Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tutorial: Swaddle Softie

By-Jenny2

After getting several questions and comments on those softies I made for the Craft Hope project for Konbit Sante, I decided to post a little tutorial for making them.

Jenny: Swaddle Softies

I was determined to participate in your Craft Hope group, but I am so short on time these days that I had to be strategic in making these softies. I made a quick mental list of my requirements:
- easy and fast to make, i.e. requiring minimal hand-stitching and no complicated steps or materials
- safe for babies and young children, i.e. no buttons or other inappropriate materials
- cute, of course!

I was inspired by my own little swaddled cutie. Here he is, in a gratuitous baby photo:

Swaddle-softie-15

I decided to make a swaddled baby softie, with a simple embroidered face in the Walforf style. Playing with some new watercolors, I drew and painted my vision then cut out a simple pattern.

Jenny: Swaddle Softies

And here is my Swaddle Softie Tutorial:

- Print and cut out the pattern. Here it is (PDF).

Jenny: Swaddle Softies

- Cut out 2 of each piece from the same fabric. I used plain linen for the head and fabric scraps for the body.

Jenny: Swaddle Softies

- Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew each head piece to a body piece, right sides together.

Jenny: Swaddle Softies

- Press the seams toward the body piece.

Jenny: Swaddle Softies

- This step is optional but I thought it added a little finish to the doll: top-stitch 1/8 inch from the seam, on the body side (over the pressed seam allowance).

Jenny: Swaddle Softies

- Pick out some embroidery thread (I chose cherry red for the mouth and black for the eyes) and using a washable fabric marker, draw the doll's eyes and mouth according to the pattern. Then using some simple stitches, embroider the mouth and eyes on one of the assembled head-body combos.

Jenny: Swaddle Softies
Jenny: Swaddle Softies

- Pin the front and back pieces of the doll, right sides together. Sew around the doll with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, leaving a 2-3 inch gap at the bottom. Clip notches around the curves, as indicated in pattern.

Jenny: Swaddle Softies

- Turn your doll inside out and fill with polyfill or other stuffing material. I wanted to use something easily washable. If you're lucky like me, you get to have an assistant help you with this important stuffing phase!

Jenny: Swaddle Softies
Swaddle-softie-12

- When your doll is stuffed with filling, pin the bottom to close the gap.

Jenny: Swaddle Softies

- Then close that gap by stitching close to the edge with your machine if you're pressed for time like I was, or by hand with a blind stitch if you want a neat finish.

Jenny: Swaddle Softies

- Finally, to make the hair, thread an embroidery needle with about 3-4 strands of black embroidery floss. Pull your thread through the needle so that you have enough for a double thickness of floss. Stick the top of the doll's head (pinch the seam so the needle goes through the seam allowance on both sides) with the needle and pull about 2 inches of floss, or just enough to tie a knot. Tie an additional knot on top of that so that there's a little ball of thread at the base. Clip the floss about a 3/4 inch from the base and separate the strands. You should now have a little tuft of hair as in the picture below this one. (I hope these instructions make sense!)

Jenny: Swaddle Softies

- Remember to spray your doll's face with water so that your marks for the eyes and mouth disappear (unlike the doll in the photo below!)

Jenny: Swaddle Softies

And there you have it!

Jenny: Swaddle Softies

Dear readers, please let me know if you have any questions in the comments. And if you make some of these swaddle softies, share some pics with us in the Stumbles & Stitches pool on Flickr! (Please do not use this tutorial for commercial purposes, thank you!)

Angel-mini-buttonJenny, I can't tell you how much I am inspired by your creative process! I think your sketches are as wonderful as the finished project! There is something about the linen combined with the bright fabric that is so fresh and modern. And kudos for creating our first PDF file!

Henry really has his own face, doesn't he? He looks like Ben for sure, but with a twist. He is precious, I can't wait to see him this summer!

18 comments:

  1. super cute! thankns for the tutorial.

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  2. Now they are sooo cute! Thank you for taking the time to share your pattern with us.

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  3. Thanks Sarah, and you're welcome! It was fun!

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  4. What darling little dolls. I can't wait to see my granddaughters faces after I make a few of these. How very cute!

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  5. I am definitely of the opinion that a gratuitous baby photo makes everything that much better!

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  6. Love it. I am trying to get organized for my family's once a month service night. My children will love making these to donate. I am bad at posting photos; just know that we will make some and donate them. Thanks!

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  7. Aww, these are too cute! Thank you for sharing.

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  8. I was looking for a doll for my little daughter- one that I could make several little ones and keep in a pocket for her during a conference we're going to. THis is so completely perfect!! I'm sure you didn't have lots of time to make the tutorial, but I feel like you totally did it for me! Thanks for the photo of your son helping, too- a great reminder that our little people are part of the process! Many *many* blessing on your day!! HOLLY

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  9. Thank you all so much for the kind comments! Please let me know if you have any questions. You can post a comment here or email me at stumblesandstitches at ymail dot com.

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  10. These are super cute!!!! thank you for sharing! I can't wait to try these out with my 7 year old. she loves to sew with me. i think this will be a great project for her.

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  11. Thank you Angie and Mrs Quach for the nice comments! (And sorry it took me so long to respond!!)

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  12. These are sweet - thank you for sharing.

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  13. These have become my go to gift for baby showers! They steal the show. I make two, a boy and a girl (I add pigtails for the girl). They are so cute! Thank you for posting.

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  14. Thanks so much!

    Lee, I love the idea of pigtails -- so sweet!

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  15. I love these! I made one for my neighbor/friend's new baby boy, Matthew, and it was the first toy he ever "played" with. I'll be making more. :) Thank you so much!

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