Children's Soft Toys to Sew

Children's Soft Toys to Sew
Soft toys can be sewn out of just about any kind of washable fabric that will stand up to wear and tear and loving play. Flannel, fleece, calico and gingham prints, as well as terrycloth and knits in bold colors are often best fabric choices.

Considering the following soft toy ideas that are quick and easy to sew:

Colorful caterpillar - best made out of colorful soft flannel or fleece. Begin by sewing a long tube. Tube should be long enough to eventually segment into several parts. Sew one short end of the tube closed then stuff the tube with polyfill firmly along its entire length. Begin creating the segments from the sewn end by twisting a section to form a ball. Tie off the twisted ball shape with yarn by wrapping several times around and tie off. Do the same with the next and several segments, trying to keep each segment equal. Hand stitch what will become the head closed. It may be necessary to add more polyfill for a round shape to form. Sew on felt or embroidered eyes. A piece of red felt can be stitched on to make a forked tongue.

A thrifted headband with springy antenna can be used to embellish the caterpillar's head. Carefully remove the antenna from the headband and hand stitch to the head shape. Antenna can also be made out of chenille stems by wrapping them around a pencil to make the spirally shape then slide them off to stitch ends to the head. Glue funny felt shapes to the bouncy ends.

Well-dressed teddy bear - purchase a small plain teddy (or make a simple one) then quickly sew a modest gathered skirt out of a fabric scrap to dress the teddy. Cut a rectangle of fabric then hem on three sides with a casing fold at the remaining long side. Weave a ribbon through the casing leaving long ribbon ends. Take a stitch or two in the middle of the casing to secure the ribbon from being pulled out. Place the skirt around the bear’s tummy and tie at the bear's back, sliding the skirt along the ribbon for gathers. Depending on the bear's size, cut a triangle of fabric (pinking the edges prevents most fraying) that can be tied around the bear’s shoulders for a shawl. A small vintage hankie can be used for the shawl as well.

Simple stuffed bear - There are many free teddy bear patterns online. A basic teddy is usually two fabric pieces cut out as a whole bear shape with a front and back the same, sewn and stuffed then adorned simply with a satin bow. Simple embroidery stitches can represent a face. The bear can be made more involved with jointed arms and legs if time permits and safety eyes sewn onto a sculpted face.

Glove monsters - fun and easy to do. Great for whiling away TV watching times. Once the ever-lurking laundry monster has captured yet another wayward finger glove (often socks are the preferred diet but gloves too!) turn the solo glove into a – glove monster! From the right side push the thumb back into the glove and take a few discrete hand stitches so the thumb part does not poke its way back out. Turn inside out and fold the wrist portion down over itself. Hand stitch on either side of the opening leaving a small space for stuffing. Turn right sides out, lightly stuff the four fingers first, then the body of the glove. Hand stitch opening closed. Add mismatched large and small buttons for eyes (for older children only), or hand embroider felt eyes and jagged felt teeth for a silly monster face. Embroider a smiley or sleepy face instead of jagged felt teeth if desired. Of course, no need to wait for the laundry monster to snatch up a glove just buy inexpensive knit gloves and stitch up a pair of glove monsters!

Happy face terrycloth taggie - for young babies seemingly fascinated with manufacturer tags that come attached to all soft toys and not necessarily the toy itself! Cut out two circles (or squares or triangles or any simple shape) out of colorful terry cloth, Hand embroidery a simple happy face onto one. Cut several three-inch pieces of ribbon. Fold each ribbon piece in half and pin, facing each into the center, evenly around the edges of the other circle’s right side. Stitch to secure the ribbons. Then place both shapes right-sides together and stitch around the outer edges using a ¼-inch seam allowance but leave an opening for stuffing. Clip seam allowance, if necessary, before turning right-side out. Stuff lightly and hand stitch opening closed. The ribbon tags will rim the edges and delight young babies.

A huggable soft toy can be a young child's imaginative friend or bedtime buddy, a simple plaything or just a treasured go-everywhere-must-have companion.

Sew happy, sew inspired.

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This content was written by Cheryl Ellex. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Cheryl Ellex for details.