I bought the 'more softies: 22 new friends for you to sew and crochet' book from Basement Books last week for a discounted $7.95 (RRP $29.95) and tested one of the patterns out successfully.
Meet 'lil pup'.
Having only sewing dresses, skirts and shorts before, I'd never actually thought about soft toys. I made this little cutie over 3 nights, approximately an hour each night (night 1 was spent tracing the pattern and cutting fabric, night 2 was stitching up the basics and night 3 involved a lot of stuffing and hand-sewing).
My hand-made soft toy - lil pup
So my conclusion is that soft toys are so easy to make and they're fantastic gifts. There are endless possibilities with just a change of fabric.