How to Sew Your Amigurumi Together Like a Pro
Do you love amigurumi, but struggle with seaming them together? Or maybe you’re new to the world of ami (short for amigurumi) and it just looks crazy intimidating? Don’t worry, with a little practice, patience, and the right tools, this article will walk you through how to sew your amigurumi together like a pro.
Whether you’re brand new to ami or a seasoned crocheter, seaming parts is almost unanimously hated in the fiber world. And don’t get me wrong, it frustrates the heck out of me too sometimes, but I don’t want it to deter you from making great things!
I took a poll of sorts in the Amigurumi Addicts Facebook group to see what other crocheters had to say about seaming.
“I hate the sewing part but that’s because I’m always worried the ends will come loose. My ami parts don’t seem too bad but I need to find a reliable end hiding technique that works for ami and other projects. Might be a confirmation thing or I’m just really incompetent” – Sam
“Depends on the parts. Ears and legs tend to be hard for me. Since they have to aligned or it looks wonky I tend to triple check and adjust them a lot before putting them in place.” – Heather
“I’m new so right now I like it. I’m still learning. I find the most difficult part is getting the pieces to stay in place while I sew them on. I use pins, but they don’t seem to help much.” – Becky
These are just a few of the many responses, but each one brings up a different issue when it comes to seaming. We’ll go through how to navigate these issues so you can have confidence in finishing your amigurumi!
How to Sew Your Amigurumi Together Like a Pro
First and foremost, it’s important to be patient. I know, I know, it sounds lame, but it’s true. If you try to rush the seaming process it’s likely that your projects will come out wonky or not very secure. (Trust me, been there, done that.)
So if you finish crocheting all the parts of your project and the thought of spending over an hour sewing them together makes you want to throw your yarn at a wall, just wait. Set the project aside, just for a few hours or a day. Then come back with fresh eyes and energy.
Of course, if you have a deadline, it can’t really be helped, but try to take breaks and go slow.
Make Sure You Have the Right Tools
You might be thinking, “well I have sewing pins and a tapestry needle, what else is there?” True, those are the basic tools, but are they the best tools for YOU?
There’s actually lots of different kinds of sewing pins and tapestry needles. You’ll be shocked at how much easier seaming is with the types that suit you best.
Here’s an example:
When I first started making ami, I was using sewing pins from my mom’s old sewing kit (that’s older than I am) and a cheap, plastic tapestry needle from Walmart (the yellow one in the photo below).
The problem I first noticed is that the head of the pins was way too tiny. They were meant for fabric after all and my tension used to be all over the place, so I often lost pins inside the project because my stitches were full of gaps. Plus, the tapestry needle was super clunky and hard to manipulate.
I tried several kinds of pins and tapestry needles before I found the ones that work for me.
Now I use long quilting pins because the long shaft of the pin holds the pieces together amazingly well. And I use only metal tapestry needles, specifically those with the bent tips because they’re sooo much easier to manipulate in and out of stitches.
These are what work for me, but you may have different preferences. Just don’t be afraid to try new tools if you’re current ones aren’t cutting it.
There are several different kinds of sewing stitches you can use when seaming parts together, but some are better than others depending on the projects. Below are just a few of the most common ones and which types of ami they’re best for. Note: In this post I’ll only be talking about sewing parts onto a closed piece because sewing onto open pieces could be it’s own entire post.
The Whip Stitch
This one is a personal favorite of mine and I use it on most of my amigurumi. However, I like the more obvious looking stitches since I think it adds to the whole handmade look. Plus, it’s great at pulling the edges of body parts flush.
In the above example, the tapestry needle is worked in a spiral.
- Start by inserting the needle down into a stitch on the body.
- Then come up and over and insert the needle down through the loop (or loops) of the bottom edge of the leg.
- Repeat all the way around the limb.
And while yes, the diagonals created along the seam are more obvious in the purple example, when the color of the limb and body are the same (blue example), it’s MUCH less noticeable.
I really like the whip stitch for sewing on limbs specifically rather than flat pieces.
The Mattress Stitch
I prefer this method of sewing flat pieces to a closed piece because it’s nearly invisible.
In the example above, I used 3 different colors so it’s easier to distinguish the pieces from the stitches. The mattress stitch is worked in alternating U shapes.
- Insert your tapestry needle from the bottom up under both loops of the edge of the flat piece.
- Insert the needle back down under both loops of the next stitch on the edge of the flat piece. (This completes an upside-down U)
- Insert the needle into a stitch of the body, then repeat step 1. (This completes a right-side-up U)
- Repeat until you’re finished attaching the flat piece.
This nearly invisible stitch gives a really clean edge while holding the pieces together securely.
Despite the title of this section, don’t get hung up on the ‘perfect’ part. Nothing is ever perfect. Even the most gorgeous, Pinterest worthy images are guaranteed to hide at least one flaw.
So if you have one arm that’s just slightly higher than the other, don’t worry about it. What makes your projects great is that they were handmade by YOU and honestly, no one will notice tiny things like that except you.
That all being said, there are a few tips and tricks that’ll help when you’re placing tricky limbs or symmetrical parts.
Have you ever seen an artist sketch with lots of lines marking the center or proportional alignment?
Artists don’t just jump into their work with automatically perfect placement of features. There’s ALWAYS prelim sketches and underdrawings with LOTS of guide lines. You can apply this same concept to your amigurumi.
Here’s an example of when I was experimenting with shapes for an owl. In order to center the eye shapes, I needed a clear center line:
Using a scrap length of differently colored yarn and some pins (or weave it in) you can determine the center line of a piece. Then it’s much easier to get the ears symmetrical. You can use this to place limbs on bodies as well.
Check From Every Angle
Another art school tidbit is to look at your project from every angle. Once you pin a part or parts in place, step back or hold it back a bit.
Look at it from the front, top, bottom, sides, and back. Does it look correct from all angles? If yes, then go ahead and sew it in place. If not, make slight adjustments until it looks just right.
Pro Tip: if you’re aiming for really great symmetry, hold or place your project in front of a mirror. Even slight asymmetries are often obvious in the mirrored image. Think of the reflection as simply another angle or perfective from which to check your placement.
“Practice makes perfect,” as they say. I know the saying is super annoying, especially when you just want everything to come out right for once, but it’s true.
You’ll get better, faster, and more confident with each project. Even if you still don’t like seaming, at least it won’t be a stumbling block anymore.
So don’t be discouraged if one ear is slightly too far back or and arm is lower than the other. Instead, look at one of your very first projects be proud of how far your skills have come.
And if you’d like some free patterns to practice seaming, check out these:
- Nico the Narwhal – Minimal amount of seaming: horn, fins, and tail fin.
- Sammie the Turtle – Medium amount of seaming: legs, tail, and shell.
- Teak the Turkey – Large amount of seaming: beak, feet, wings, tail feathers, and wattle.
Sewing amigurumi together can be challenging, but if you have the right tools, the right sewing technique, tricks for perfect placement, and lots of patience, you’re seaming skills will skyrocket in no time!
If you liked this article, be sure to Pin it for later and share it with your fiber friends! Do you have a pro tip or trick you use when seaming amigurumi? Or did you find one of the tips above particularly helpful? Leave a comment below!
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