Giraffe sewing pattern

Giraffe toy

We’ve recreated much-loved Gerald the giraffe from our October 1997 issue – perfect for a little one’s room!

Giraffe toy

Height: 95cm

You’ll need

  • matching and contrastic thread
  • 3 bags polyester toy stuffing
  • pinking scissors
  • fray check


  • 1.5m x 115cm wide patterned fabric


  • 4  pieces of contrasting fabrics
  • 0.1m x 115cm scraps of felt in 2 colours

Note: all seams 0.5cm

To cut

Download and print the pattern (below) to scale and join up pages in sequence.
Download PDF

From cotton fabrics cut:

  • 2 x head
  • 1 x head gusset
  • 2 x neck
  • 4 x legs
  • 4 x horns
  • 4 x ears
  • 1 x tail
  • 4 x circular foot
  • 4 x mane – 1 each of the 4 contrast fabrics
  • 5 x tail trims – 1 each in the 4 contrast fabrics

From the felt pieces in 2 colours:

  • 1 x left eye in colour 1
  • 1 x smaller left eye in colour 2
  • 1 x left eyebrow in colour 1
  • 1 x right eye in colour 2
  • 1 x smaller right eye in colour 1
  • 1 x right eyebrow in colour 2
  • 1 x nose and 2 x nostrils in colour 1 or colour 2

To make

Head and ears

  • With right sides together, join 2 pairs of ear pieces to make up the ears and turn right side around, leaving straight edge open.
  • With raw edges even, fold the ears in half lengthwise.
  • Baste the ears onto the top of the head, facing forward.
  • Join the head pieces to the head gusset, sandwiching ears in between.

Neck and outer legs

  • Join the 2 neck sections to 2 of the leg sections.
  • Join the front of the neck together, right sides facing, stitch from the top of the neck to the seam at the leg section.
  • Join the back of the neck together, right side facing, stitch from the top of the neck down to about 4cm from the bottom of the neck section. This will be the base of the tail.
  •  Now attach the head onto the neck matching centre back and centre front, right sides facing.


  • Using your pinking scissors, cut along the edges of all 4 of the pieces for the mane.
  • Lay them on top of one another in the order you want, with all the right sides facing upwards.
  • Pin and then stitch down the centre of the mane as per stitch line indicated on the pattern piece.
  • Next position the giraffe’s mane along the back neck seam, using the line of stitching you just did as a guide. Start between the ears and pin the mane on all the way down the back.
  • Stitch the mane through all layers onto the giraffe’s body.


  • Fold the tail in half lengthwise, stitch down the long edge and across the narrow end, leaving the wider end open.
  • Turn right side out and press.
  • Cut the edges of the 5 little pieces of tail trim fabric with pinking scissors.
  • Using a large zigzag, attach these pieces onto the end of the outside of the tail.
  • Insert the tail between the 2 back sections at the 4cm mark and then stitch the last 4cm of the back neck seam as far as the seam between the neck section and the leg section.

Inner legs, feet and belly

  • With right sides facing, join the remaining 2 leg pieces together along the top edge, leaving a 10cm gap in the middle to insert your toy filling.
  • Press the seam.
  • Join these inner legs to the outer legs, leaving the feet open and matching the centre front lower neck and the centre back of the neck below tail to the centre seam of the inner legs.
  • Insert the 4 circular foot sections into the legs, right sides of fabric facing.
  • Turn the giraffe right side out.


  • Fill the giraffe with the toy filling, inserting it through the 10cm opening, which is now the giraffe’s belly.
  • Stuff him firmly.
  • When filled, slipstitch the opening closed.

The face

  • Stitch horns together in pairs, leaving bottom edge open. Turn right side out and fill firmly. Stitch onto top of head.
  • Open out the ears and tack them with a small stitch to keep them open at the front of each ear.


  • Use the same size zigzag as you used for the tail, and using contrasting thread, do a row of decorative stitching down the centre of the nose piece.
  • Stitch a contrasting zigzag cross on the 2 nostrils.
  • Position the nose and nostrils and hand stitch them into place.

Right eye

  • Stitch a contrasting zigzag cross on the smaller piece, position it on top of the bigger piece and hand stitch in place on the right hand side of the head.

Left eye

  • Place the smaller piece on top of the bigger piece and stitch a contrasting zigzag cross through both layers as per the pattern guide. Hand stitch in place on the left hand side of the head.
  • Stitch the left and right eyebrows on.
  • With your pinking scissors, cut the mane, every 2.5cm from the cut edges toward the stitching line. Cut all 4 layers of fabric in the same way. There’s a cutting guide on the pattern piece. Fluff out the mane.

To finish

  • Tie a knot in the tail about a third of the way from the end.
  • To help the giraffe stand, hand tack the back legs and front legs together about half way up. Or, let him lie down on his tummy.



Magazine issue date: November, 2013

Joni van der Merwe

About Joni van der Merwe

Your Family’s Digital editor. Avid retweeter. When I’m not scrolling Instagram you’ll find me in my garden. Keen on DIY and I don’t believe there’s anything that can’t be fixed with some chalk paint.