Spoonflower sells custom-printed fabric — you can search for or upload designs, then have them printed to order on a wide variety of fabric types. I’ve used them a lot in my business, both to order designs I like and to order fabric with my own designs.
One neat trend on the site is cut-and-sew items, which are designs that are printed with the pattern lines on them, so all you have to do is cut and sew! I wanted to try this out, so I ordered two designs from Sew, Desu Ne?: a candy corn bat and a pumpkin owl, two perfect critters for the Halloween season!
Ordering a fat quarter of minky fabric in each design results in the all the pieces for the plush custom-printed on the minky fabric. It looks like this all laid out:
The fabric even has the URL for the full pattern instructions printed on it! So all you have to do is cut out the pieces and follow the pattern.
Both plushies were easy and fun to put together. I’m particularly happy with the pumpkin owl. He’s soooo cute, and so fun to hold because he’s so round!
Cut and sew projects make it as easy as possible to make a cute soft toy. You don’t need to worry about picking fabric or worrying about the direction of the fabric. And having he design printed right on the fabric means you can get great details with very little effort.
There are some downsides. One is that you need to be extra careful about cutting because you can’t cut another piece to replace something if you mess up. For example, the wings on the owl are mirrored rather than being strictly symmetrical; this means you need to be very careful to cut through opposite sides on each wing when turning them right side out.
Also, there are some issues with Spoonflower minky, mainly that digital printing on a fabric with even a short pile means that the “roots” of the fibers don’t have dye. So when the fibers lift up, you can see the white base coming through. For projects like this, it doesn’t bother me too much.
All of that said, these plushies were super fun to make and I would absolutely try it again! A fat quarter of Spoonflower minky is $14, which is a bit pricey, but considering that the only other supplies you need are thread and stuffing, and that the results look so incredible, I think it’s worth it!
As for these two, they are going to live in my living room at least until Halloween!