Startin' with Applejack

When I decided to add make plushie figures  as part of the offerings at Little Raven Creations, I chose Applejack from the animated series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic as my first plushie endeavor. AJ looked like an easy way to jump into the plush making side of sewing and not having had as much experience with it, this seemed like a fun and easy option.

So for starters, I tweaked a generic MLP pattern I got from ValleyViolet to make it more Applejack-y and then found some nice embroidery patterns for her eyes, freckles, and cutie marks. Then I set up my beginner baby embroider sewing corner, hooking it up like the Borg to my old computer. And after watching about 400 You Tube machine embroidery tutorials (I forgot to mention I had never done machine embroidery before either) and messing up an obligatory number of times, I got this awesome AJ eye x2! Well I was ready to put my party pants on! Here's the rundown of my adventure in plushie making:

Everything is cut out here, marked, and ready to begin putting together. This is where things were really starting to get fun. Plushie making is both similar and different from dress making, and I found each step an adventure.

Whoa! Sometimes trying to figure out tab A and slot B gets interesting. The whole time I was feeling really anxious and excited to see the finished product, imagining each step would offer a new sneak peak. But things could be a little perplexing at times and even downright avant-garde.

Things started getting really exciting when my questionable fabric sculpture become vaguely recognizable! Next I tucked an extra strong small magnet into the bottom of the nose area before stuffing so that Applejack would have the ability to hold an apple (sewn with another magnet) in her mouth. (Applejack is shown testing the magnet's grip below.)


After a round of stuffing, an interesting Picasso moment, and a few more nips and tucks with the needle, the main body of the pony was done. Omygosh, it's Apple-Orange Bambi! Who would've known?


Next--the mane and tail. I used a modified version of the Valley Violet tail pattern (traced onto clear plastic) to get a fair approximation of Applejack's "pony tail" tail. Then I added some design stitching, which I found I had to lay out myself. While the Valley Violet pattern I used was outstanding for creating the overall pony shape, there were pretty much zero details, suggestions, or tips for adding in things like eyes, cutie marks, or design elements, so I had to make these up as I went. As a novice plushie maker, some of it was a bit intimidating!

Finally, the mane and tail pieces are sewn and ready for stuffing. A second magnet is set aside for placing into Applejack's front mane to make her signature hat easily removable but still keep it in place.


I found I needed a thimble for the first time in my life while hand stitching the thick tail and mane pieces through the stuffed body. This was easily the hardest part of the plushie construction and my bent needle proves it. But at last, mane and tail are stuffed and tacked into place, and it looks like the magnet is working great. Huzzah! The "Pony" part of "My Little" is done! Wow! AJ looks so cute!

But I'm not done yet! What's an apple-farming pony without her hat? The problem is I was unable to find a decent Applejack hat pattern, so I had to set aside my needle for a bit to draft my own. This involved a bit of trial and error, but in the end I think I got a pretty good custom-made, prototype cowpony hat. It might take a bit more tweaking in the future, but for now, it works.


And the hat comes in like a winner as the magnet holds it nicely in place! Finishing it up with a super easy apple pattern I partially found on the internet/ partially made up, and inserting the final magnet before stitching up the apple with a stem and leaf, Applejack is finally done! It's official; my first plush is a success! I definitely see some areas that I can tweak and polish on my next round, but I have to admit, this little pony's pretty sweet for my first ever plushie creation!

Next? -- Pinkie Pie!

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