Making Herbert the Dragon

Actually the pattern is called ‘Yoki the Fat Dragon’, but I’ve named him Herbert now he’s finished. It suits him.

In a post earlier this week I linked to a pattern I’d bought from, and on Thursday I finally got to the library to print the pattern out. I sat down on Thursday evening to trace the pattern pieces (it comes with the pattern with and without seam allowance added). I chose to use the pattern without the seem allowance added, because I’m an idiot who didn’t realise that the ones with seam allowance added were on the last three sheets of the pattern book. You should always have a look through the pattern first before starting work.

Making the pattern

After tracing the pattern on to dress makers tracing paper I cut them out and sat down with the material to work out what would go where. The canvas material I have is patterned, with a wide purple border. I don’t know what it used to be but I was gifted it by one of the ladies at sewing club so I’m not complaining. I also dug out some purple felt from my stash to make the back and tail blades.


At this point it was getting twilight, I was getting tired and the paracetamol I’d taken for my headache before I’d started the cutting and tracing still hadn’t started working, so I went to bed.

This afternoon I took a look at the instructions. I’d already ignored several of them. According to the instructions I was supposed to start by drawing the arms on material and cutting them out. I prefer my method. All the cutting and tracing gets done in one go.

Here are the arms.herbert arms

They were terribly fiddly to turn right side out. but stuffed easily enough. I made use of a 3 mm crochet hook to do the job.








One arm stuffed.



Next came the wings. These were fairly easy to make.I cut the batting to the size of the pattern and used it to guide my sewing around the material. Sewing the decoration on, to make the bones and web of the wings, was fairly easy too and quite effective.herbert wings










First wing almost finished


Next up was the head. This was more complicated and might have been easier to sew by hand than on the machine. It turned out a little lopsided but I’m pleased with the eyes, nose and ears.

herbert head








Cute, isn’t he?


Next came the task of putting the body together. This took quite a bit of time and patience.

The legs and feet were particularly tasking, I have to say. Fiddly, and the instructions weren’t too helpful either. Stuffing the body was interesting, it all had to go in through the narrow neck, which meant my stitching got stretched and I had to restitch three seams.

Once the body was made and stuffed the instructions ask you to do something with a needle to make the underbelly and tail bottom striped. I couldn’t work out from the instructions what I was supposed to do, so I didn’t bother with that part.

Finally I had to attach the head, arms and wings. That was a fairly simple task. I’m not sure they’re quite in the right place but near enough as makes no difference. It makes Herbert quirky and different from all the other dragons made using the same pattern.

He’s currently sat on the mantle shelf but has been sunning himself in the garden and eating the sewing machine in the kitchen.

He’s got character, I think. Cheery, slightly silly, and very cute.

What did I think of the tutorial in the pattern book? 

It was okay but not very clear at times. They could do with revising, especially part 7 – the stomach patterning.

Experience/skill level needed

This is probably a project for the moderately experienced crafter, possibly even advanced.


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