I have some friends that are expecting a baby any day now, and I'm working on sewing a robot felt plushie for the new bebe. This is how I design and make all of my felt stuff. First, I draw out a pattern on posterboard, and cut out the pieces. Then I trace onto my felt, and cut out THOSE pieces. I make patterns because if it works well and I want to make another- I don't have to redo all the design work. Work smart not hard I say.
I work kind of organically, adjusting the pattern as I go, adding little pieces here and there. When all the pieces are cut out I hand-sew all the felt details on, working from the topmost layer down.
...Then I hand sew all of the details on...This takes the longest. I then sewed the arms by machine, and stacked the whole shabang together, and machine sewed it up! I stuffed it, and then blanket stitched the opening. He's all ready for the baby to arrive!