Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Burda 04/2009/149 Elephant Toy

This is the mock-up "Elmer the Patchwork Elephant" which I made for my 5 year old... he says this is Grandpa Eldo :

So now I have to make Elmer, Elmers teddy and Wibur (Black & White)... I am not sure that I will want to use this pattern for all of the Elephants though!

Eldo is considerably more colourful now though, as L and his friend O happily decorated him with colouring pens!

Burda directions dreadful as usual...
This is what I will do for the next one:
1. Sew darts in body
2. Sew up ears, stuff lightly
3. Sew up tail, stuff lightly
4. Attach tail and ears to body
5. Attach head piece to body - pin ears out of the way
6. Sew inside front leg pieces (not the top seam allowance)
7. Sew soles on - clip curves
8. Gather top of inside back legs until the are 4.5cm wide
9.Sew back legs on (not top seam allowance)
10. Sew on soles - clip curve
11. Pin on belly piece and sew on (leave gap at tail end for stuffing)
12. Turn right side out
13. Stuff firmly
14. Hand sew opening closed
15. Draw or sew on eyes (my son drew on eyes using a fabric pen)
16. Cuddle!

Pattern Description:

A toy elephant - from Burda mag - sitting down on his haunches

Pattern Sizing:

One size - just right for a child to cuddle!

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Well.. it would have if I had used the same fabrics and my sewing was not so rushed!

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Burda directions dreadful as usual...
Also they did not instruct you to sew the dart first.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

My son came home from school wanting to "sew Elmer" (The patchwork Elephant) ... I saw this review as part of pattern stash contest... and it reminded me that a) i had this issue and b) I had wanted to to sew it when I first saw it...3 years ago.... This was just the kick that I needed to get it out and sew it up! As the other reviewer states it is not a beginner pattern, but it does go together nicely. I am not so keep on the sitting down look. I think one of the "herd" I have been asked to make might need to be standing up!

I like the darts adding shape to the body.

Fabric Used:

Some cotton drill to practice

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:


Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes I shall be sewing it in black and white to make Wilbur!


A nice pattern to make a toy elephant - it has brought lots of pleasure to my son (who is busy redecorating it). Worth the time and effort to make (and my son enjoyed helping to make it )

29th Jan 2013 - photo of underneath ... back legs inside are gathered up so that they fit


  1. Catherine - I'm pulling my hair out. I have the elephant three quarters put together, but I don't have instructions. I cannot understand the rear end of the little guy. The gusset, I think I have right - the pointy end goes up into the trunk and the wide end is at the back? But I need to ask you first of all, do you have time, and would you be comfortable giving me this advice?

    I got all full of myself and kind of put things together the way it made sense to me. Then I read your instructions here - you sewed the head pieces together and THEN sewed the now rounded section to the body, which was also sewn together along the back - together? It's an awkward thing to do - should it be?

    You said to gather the inside back legs (I'd already sewn the small inside leg sections to the body leg bits. So, I am supposed to gather the back end - but not across the legs - starting at the rear end edge of one back leg to the rear end edge of the other back leg - and that is supposed to be 4.5 cm?

    I am pulling my hair out. Do you have a picture of your guy from the back - and upside down? Please feel free to email me - if you want to.

    1. It is rather a fiddle to do - but yes you sew almost the entire elephant and then add the gusset with the thin piece at the trunk. It does not photo well from underneath, as the back legs gather up under the body. It shall retrieve a elephant from my sons bed (have now made 3 - all on blog).... I will photo later and upload for you. Good luck!

  2. I am sending you huge kisses. I have taken this guy apart and put him back together about five times. I'm made other animals - did my own lovely little pony pattern (on my blog more times than anybody needs to see it), but this is - arcane, darn it. So this is what I ended up doing (wish I could draw in this box): the way the pattern that I have (which I think is actually not the Burda, but someone's offshoot), that wide, arched end of the gusset seems to be numbered so that it wants to cover the inside leg piece also - the two leg pieces and the bum. But there was no way that gusset was that wide. So I gathered the inside legs' upper edges along with the curve of the bum, one terribly long curve of gathering, and the gusset only fit so that some of its side, the whole of the bottom curve and some of its other side covered legs and bum.

    I am NOT a technical writer - obviously. Perhaps part of my trouble is that I'm using a nice, fat fleece instead of a nice, thin woven. I think what I want to do (I cannot leave a thing alone till I "get" it) is redraw the pattern and include the front leg inside bits as part of the gusset, the way I'd do with a standing horse or dog. But I'm going to do this in muslin, this experimenting, and spare my brain a great deal of pain.

    Thank you for answering - and thank you for the intent to photo. It's wonderful of you.

    1. Yes this pattern is VERY much harder in thick ir stiff fabrics. I have only made it three times, but it worked do much better as Wilbur with thinner fabric... fleece would be a nightmare. Hope the photo helps.

  3. Okay - the photo helps me be pretty sure I did it wrong. I put up a couple of pictures of my own, hoping you'd have just a sec to glance. I sort of charted out how I distributed that (fill in the blank) gusset - however I did it, it did NOT look like your picture. I'm still sending you kisses.

  4. Did I include the link to the pictures? Probably not. Sigh.

    1. No l ink ... but if you give me a link I will have a look :-)

  5. Ha!

    There are a couple of pictures of him there. But this one is my magnificent attachment chart.


    1. I would say that you needed to gather the top of the inside of the back legs more so that the bottom of the ellie was less gathered... but looking good. Will you try him in a thinner fabric now? :-)

  6. Yes, ma'am. I'm going to go the entire length of the diff and use muslin this time. And I'm going to stick the inside front leg on the gusset. That will mean that there will be more excess to worry with, putting on the soles of his front feet, but I kind of like the idea of having that be integral. I will send you pictures - either of myself as a sane person, or otherwise -

    Did you get to see my pony?

  7. Love the fabric you used for the pony :)