I basically made up the template and process as I went along. I free handed a body which took a few tries until I got something right.
The basic shape is here. It's blurry because I was in a hurry (and took it with my cell phone), but you can see the outline. I doubled up the fabric (folded it over) and pinned around the Nessie drawing (pinning the two halves together) so that the fabric wouldn't shift when I cut it out. I ended up with 2 perfectly matching pieces. I was careful to remember to cut it out leaving extra room to sew Nessie together. I left an extra 1/4 inch all around.
Below you can see when I started to pin it together to sew. I also free handed a pointed oval pieces to use as Nessie's chest making her 3-d. I also drew a stencil of flippers mixing them up from front and back legs.
I then sewed the fins together and then pinned them in place on Nessie's body. Remember to tuck them INSIDE the shape since you're flipping the whole thing inside out. This will make sure that the flippers of the stuffed animal end up on the outside when you're done and ready to stuff it. (Yeah, my first go I forgot and put them on the wrong side!!) I had to adjust the oval for Nessie's belly oval a bit. Since I was just guessing when I sketched it, my first guess was a bit bigger than I needed. So I sewed the body about 3/4ths of the way (I started on one side of the body towards the bum end) and then cut and adjusted it so it would connect to her bum without giving her a HUGE belly. I left Nessie's back end open so I could stuff her with filling. You can see what I mean in the photo below.
I then stuffed and stuffed and stuffed away until she was as full as I wanted. She's perfectly cuddly. I had to use a pen, and stick my hand inside the stuffed animal to get the filling all the way into its head and neck. Then I hand sewed her back side together and closed her all up.
Since this is for a baby, I decided to not include eyes. Anything I could come up with either involved sewing on buttons - chocking hazard, or using paint or glue and that seemed like a baby possibly chewing on Nessie's head hazard.
She's not exactly perfect if you look realllly closely, but for my first attempt at a 3-D stuffed animal that I made up in my head, without any online tutorials or templates, I was pretty darned pleased with myself. More to the point, I hope that Ali and Andy's little one loves it!!
Ali sent me this cute photo the day the package arrived at their house. She wanted to play with Nessie too!!