When my girls were little I made them stick horses for Christmas, and I used this Vogue pattern #7603.
The pattern was originally intended for making a plush horse to fit 18 inch dolls, like American Girl, but when I found Vogue 7603 at JoAnn Fabrics, I knew this pattern would be ideal for making a pair of stick horses.
The pattern calls for fake fur or wool, as you can see here, but that’s not what I used:
If I remember correctly, I actually used purple flannel for my oldest daughter’s stick horse and rainbow striped cotton for my youngest daughter’s stick horse. My oldest was more of a true cowgirl, you see, and my youngest was more of a fairies-and-unicorns type of child.
One inch (diameter) dowel rods were easy enough to come by at the hardware store.
Adapting the pattern wasn’t too hard. I left the neck attached to the head part of the pattern (in fact, I extended the neck a bit by taping newspaper to the bottom of it, to allow for a gathered seam), but I removed the horse’s body, since I wouldn’t need that for the stick horse.
However the original pattern was too small for what I had in mind.
Re-sizing the pattern was the tricky part. I took my pre-cut-and-adapted pattern pieces to a photocopy center and enlarged them — the percentage I can’t remember — but I more or less just eye-balled about how big I needed to re-size the patterns, in order to make the head seem realistic in proportion to the stick.
I enlarged each head and neck piece, using the exact same percentage number, so the pieces would all fit together again when the project was sewn together. For example, it might have been a 120% enlargement.
Then I just followed the directions for making the head, as they were printed on the pattern instruction page. When it came to the neck gathers, I just hemmed the raw fabric at the bottom of the neck and gathered it with strong quilting thread until it was tight against the stick and tied it off.
And that’s how I made my daughters’ stick horses.
Have you ever made stick horses for children? And if so, what pattern did you use? Or did you just create a pattern of your own? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section. Feel free to add links to websites that offer great stick horse project plans!
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Chelly Wood and the ChellyWood.com website are not affiliated with the pattern company or companies mentioned in this blog post, but Chelly finds inspiration in the doll clothes designed by these pattern companies. To purchase patterns from Simplicity, McCall’s, Butterick, Vogue, or other pattern companies shown and discussed in this blog post, please click on the links provided here. These links below the “Disclaimer” section do not help raise money for this free pattern website; they are only offered to give credit to the company that made these patterns.