The “Little” Very Hungry Caterpillar

Could you tell how much fun I had making the “fat” Very Hungry Caterpillar last week?  I think it’s probably one of my favorite projects, and gave me several hours of blissed out embroidery enjoyment.  The first “fat” caterpillar was made by using a coloring sheet that I got an event with the Little Monkey.  I was so happy with the results that I wanted to make a second  piece of Very Hungry Caterpillar Hoop Art before the caterpillar got fat.  I wanted to make one that looked like the cover of the book when the caterpillar first hatched out of the egg and was little and cute.  Unfortunately I didn’t have a coloring sheet for that particularly caterpillar picture, so I needed to use a different technique to make a pattern for this round of my hoop art.My Mom Made That: "Little" Very Hungry Caterpillar

I realized that the cover art of the Little Monkey’s board book was exactly the right size for my 9″ hoops, so making a version of the “little” Very Hungry Caterpillar was relatively painless and easy!  I took the copy of the book, a piece of thin white copier paper and a pencil and traced over the cover image.  Now, if you are familiar with Eric Carle, you will know that the design has overlapping shapes.  When I traced the picture, I had to get a general idea of what each shape looks like– they didn’t match entirely because of the way the actual image has shapes that blend together.  They generally corresponded in size and shape, so when you look at the picture, you definitely can tell what was the inspiration.  See:

My Mom Made That: "Little" Very Hungry CaterpillarNext I made several copies of the drawing, so that I could cut them up and use them as template.  I numbered each of the segments as I cut them out going from head to tail.  I randomly use 3 different shades of wool felt to comprise the segements, and a piece of red wool felt to be the head.  As with the previous project, I used bleached burlap with muslin under it.  This combination is so very easy to sew with, as the grain of the burlap is very easy to use for your stitching, and the muslin adds very little weight, but anchors the stitch work.

My Mom Made That: "Little" Very Hungry Caterpillar
The hardest part of this design in comparison to the previous “fat” caterpillar was the arrangement of the segments. You’ll notice that they go up and down and around rather than just straight across. I actually needed to use an undamaged copy of the tracing to help guide me as I pinned the felt to the burlap. Once I was satisfied with the design, I back-stitched around each segment, and blanket stitched around the feet and antennae. The very last stitching was the quote from the beginning of the book, “… Out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.”  I referred to the first “fat” caterpillar to attempt to duplicate the lettering.  In all honesty, I just did the word stitching as I went, so it’s homemade and there are inconsistencies.

My Mom Made That: "Little" Very Hungry CaterpillarNow that the first two are finished, I have one more in this series of Eric Carle Hoop Art projects to finish up.  I planned to do it second, but the technique to make the design is more challenging.  So stay tuned to see the Butterfly Hoop Art next week!


  1. I love these!! I want to make a set for a nursery… now I just need someone who wants me to decorate their baby’s room ;o) Pinned!

  2. Loved this!! This is one of my son’s favorite books!! Wish I was more crafty so I could make this and have it actually look like a caterpillar lol

  3. Emily I adore this project so much. I used to work in the children’s book industry and The Very Hungry Caterpillar has a very special place in my heart, as I know he does many. 🙂

    I included this project in a roundup of some of my favorite DIY and craft projects from people attending SNAP! I’d love for you to take a peek. You can find it here:

    Best Wishes,



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