Step 6: Add other facial features

Close-up photo of the facial features of a finished worry monster
Photo of a worry monster face underconstruction

There’s no best method for adding the facial features, and anything goes with your design. I like to place the eyes on top of a colourful felt mask, and to embellish either the mask or the eyes with ribbon for some extra colour. I construct the mask and eyes as one piece then sew it to the front body piece of my monster, after placing the mouth and zip.

I’ve tried various ideas for noses, but settled on a human-ish shape poking out from under the mask and flapping loose over the top lip to create another moving part. The nose in the picture above is made from 2 layers of felt and has a small amount of stuffing inside. Bulkier, 3-dimensional features that would tent the fabric layers when we come to sew up, or would sit close to the seam (like the horns in the photo above) are best attached later.

Layering up different coloured felt circles – light and dark – is an easy way to make eyes. The little ‘reflection’ highlight in the pupil makes a big difference to the expression and really brings the face alive – if you can embroider it, that would be ideal. I can’t embroider nicely, so I cut little pieces of optic-white felt instead and sew them on.

Photo showing the faces of two completed worry monsters

I sew the main facial features to my front body piece before I sew up the monster, but this could be done later if you prefer.  If you’d like to use machine stitching around the features, it’s best done now. I mentioned in an earlier step that it’s tricky to machine sew near the inside edge of the felt lip once the zip is in place, which is why this guide adds the lips before the other features.

If you add ribbon or rickrack to your design, make sure that any raw ends are secured against fraying. With ribbon, I put the cut ends well behind the felt piece. With rickrack, I fold each cut end behind the felt where I start and finish.

If you add any kind of hair it must never come loose or shed fibres. Anything that dangles must be no longer than 6”, and all embellishments need to be firmly sewn into place. This is especially true of buttons. While they could make great-looking eyes, please make extra sure that buttons are attached with many rounds of extra-strong thread.

Two dimensional felt features may be contstructed and attached using strong, heat-fusible interfacing, if you wish. If you take this approach, I still recommend sewing around the outer edges of the felt with either a decorative or an invisible stitch, to make sure that the edges never lift and curl.