great thing about felt is that it naturally adheres to itself. So as long as your dog clothes have a felt backing, it will loosely adhere to your felt dog.

Step 1: Make the clothes from three layers. The top layer is a lightweight fabric. The middle layer is fusible interfacing and the bottom layer is a piece of felt. Fuse the layers together according to the directions of the fusible interfacing. This involves ironing the interfacing to one side, removing the paper backing and then ironing to the remaining side.

Step 2: Stitch around the edges, securing the layers together. Easy peasy, right?

House Tutorial:
Aright, now let’s talk about the dog house. The outside of the doghouse has a scalloped roof (attached with fusible interfacing and stitched on) in addition to a front door. The inside of the doghouse has a pouch to keep the accessories, as well as a dog bed. The front and the back of the doghouse are stitched together. I didn’t add a layer of batting, but if you’d like your house to have a bit more support, you could always add a layer of batting between the front and the back. You could also add a button closure on the side. Anyway, let’s get started.

Step 1: Attach the roof and door to the outside of the doghouse using fusible interface. Secure in place. Add any embellishing embroidery and set aside.

Step 2: Place right sides of dog bed together and sew around the edges with a ¼ inch seam allowance, leaving the bottom open. Clip curves and turn inside out.

Fold in the bottom edge of the bed (about a ¼ of a inch), pin to inside piece of doghouse, and sew to doghouse inside. Sew a topstitch as closely to the edge of the bed as possible, around the sides and the bottom, leaving the top open (so the dog can sit inside). Set aside.

Step 3: Now fold the pocket in half and sew a 3/8 inch seam allowance around the pocket, leaving one side open (for turning). Turn, fold in edges, and pin to the base of the dog house inside. Sew a close topstitch around the side and bottom of the pocket to secure to the inside of the house.

Step 4: Finish any embroidery, embellishments, etc. that you want to add to the doghouse front and back. I like to place a personalized label on the back that I make myself by printing on fabric.

Place the dog house front and back together, right sides touching each other. Sew a ¼ inch seam around the edges of the doghouse, leaving one side open.

Step 5: Clip corners and turn. Press. Turn in edges of open side.

Step 6: Pin opening closed and sew a close top stitch around the edge of the doghouse.

All finished! Don’t forget to head over to Snugglebug University tomorrow for the cat template and tutorial.

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