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How to use the Build-a-Buddy Dies

Crafter's Companion – 01/08/19

Soft toys make the perfect gift for a new baby or a child’s birthday, especially when they’re homemade. It’s also really sweet to gift extra clothes to dress up the toys with, but this can often be a little bit daunting for beginners. How do you get started? Which type of animal should you make? How do you make the clothes?

With our Build-a-Buddy Dies, all of these problems are things of the past! Anybody of any needlecraft skill level can easily put together the cutest characters to give as a gift or to keep for themselves. Let us talk you through how they work!

What are the Build-a-Buddy Dies?

These dies come in four sets to help you create four adorable characters, plus one Body Base set, which is absolutely essential to purchase first. It allows you to build the generic body shape, then the character sets help you with the details and clothing.

As these are Multi Media Dies, they are 1.5mm thick, making them slightly thicker than regular dies and giving them the ability to cut through a wide range of materials. As well as paper, card and cotton, you can have a go at cutting through glitter fabric, faux leather and corduroy to give the clothing a bit more life.

Which characters are available?

Ruby the Rabbit is a soft and gentle girl, and loves nothing more than reading, planting tulips in her garden and eating carrot cake for breakfast.

Chloe the Cat is a girl about town and can often be found parading the streets in her bold patterned dresses. She loves strawberry milkshakes, bright red lipstick and listening to pop music at full volume.

Baxter the Bear is a sweet, but cheeky bear who can be found creating a ruckus in the forest in his dungarees. He loves chocolate ice cream cones, getting messy with paint and hanging out with his friend, Digby the Dog.

Digby the Dog loves to fill his time with hobbies, such as building model railways and painting watercolour scenes. He is the calm to his best friend, Baxter the Bear’s chaos.

How do you use the Build-a-Buddy Dies?

  1. Separate the dies in the Build-a-Buddy Body Base set and select your chosen material for the body of your animal.
  2. Cut two pieces of fabric for the head, two for the body, four for the arms and four for the legs.
  3. Lay the dies on to your cutting plate and add the fabric pieces on top (you should be able to fit them all on to the same cutting plate for the Gemini or Gemini Junior). Add a plastic shim, a magentic shim and another cutting plate on top, then roll this through your die-cutting machine. This will leave you with all the body pieces you need.
  4. Stitch the face on to one side of a head piece and die-cut ears from your chosen character set.
  5. Stitch the two head pieces and the ears together by sewing around the edge, leaving a quarter inch seam allowance and avoiding the neck area. Do the same for the other body pieces, avoiding the areas where they will connect.
  6. Turn each body part through and stuff, before stitching the arms and legs on to the body.
  7. From here, you will need to select your favourite fabric for your character’s clothing. Use the clothing dies from the set to cut out two lots of each piece, and stitch them together according to the instructions on the pack.
  8. Add them to the body and then stitch the head on, completing your buddy!

In each set, there are also some little accessories, like a fish for Chloe the Cat and a bone for Digby the Dog, so you can also put these together and stuff them for a little more fun!

If you need a bit more help with building the body, take a look at this video from Lizzy Curtis below. She gives a great explanation on how to use the dies and the steps you need to take to make the basic body shape.

Once you’ve got the hang of the body, take a look at this video to see how to transform it into the completed companion! Lizzy has chosen to create Chloe the Cat, so take a look at how she does so.

We hope you love these adorable buddies as much as we do, and we can’t wait to see how you customise yours! Make sure you tag us in any photos on our Sew Inspiring with Crafter’s Companion Facebook page, tag us on Instagram (#crafterscompanionsews), on Pinterest (@CraftersCompUK) or on Twitter (@CraftersCompUK)!