Thursday, September 22, 2011

Baby Sewing - Toys - Block

I've been churning out a lot of new stuff lately which is exciting, but havent had the time to take a lot of photos, so I'll keep going with some of my old projects until I get things together (which might be a while considering my due date is only 3 weeks away!! eek!!). 

So here we are back at Baby Sewing collection: 

I think sewing Toys has quickly become one of my favorite things to sew. They're quite frustrating at times, especially when trying to come up with your own pattern but they turn out so cute!! 

I'm going to split this post into 2 (Toy blocks and Toy Animals) because I have a lot of pictures! 

Lets start with: 

The Block. 

Another project you can use scraps for. I recommend using 3 coordinating fabrics, 2 from the blanket you just made (see that project here: Baby Sewing - Blankets) and the 3rd from your scrap stash. The more you sew, the easier it is to find a scrap somewhere that will match perfectly! Conversely when you're out looking for coordinating fabrics, try to find three that go together. 

Start by cutting 2, 4" squares of each material. 4" is my preferred size, but you can make them bigger or smaller if you'd like. It seems like a good size for a little one to hold on to. 

Arrange your squares like this:

Using a 1/4 seam allowance sew them right sides together to make this cross shape. Start to sew 1/4 from the end of the material and stop 1/4 from the end of the square. Sew bottom of A1 to top of B1, bottom of B1 to top of A2 etc etc. Make sense?

Now the fun part is turning it into a box shape. I usually start with the top left and bring the top of C1 to the left side of A1 and sew together using the same seam allowances as before. Next move on to the top right and sew right side of A1 to top of C2.  Then C1 to A2, C2 to A2. You'll start to see the box come together as you go. Now you should have a box with a flap. Take that flap and sew 2 out of the three sides to close the box. Flip it inside out, fill it with poly fill stuffing and then you'll need to blind stitch the opening closed. 

It should look a bit like this:

Some fun variations to the block: 

Add ribbon tags! I like to get 4 matching ribbons (grossgrain, silky, ric rac etc) and cut 4 - 2 inch pieces of each. Fold each in half and use a dab of fabric glue to secure the ends. Then place the ribbons on the right side of both B fabrics. The loop end of the ribbon should go towards the middle of the fabric. The end should come all the way to the outer edge of the fabric. The arrangement should look like this: 

Repeat on B2, this will give you an even number of tags on all sides of the block. I glue them in place rather than pin them because its just easier to keep them straight. Use an 1/8" seam allowance and sew them all in place before starting to make the block. I usually go over them 2 times to keep them secure. Nobody wants for a baby to pull out your ribbon and swallow it or something crazy. After everything is solidly in place, put your block together and it should look like this:

If you're making yours with ribbon and giving this as a gift I recommend buying the link toys (like these: Bright Starts - Lots of Links and sliding one of the ribbons onto the end of the link. That way they can clip the toy anywhere to play! 

Add crinkle! Babies LOVE toys that make noise! My daughter was AMAZED with a small cloth book she got from our relatives in Holland that crinkled. I've seen several tutorials that say to use the packaging from baby wipes but its not crinkly enough for my taste :) I've done cellophane with all of mine and it works GREAT! Trick is to cut the cellophane about 1 inch larger than your square. You'll want to sew it (18" seam allowance) to the wrong side of fabric B1 (this is the easiest spot to put it). Use at least 4 pins and go slowly!! You don't want to make too many holes, but the stuff will move around like crazy on you. Cut off the excess cellophane then put the block together!

Add a jingle bell or a squeak toy! Jingle bells are easiest to find. I bought some squeakers on ebay a while back. They were actually dog squeak toy replacements. They're great! Just shove one in the middle of all your fluff and sew it inside. It will move around, I've found no way to make it stay in place. If you have any suggestions, let me know!!!

Add an applique letter. It could be the first letter of the baby's name if you're only doing one. Or you can make a set with 1, 2 and 3 or A, B and C. I've never done them this way myself, but I've seen them all over the internet. 

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