What a hoot! How to sew owl softies

how to sew owl toys

We’re all of a twitter with Jo Carter’s pocket owl softies! If you caught them on Sewing Quarter this morning, read on for our step-by-step guide for how to sew owl softies and download our owl shape templates to make your own.

You will need…

Need fabric…?

Shop at Sewing Quarter for fabulous fabric and everything else you need to sew your feathered friends!

Finished size

5in tall approx


  • Seam allowances are 14in, unless otherwise noted.
  • When using our templates: Arrows on the pattern pieces indicate pile/print direction for marking and cutting out.
  • RST = right sides together

Owl softies tutorial

Cutting out

Remember: When the pattern specifies “cut 2” (or more) of a pattern piece, after marking out half of the pieces required, the template needs to be turned over to mark out the remaining half so that the pieces are cut as mirror images.

Step one: From Fabric A cut:

  • One (1) Front Body.
  • Two (2) Side Body.
  • One (1) Base.

Step two: From Fabric B cut:

  • Four (4) Wing.
  • Two (2) Tail.

Step three: From Fabric C cut:

  • Two (2) Pocket.

Sewing the piecesOwl softies Figs 1-6 NEW

Step four: First place two mirror-image wing pieces one on top of the other on top of a piece of batting that is larger overall than the wing. Sew all three layers together around the edge of the wing (leave the straight side open) and trim away the excess batting. Clip ‘V’-shaped notches in the seam allowance around the curves, clip the seam allowance at the internal corner and lastly clip the corner (Fig 1). Turn the right way out and then repeat for the opposite wing.

Step five: Make the tail in the same way as the wings by placing the tail pieces RST one on top of the other on top of a piece of batting. Sew around the edges, trim the excess batting, clip the seam allowance at the internal corners and then clip the corners (Fig 2). Turn the right way out.

Step six: Lightly press the wings and the tail with a cool iron and then quilt as shown (Fig 3).

Step seven: Place one pocket piece right side up, on top of a piece of batting that is larger overall than the pocket and quilt as shown. Trim away the excess batting from around the sides of the pocket and then RST place the two pocket pieces together and sew along the top edge to join them (Fig 4).

Turn the right way out and then topstitch along the top edge. Baste the bottom edges to securely align the front and back of the pocket.

Step eight: Trace out the eye patch onto the backing paper of some iron-on adhesive, cut out roughly and following the manufacturer’s instructions, iron onto the reverse of the white felt. Cut the eye patch out, peel off the backing paper and press in place on the front body 212in up from the bottom edge, taking care not to scorch the felt (press through a cloth if preferred). Sew a line of straight stitch around the outside of the eye patch and then sew around the inside edge of the patch with zigzag stitch.

Step nine: Back the beak with iron-on adhesive in the same way as the eye patch, cut out and press the beak in place at the bottom of the eye patch, again taking care not to scorch the felt. Sew twice around the beak with straight stitch (Fig 5).

Step ten: Mark the position of the eyes with a water erasable pen and then embroider by backstitching a small circle in black thread and then filling it in (Fig 6).

Step eleven: RST pin a wing in place in the long dart in a side body piece and then sew the dart together capturing the wing in place and tapering the end of the dart at the top (Fig 7). Repeat for the other side.

Owl softies figs 7-12 NEW

Step twelve: Right sides up, baste the tail in place at the back of the base (Fig 8).

Step thirteen: Right sides up, baste the pocket to the front body along the sides and the bottom (Fig 9).

Step fourteen: Close the small darts in each of the side body pieces. With the two side body pieces RST, partly sew together from the top along the back, stopping approximately 1in after the darts (Fig 10).

Owl softies close up

Step 15: Close the dart at the top of the front body, tapering the end. RST line up the dart in the front body with the central seam joining the side body pieces and from this top point, sew the front body to one side from the top to the bottom edge (Fig 11). Return to the top point and sew the other side of the body together. Clip ‘V’-shaped notches in the seam allowance around the curves.

Step 16: RST line up the marker at the centre of the front body to that on the centre front of the base piece and from this point sew the base to the body around one side, finishing at the centre of the tail (Fig 12). Return to the front centre point and sew the remaining side. Turn the owl the right way out, stuff and close along the back using a ladder stitch or similar.

About the designer

Jo CarterJo Carter is a quilting and sewing designer and regular Love Patchwork & Quilting contributor. We love her designs. Find out what she’s up to over on her blog twoowls.typepad.co.uk or on her instagram @Jo2owls.