The 'Stuff' that Toys are made of, Stuffing!
Let me tell you now... you are going to use alot of Stuffing in your Toys.
This Giraffe and Horse both took an entrie stand pillow amount of stuffing, each!
The second thing I will tell you is that it takes alot of time to stuff even a small toy.
With this in mind let me offer you some insight into how I like to stuff my Soft Toys and Cloth Dolls.
To make your Toys strong, firm and safe for children you need a good quality Polyester Fill. You can buy 'stuffing' from craft and sewing stores which is purpose made to go inside Soft Toys. The cost of store bought stuffing can be high especially if you need to use alot of it.
As I have already suggested I use alot of Stuffing so it is more cost effective for me to use 'Pillow Stuffing'. If you purchase cheap 'new' pillows at Big W for instance, a two pack of Pillows is just $5! The 'pillow' stuffing is 100% Polyester and safe and sit well in my toys.
Using a Paint Brush as a Stuffing Tool
You can use your fingers and you can use your hands to stuff your Toys. You are also going to need something a little stronger to push the stuffing firmly into your Toy, and to reach the 'hard to get to' areas inside your Toy.
I use nothing fancy just a 'new' wooden paint brush. You can get the brushes in various sizes. I like to use a combination of large, medium and smaller sized brushes. Depending on what I am stuffing I select the brush which is will fit best in the area I am trying to stuff inside the Toy.
Simply get the Wooden Paint Brush and cut off the brisles on the end of the Brush.
Enough is enough! How much Stuffing do I use?
I like to stuff my Toys quite firmly. Over time with 'play' and 'love' your Toy will loose so firmness. So just when you think you have enough...keep stuffing (within reason)!
If the sewn seams on your Toy have been sewn using a small stitch and have been reinforced by sewing twice, they will take the pressure of being stuffed firmly.
Stitching it Up! Using a Ladder Stitch to close the Open Seam on your Toy
Once you are happy with the amount of stuffing in your Toy it is time to close the Open Seam. A 'Ladder Stitch' will enable you to bring the two sides of your open seam neatly together.
Image 1, shows you the underside on my Penguin Soft Toy where the open seam is for turning and stuffing. Using 2 strands of DMC Thread in the same colour of the fabric being sewn.
Image 2, shows a diagram of how to do Ladder Stitch. The explaination to the right of this diagram will help to get you started.
Continue the Ladder Stitch down the length of the open seam and the two sides will draw together. As the gap closes place a little more stuffing inside your Toy. To finish off on the last stitch take your needle through the loop to create a knot. Then take needle down through the fabric next to your last stitch and out anywhere through the body of the Toy. Cut off the thread close to the Toy's body and it will disappear inside the Toy.
1. Begin the stitch at point under the fabric and bring it out through the top at the edge of the fabric at point 1.
2. Put the needle through the fabric opposite at point 2, and out at point 3 on the same side.
3. Take the needle back over and down through the fabric on the opposite side at point 4. Keep working the needle and thread in this manner down the length of the open seam and it will begin to close.
Congratulations the soft toy is finished! Now it is time to give your Toy a 'personality' with Freatures.
Click on the following link to learn how to make and sew on the features for your toy.
If you are making Pop the Penguin, the following link will take you to the page which explains how to make and sew the features on your Penguin.
For more detailed information with mini-slide step by step tutorials on how to use fusible webbing to create a woolen-felt shape and blanket stitch around the woolen-felt shape. How to layer and sew woolen-felt shapes together. How to use fusible webbing to back cotton fabric and glue it onto woolen-felt material, so that it can be used as a feature on a Soft Toy, and how to sew a blanket stitched woolen-felt shape onto a Soft Toy. Please click on the following link-