please, do try this at home

finished swirl

The first time I met my Debian team mates (from the Publicity and WWW teams) was during DebConf11 in Banja Luka, in 2011.

I was very excited, and being the craft geek I am, I decided to bring them little handmade gifts. After some thought, I opted for a Debian swirl plush charm/keychain. And here is how I made it, in six easy steps.

It's a really simple project, you just need a bit of patience for the sewing part: the swirl is sewn by hand and it's very important to make regular stitches.

The finished swirl measures approximately 7.5x12 cm.

What you'll need

tools for the project

  • red felt: a square of at least 15x24 cm
  • poly-fil stuffing (or other filling)
  • ~ 4 cm of ribbon
  • a keychain ring
  • red thread
  • pins and needle
  • fabric shears
  • pen (or chalk pencil) o Step 1

first step: trace the swirl on felt

Make a sketch of your swirl on paper or, if you don't feel too confident about your drawing skills, print this pattern I made. Trace it on the felt and cut it on felt twice (you'll need two swirl-shaped pieces for the plushie).

You can also fold the felt double and cut just one time (as I did).

Step 2

second step: where to start sewing

Pin the two swirl-shaped pieces together, with the wrong sides inside. With the red thread, using back stitch, sew them together, starting from the lower end as indicated in the image above.

Step 3

third step: stuffing

When you reach the point marked in the image above, start stuffing the filling into the curved part of the swirl (use a pen to stuff it more easily in the narrow part of the curve).

Step 4

fourth step: more stuffing

Continue stuffing the swirl and sewing it until you reach the point marked in the picture above.

Step 5

fifth step: how to place the ring

Now it's time to add the ribbon and the ring: cut 4 cm of ribbon and fold it lenghtwise. Slide on it the ring and fold it again, then put the two ends between the folds of the swirl, as shown in the picture above.

Step 6

sixth step: sewing til the end

Continue sewing til the end.

Congratulations, you now have a Debian plushie.

I really loved creating these, and I'm really happy to know that the swirls I made are now scattered around the world: one in Austria, one in Australia, one in Denmark, four in Germany, three in Italy and one in Martinique.

And the one I made for this tutorial will end in Italy as well (Mark, it's yours).

If you have any doubts about the pattern, you can contact me. And if you make one, please send me a pic.

This pattern is released under CC-BY-SA 3.0 license: this means that you can share, distribute, modify and even use it commercially but you'll need to mention the original author (OH HAI! it's me!) and maintain the same license.