Hugh Manatee: Baby Lock Summer School!

I’m releasing my Hugh Manatee sewing pattern free for a limited time as part of Baby Lock‘s Summer School sewing series! Scroll to the bottom of this post for the download link.

I designed this pattern in 2011 to be included in a sewing book, and released it as a standalone PDF several years later. You can see my pattern testers’ versions here on Craft Buds.

It’s a great sewing pattern for kids to make with their parents, and you can easily make it for under $10 total in material costs. Pull out those fabric store coupons, and you can buy your fleece fabric for even cheaper! One of my goals with this pattern was to create a truly inexpensive
handmade gift that kids will love. By using coupons at JOANN, I
was able to pick up all of the supplies for two manatees including
blizzard fleece and stuffing for just $6, for a cost of $3 per manatee.

Tips for Sewing Hugh Manatee with Kids
– Let your child select their own fabric for this. This will help them take ownership over the project and get even more involved!
– Fleece is a very forgiving fabric. Because it is thicker, you won’t notice if the seams aren’t perfectly straight. Let kids know that those “wrinkles” will add character to your manatee.
– If your child is able, have them draw the eyes and other facial features on a piece of paper. You can work with them to cut out and trace those designs onto felt for hand sewing onto the manatee’s face.

Making the Top Hat

1. To make a top hat for your manatee, trace the bottom of a drinking glass and use this circle to cut a piece of felt to size for the hat bottom. Cut a circle of felt that is 1.5″ in diameter for the hat top, and a strip of felt 5″ x 2″ for the hat sides.

2. Stitch together the 2″ sides of the 5″ x 2″ strip to make a cylinder.

3. Use a hand sewing needle and matching thread to slip stitch the the hat top to the cylinder.

4. Use fiber filling or cotton balls to fill the inside of the top hat.

5. Center the now filled hat top on the hat bottom. Slip stitch together.

6. Use a safety pin to attach the hat to the manatee, or sew on if desired.

The pattern is
available as a PDF pattern with full-size printable template and
step-by-step color photos. I’m offering it for free from July 1st to September 6th, 2020 as part of the Baby Lock Summer School series!

Make sure to join Evy Hawkins from A Bit of Stitch next week for
her Summer School project, an adorable Rag Doll.


I’m Lindsay Conner, and welcome to my sewing home! I am a modern quilter, author, editor, pattern designer, wife, and mom. I use this space to share my latest projects, tutorials, and patterns!