Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tutorial: Munster (Sew-vivor Week 3)

I have a new sewing blog, hillmade. You will be redirected to this same post at in 5 seconds. Follow along with me there!

It’s Wednesday again! That means it’s also voting time over at Family Ever After for another week of Sew-vivor! This is week 3 of 4. If I make the cut this week I’ll be in the finals and will compete next week for 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place prize. So go vote! (If you missed the previous weeks, here’s Week 1 and Week 2.)

The challenge this week was to sew for charity. It didn’t have to necessarily be for a charity, but to sew for a purpose, for a specific person or persons. I chose to sew up some fun Munster dolls for children at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. I had a hard time coming up with a design I liked. I knew what I wanted, but at the same time I didn’t. I wanted simple, clean, and fun. I searched Pinterest for some inspiration and found a pin from this blog. That was exactly what I was looking for! So, I whipped up my own pattern and went with it.

Hailey named them Munsters. Kyle asked her what they are called, and it came out sounding like Munster. So there you go. Not monster. Munster.

8 monsters
I made a total of eight. Each one is slightly different from the other. The above picture, from left to right, there’s the super hero (complete with cape, it’s just behind him), crazy yarn hair, modern geometric pattern, soft ‘n spiky, mellow yellow, calm blue, eggplant, and the girly girl.

IMG_6184The super hero’s cape.

monster-collage-2_webThe Munster Bunch

These Munsters are fun. They have a varying number of eyes and teeth, zipper mouths with a pocket, and red or pink tongues. Each monster also has a tag that says “I belong to” with space below for a child to write in their name and claim the Munster as their own. Kids in unfamiliar places need something of their own to give them comfort. Hailey is all about things being hers. It’s very important to her. She’ll let you know that whatever you have, or she has is  hers!

They love to eat. Anything. But especially their fruits and vegetables.

Want to make one too?

You’ll need:

  • 1/4 yard of fabric (either a regular 1/4 yard cut, or a fat quarter works great)
  • contrasting fabric for the pocket
  • small zipper (It’ll be cut down to 4.5 inches- I used a 7 inch zipper because that’s what I had)
  • white, black, and red felt or fleece
  • disappearing ink or water soluble ink fabric marking pen
  • wonder under or similar fusible backing (Get the sewable kind! I didn’t, I used the ultra hold and ended up having to hand stitch instead of machine stitch)
  • fiberfill (stuffing)
  • pattern- download here

Let’s get started! (all seam allowances are approx. 3/8 inch- I use the edge of my presser foot)

01 supplies_touch upFirst cut out your pattern, pin it to the fabric, cut out fabric, and iron on wonder under to the backs of the eye pieces (leave the paper backing on for now.)

02 sew leg, knotch round_touch upStarting with your leg pieces, sew with right sides together, down the sides and around the bottom curve. Leave the top open for stuffing. Notch the rounded edge.

04 stuff leg_touch upIron the legs to smooth them out. Stuff them with fiberfill. Set them aside for now.

05 iron on eye_touch upPeel the paper backing off the wonder under on the eye pieces. Iron them to the body placing the white part about 1 inch down from the center and 2 inches from either edge.

06 stitch around eye_touch upStitch around both eye pieces to secure them in place, and to add a little detail. Machine or hand stitch. I was able to machine stitch one, but then ran into troubles after that and gave in to hand stitching the rest. I’m pretty sure this was because I used fusible backing that is no-sew, so it’s extra strong and gunks up the machine. I knew it was a no-no, but tried anyway. Don’t do it. Follow the instructions on whatever kind you buy.

07 tack zipper ends together_touch upGrab your zipper. Unzip it just a little bit and tack it just past the metal stopper parts.

08 tack zipper off at 4.5 inches_touch upFrom the metal beginning part (so technical- I know…) of the zipper, measure 4.5 inches and tack the zipper just barely past that. Cut the zipper just a little past the tack.

09 prepare zipper hole_touch upNow we’re going to make our zipper hole. Take one of your pocket pieces, place it right side up. Draw a box that is 4 1/2 inches wide and 1/4 inch tall. It will 7/8 inch down from the top and 3/4 inch from either edge. (I’m pretty sure it ends up being 4 1/2 inches, but just in case, just measure from the sides and draw your line and it’ll work.) Inside the box, mark a point in the center that is 1/4 inch from either edge of the box. Draw a diagonal line from there to each corner. Then draw a line connecting those two points. I know I didn’t describe that well. It should look like it does in the picture when you’re done. Pin the pocket piece in place approx. 3/8 inch above the bottom of the body piece.

10 stitch around box_touch upStitch around the box you drew.

11 cut on inner lines_touch upCut on the inner lines. At the end triangles, cut up to the corners where you sewed, but be super careful not to cut through the stitching!

12ab 2-upPush the pocket piece through the hole and press as flat and neat as you can. (Front and back views shown)

13 inner pocket piece mark at .75 inches_touch upTake your other pocket piece and on the right side make a mark 3/4 inch down and centered. I folded the piece in half to find the center.

14ab 2-upOn the tongue piece there is a part that straightens out on the top. Fold this part down, like in the picture. Line up the top of the tongue, where the fold is, with the dot you just made on the pocket piece. Sew the tongue on using a zig-zag stitch.

15 hand stitch detail on tongue_touch upHand stitch a few stitches onto the center bottom of the tongue to add a little detail.

16 baste teeth to zipper_touch upBaste the teeth onto the zipper however you want to place them.

17 use zipper foot and sew zipper in place_touch upPlace the zipper in the hole you cut out a few steps back. Using a zipper foot, topstitch around the edge of the zipper to secure it in place. Be sure not to sew over the teeth!

18 stitch pocket up_touch upTurn the body piece over and with right sides together, line up your other pocket piece with the one that is stitched to the zipper. Sew a 3/8 inch seam all around. Now you have a zipper pocket!

19 pin or baste legs in place_touch upPin or baste the legs (approx. 1 1/4 inches from the edges) onto the front body piece. I pinned in the picture, but after making a few switched to basting and liked that better. Just don’t forget to shorten your stitch length after basting- I did that one too many times.

20 stitch body, leave gap to turn, knotch curves, clip corners_touch upWith right sides together, sew the back body piece to the front piece. Be sure to leave an opening a few inches wide so you can turn it right side out (mine is where the leg is sticking out.) Clip the corners and notch the curve.

21 turn right side out_touch upTurn it right side out.

22 stuff_touch upStuff your monster.

23 hand stitch closed_touch upHand stitch the opening closed. I don’t know what the stitch I’m using is called. It’s the same stitch I use to sew on binding onto a quilt. Slip the needle into the top of the crease and pull through. Then directly across it on the other side do the same thing. So where your needle left the fabric will line up with where your needle enters the fabric on the other side, so you’re moving in a forward motion. Confusing? Yeah, sorry.

24 finished monsterNow you’re done! Yay!

Ok. Time to vote, vote, vote!


  1. These are awesome! I'd for sure sew over the teeth when attaching the tongue...that's my #1 sewing error. You've made some little munchkins very happy!

  2. So cute! I LOVE them! You're creative genius is inspiring!

  3. and just so you know... I meant your..not you're

  4. I just love these, voted for you!! Will have to make these for my nephews!! LOVE THEM!!!

  5. I just found you on Sewvivor after I went there to support Miranda. I ended up voting for your Munsters instead (shhhhh!) even though I loved her maternity outfit for her sister. These dolls are just so cool, and such a great idea, especially the "I Belong To" tags. Thank you for posting the tutorial, too -- I think these would be great projects for Salvation Army stockings at Christmas time, or for our local charity supporting homeless children, who have so few possessions they can call "mine."

  6. Renae. I want to squeal! Ahhhhhhhhhh! These are SO AWESOME! I love, love, love em! You're blowing me away with your skill. How in the world did you find time to sew all these, anyway? You're amazing.

    1. Thanks Jenn! It took quite a while. After making one, I made the rest assembly line style. I think that sped things up. But... it still took a few days. My poor neglected family... Hailey has watched more movies and videos this month than I usually let her watch. She hasn't complained though. Besides the one day that she was over joyed when I told her I would play with her. We'll be back to normal soon...

  7. Oh my goodness! These are by far my favorite! They are soooo cute! Great job!!!

  8. Renae... I am amazed once again with your talent!! They are SO cute!

  9. Oh my goodness, the zipper mouths are beyond awesome!

  10. hahaha! these are so great renae! seeerious talent lady.

  11. Very cute!! I love those. I voted for you. :)

  12. Sew cute!!! You are amazing Renae! I would have loved to see how the judging went if people really voted for their favorites verses friends. I really really thought you were one of the top in that contest. I have had so much fun seeing what you came up with!!! Congratulations on getting the second most points from the judge. She is a SMART judge :)

  13. I just saw you on Sewvivor and I am loving your cute blog here. These are too cute. I am thinking about what fabric I have so I can make some too! I would love for you to link this up my feature friday linky party. I am also following along now!

    Danielle @Blissful and Domestic

  14. Nádhera! Děkuji za návod :)

  15. I'm new here, came from the voting page to check it out before I made my vote. I'm now a new follower and I want you to know that I have voted for you! Good luck!

  16. Ow, these are great!!! Pinned them to make them for my friend's toddler twins. Do you have some kind of pattern for the veggies?

  17. I'm glad you like the monsters. I wish I could take credit for the fruits and veggies, but those came from IKEA.

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  19. I just used this tutorial to make a slightly bigger munster with arms and pigtails. It was awesome! I want to make a whole family!

    1. That's awesome! They are a little addicting, aren't they?



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