Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Poodle Tutorial: Right Facing

This poodle finishes at 13.5 inches square and is based on a .75 inch grid.

There are four fabrics: the white background, the dark turquoise, the light turquoise and the black for the eye and nose. I'll refer to these as white, dark, light and black.

Also, as with most of my patterns, I use a lot of flip triangles...squares of fabric placed in the corner. The square is sewn onto the corner along the diagonal...but moved over just a thread's width towards the corner. When the flap is ironed over, you will have a triangle. You will also have three layers of fabric. Trim the bottom triangles a quarter inch from the seam line.

For each fabric, you will cut different size strips...and then from these you will cut more precise poodle parts.

Black fabric: Cut two 1.25 inch squares.

Dark fabric: From a 2.75 inch strip,

cut three 2.75 inch squares
cut one 2.75 by 4.75 rectangle

Light fabric: From a 3.5 inch strip (at least 16 inches long)

cut two 2.75 inch squares
cut two 2.75 by 3.5 inch rectangles
cut one 3.5 by 5 inch rectangle
cut one 2 inch square

From a 1.25 inch strip (at least 28 inches long)

cut ten 1.25 inch squares
cut four 1.25 by 2 inch squares
cut one 1.25 by 2.75 inch rectangle
cut one 1.25 by 4.25 inch rectangle
(for the last couple, you don't have to cut to size, but you use strip piecing where you sew the strip, then trim. I have it cut to size only to make the tutorial easier to understand.)

White background fabric: From a 3.5 inch strip (at least 27 inches long)

cut one 3.5 by 9.5 inch rectangle
cut three 3.5 by 5 inch rectangles
cut one 3.5 by 2 inch rectangles

From a 2.75 inch strip (at least 23 inches long)

cut one 2.75 inch square
cut one 2.75 by 8.75 inch rectangle
cut one 2.75 by 2 inch rectangle
cut one 2.75 by 6.5 inch rectangle
cut two 2.75 by 1.25 inch rectangles

From a 1.25 inch strip (at least 22 inches long)

cut twenty 1.25 inch squares

You just finished the hard part. Now we're going to make the poodle building blocks. To make this easier to follow, we're going to build these in four sections: Dark, Light, White Inner, White Border and Extras.

These are the dark fabric poodle pieces.

For the ear piece, I have the flip triangle pieces off to the side so you can see the colors. You will want to place them right side down on the ear and sew through the diagonal (but a thread's width toward the corner so there is room to iron over your seam). Essentially you are making three snowballs and a lozenge. 

 After sewing on the flip triangles, you will iron back the flaps. If you sewed a bit off of the diagonal (hopefully it was erring toward the corner), match the corners to the back rectangle or square and iron it as if you had sewn it correctly. If you erred and went closer to the center, bring out your friend the seam ripper. Then carefully trim away the bottom two triangles leaving about a quarter inch seam.

Now for the light fabric:

 Now let's make parts from the white background fabric. First, let's work with the white sections that are right above the poodle's back and the one right under his belly.

Now let's lay out the white background border pieces and make those building blocks. When laying these out, its helpful to think of it like a clock and moving clockwise from the upper left corner.

 And now there are just a few extras but special parts like the eye...

That white piece of fabric under the eye parts is just placed there to make the pieces easier to see for the tutorial...its not a piece that you'll be using for the poodle.

Now let's assemble all of these poodle parts into something that resembles a poodle. I think you'll be surprised to see how fast it comes together now.

These are all the parts you've constructed so far. You're so close to being finished you can almost hear him bark.

The pink arrows show which seams to sew together during this first pass. I pile up the pieces and chain piece.

And here's a little trick for getting precision when you're sewing two flip triangles. Typically, we iron the flap over so all of the flip triangle seams are facing toward the corner. When you find yourself sewing two flip triangles on top of each other like when you're sewing the leg poof to the foot...flip on the seams in the other direction, and nestle those two seams together just like a four patch. Precision made simple!

Reassemble your poodle and you can see that its almost ready to go for a walk.  Now sew the muzzle to the border piece under it. Sew the front leg to the border piece behind it. Sew the back leg to the border piece behind it. And sew the hind end bits to the tail poof. Sew the ear section to the main body section. 

 Now your poodle looks like this.

Now sew the leg sections together and add the piece under the belly to the main body section as shown by the pink arrows.

At this point, its probably obvious and you've gone on ahead without me. And if you'd like to speed ahead, don't let me stop you. The next sections will be sewn counterclockwise, starting with the tail.

He's wagging his tail!

He's prancing!

He's putting his nose where it doesn't belong!

He's finished! Now give him a name and don't forget to train him.


  1. Wonderful, thanks so much! Have you considered writing a book? I think many would be interested in making all the different animals you've so ingeniously pieced.

  2. Wow that is some tutorial--really neat! If I were a good and accurate piecer I would attempt it...it is very cute!! hugs, Julierose

  3. You make it look easy but I know you probably had a lot of help.

  4. Between Buddy-the-Dog and oodles of poodles, I'll bet Molly is complaining about the place really going to the dogs... (sorry. Couldn't resist...)

  5. Great tutorial, lots of helpful detail, thanks for sharing!

  6. This is the best dog block I've ever seen and I hunt them down continuously! Love, love, love it. Thank you for being so generous and sharing the pattern for free!

  7. Thanks. You make it seem so easy. Now I think I can...I think I can...I think I can...
    Will there also be a left facing tutorial for those of us who are facing challenged? I don't think I'll need a two-faced one.

  8. Im making poodles!!!