Friday, May 18, 2018

Seahorse & Manta

Wrapping up the collection of VBS critters with the two sea creatures - the seahorse and the manta ray.

This is our seahorse,

inspired by this one:
screenshot source

I used Katie's template (it was free on her blog some years back), reduced it so that the final size of the animal was about 18" tall,  added a dorsal fin and side fins (that are not present in the real animal),

and a coronet.

The eyes are glued on under eyelids reinforced with stitching.

The ridges across the body are pintucks originally from Katie's design. 

The manta was based on this image:
screenshot source

Not a lot to go on, so I did some net surfing for real mantas and drafted my template accordingly. This is our ray:

Essentially, it's a flat 2-D shape with a bulgy middle. That bulgy middle, however, posed an interesting challenge. The bulginess is stuffing, which is obvious. How to contain that stuffing in the middle section without it spreading out to the wings and without ugly and unnatural-looking defining seams, was less obvious. 

Fun tip to add to your arsenal of stuffed-animal-shaping techniques: a shaped batting insert. This is how easy it was:
  • I cut two layers of batting in the shape of the ray.
  • I sewed two seams through both layers of batting, to define the region in which the batting needed to stay, creating a pocket of sorts.
  • I sewed the batting to the WS of the actual fabric.
  • I stuffed the batting pocket.
  • The entire animal now is bulgy in just one area without any visible seams.


Here are the other features: a dorsal fin and that long, whippy tail.

The cephalic lobes and the mouth. 

It's a pocket. 

See? Barf side out (because to me, it looks like he's throwing up). I made the lower lip longer than the upper 

to achieve the overall effect of a smile (like the inspiration image) instead of a slit.

That mouth is hilarious - everyone who's seen it automatically puts their hand in it, just like a real pocket.

Unfortunately, I no longer have the pattern for my manta. As I typically do with my one-off projects, I tossed it into the trash after sewing him. I am sorry :( 


  1. How adorable they all are! I think you’ve been having way too much fun! 😉❤️

  2. I feel like I'm playing "sew the Xxxx with IkatBag" and I try to anticipate the solution before I read the next sentence. I got the bulgy middle right!
    The Manta is so flat, making another of the patterns would be dead simple. His mouth is full of charm.


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