Tutorial: Stuffed Monster Toy

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Haven't done a tutorial for awhile, so thought I'd share this toy I made Lincoln for Christmas. I apologize that I don't have pictures for all the steps. Our camera was acting up around Christmas, so I'm lucky to even have these pictures. I'll try to explain each step though, and you can let me know if you have any questions!

Lincoln has never really been into stuffed animals, but I thought I could remedy that if it was a stuffed animal made by *me*. It was a nice thought, right? Unfortunately, Lincoln didn't really latch on to this guy either. Although, he has recently started playing pretend with him--brushing his teeth, putting him under the covers and kissing him goodnight....it is so adorable I nearly implode every time he does it.

So, if you'd like to make a little monster guy for your own little monster...follow along!

Supplies needed:
1. Fleece fabric--I bought a 1/2 yard from the remnant bin at JoAnn's. Depending on how big you want your monster, you can adjust the amount. I also bought some remnants in a few different coordinating colors to use for the eyes and mouth. Really, all you need is scraps for those, though, and they really don't even need to be fleece....(although, mine were).

2. Embroidery floss and needle.

3. Sewing machine and thread.

4. Scissors.

5. Fabric Glue--I like Fabri-tac.

6. Stuffing (polyfill, cotton, fabric scraps...whatever you have...)


Instructions:
1. Create your pattern. I drew my picture out on a little piece of notebook paper, then had Lucas transfer it to tissue paper because I really have no eye for proportions and I wanted it to have matching arm and leg sizes. But that's just me. If you have any sort of drawing skillz, feel free to draw directly onto the tissue yourself. The tissue paper is nothing fancy--just leftover from some package, I'm sure.

2. Pin your pattern to your fabric. You will need 2 cutouts of your monster (front and back). To save time, pin it to a double layer of fabric so you only have to cut once. Cut out your monster.

3. Cut out eyes and a mouth from the fabric scraps. Add a nose, if desired. Using the fabric glue, stick them to one of the monster shapes wherever you desire its face to be.

4. Let the glue dry, briefly. 10 minutes should be enough. If you have an embroidery hoop, you may want to use it for this part, but it isn't necessary. Thread your embroidery needle with 2 strands of the floss. Tie a knot at the end. In the center of each pupil, embroider a large french knot. Then, stemming outward from the knot, embroider a series of straight stitches in a circle around the eye (if this makes no sense, just see picture for reference...). Repeat for second eye. For the mouth, I just did a series of running stitches. Feel free to get creative with the embroidery--you really can't go wrong here.

5. Pin the front and back of the monster cutouts, right sides facing (that would be monster face facing in...). Using your sewing machine, sew along the edge using a 1/4"-1/2" seam allowance. I used a zig-zag stitch to help reinforce the seams. LEAVE A GAP OF AT LEAST 3-4" SO YOU CAN TURN RIGHT SIDES OUT AND GET THE STUFFING IN!!!! VERY IMPORTANT!!! I left the gap under an arm so it would be inconspicuous, but really you can leave it anywhere. I ended up liking the way the contrasting stitching looked when I closed the opening, so I wouldn't have minded it somewhere more prominent!

6. Turn the right sides out and fill your little monster with your choice of stuffing. When ready to close, thread your needle again with 2 strands of embroidery floss. Using a whip stitch, close the gap. I also went over a few of the seams with the floss to reinforce things, and because I liked the contrast of the orange thread on the blue fabric. But that part is optional : )

I hope this wasn't too confusing! If something isn't clear, please let me know so I can fix it!

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