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Hi I’m Pauline, this blog is where I share all the latest Funky Friends Factory News, Giveaways, Competitions plus LOTS of toy-making tips & tutorials to help you sew the cutest soft toys EVER!

Week 2 ~ Creative Spaces Blog Hop ~ My favourite sewing tools.

Jul 23, 2018 | A day in my life, Blog

Welcome to Week 2 of our Creative Spaces Blog Hop. This week’s theme is My favourite sewing tools so you will get heaps of inspiration from the 16 designers posts. If you missed the first week (“Studio before and after”) you can read it here.

Don’t forget to check out MY GIVEAWAY at the end of this post!!!


OK, here goes ~ Week two: 
My favourite Sewing Tools.

Reading through all the other designer’s posts about their favourite tools, I can’t help but feel a little bit in awe of all the amazing things they create and the cool sewing tools they use! I have always specifically tried NOT to use specialised (or very expensive tools!) because I want to be able to say that

ANYONE can sew my toys ~
you don’t have to go out and spend lots
to begin making softies!

So my favourite sewing tools are mostly just common things you have around the house BUT that doesn’t mean they aren’t exceptionally handy sewing tools for toy-making!


Right, here are my 7 favourite sewing tools…



Yes, you heard correctly!!! πŸ™‚ Why a chopstick? Well, they make the perfect turning tool! This one in this pictue has chineese writing on it, but any chopstick will do.

They are great for ‘poking’ out small and sharp parts of a soft toy like Hedgehog spikes….


…and turning long and involved parts like Seahorse tails! πŸ˜€



No 2 is a children’s PAINTBRUSH

A big chunky children’s paintbrush makes the best stuffing tool. They are easy to find in a stationery or art & craft store and ar really cheap! Cut the bristles off half-way down so it looks like a stencil brush and there you go – get stuffing!!!

Cut-off paintbrush



They are easy to grip and the long shaft makes it great for reaching into areas that are far away from the stuffing gap, stuffing LONG parts like Giraffe necks

and small thin parts like Ladybug Legs!




I use these for when I am stuffing four-legged critters! Once I have stuffed the legs, I use the elastic bands to hold the front legs together and the back legs together. It is NOT essential but it is very easy to push one leg out more than the others when studffing so this saves my toys from having a lop-sided posture!!!




I get asked about toy stuffing often and I have a whole blog post devoted to the toy stuffing options because there are so many types you can use. It is such a personal choice  – I can newver say – there is one perfect toy-stuffing for every toy…

BUT the one I use the most is Polyester toy stuffing. I have used many different brands of polyester toy stuffing over the years and I don’t really have a preference. The stuffing just needs to spring/bounce back when you squash it in your hand. If it compacts and doesn’t ‘bounce back’ then you will end up using lots more toy stuffing and your toys will end up very firm and heavy. SOME people like this… I just don’t think it’s great for baby toys. πŸ™‚

toy stuffing



Life just seems worth living when your scissors slice through fabric like a hot knife through butter! Haha! πŸ™‚

Of course you want a pair of scissors that cuts fabrics of ALL types (and thinknesses) very easily BUT for me as a toy-maker, another very important thing is having a pair of scissors that can make small snips/cuts easily… not all can! Here you can see me making small snips into the seam alowance of my Froggy. This is to help the seams turn nicely.


Well, I don’t think my scissors are particularly flash, but they are incredibly sharp and have been sharp for over 15+years without needing to be sharpened so I think they’re awesome. They are made by Fiskars and I went to their website to see what they are called and it seems in the 15+ years I have had them they have so many more options, like soft-grip, ‘razoredge’, fashio, non-stick, titanium, forged, easy-action, total control…

Mine a plain and simple 8″ seamstress shears ->

I’m getting scissors-envy! LOL


No 6 is PINS

I always tease and say, “I am the queens of PINS”… (I guess as opposed to the Queen of hearts???)

Well, I really use a lot of pins! Take a look at how I pinned this elephant’s footpads… It may look excessive BUT I can tell you now, this sure beats having to unpick the FOOT PADS because they slipped, and this alos stops those ugly puckers and wrinkles! πŸ˜€



 The pins I love to use the most are Clover Patchwork pins. These pins are super fine and very sharp. I like glass head pins because you can’t “lose” them in the fabric…. but also, I just love colourful things! πŸ˜€ 

clover patchwork pins



I can honestly say I would be lots without my sewing machine… it’s 15+ years old now and still going strong! Again, it’s not a very fancy machine… it doesn’t quilt or embroider and it certainly doesn’t do any hosework – d@M^&%@$^*&!!! πŸ™‚

I have a BERNINA Activa 135 and it is perfect for all my toy-making needs! I picked this model because it can do a button hole stitch which I thought was pretty cute but I mostly do button stitching by hand anyway BUT it’s a fun feature to have.



Well, there you have it…. my 7 favourite sewing tools!

Before I forget – Don’t forget to check out all the other lovely designers to see what their favourite sewing tools are. Just a note. We’d GREATLY appreciate your “follows”. As designers, our social media following (our followers) are what enables us to stay in business. Please kindly click “follow” on our social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter. This allows us to continue to work with companies to bring you great content, contests, and giveaways. Thanks so much!



Cherry Blossom Quilting


Morning Glory Designs

Sew Many Creations


Seams Like a Dream

Poor House Quilt Designs

Desert Bloom Quilting


Canton Village Quilt Works

Cranberry Pie Designs


 Avery Lane Designs

Christa Quilts



Swan Amity


Simple Arts

Joanne Sharpe

Funky Friends Factory



And now for…

A FunkyFriendsFactory Giveaway!

I am giving away a complimentary Membership of my Sew Many Funky Friends Club as a prize for this Blog Hop.

What IS the Sew Many Funky Friends Club?

It’s a super cool community for people who love to sew Funky Friends Soft Toys and you can find out more about it  on https://sewmanyfunkyfriendsclub.com/




I will draw a winner just before my last post of our Blog Hop from all the comments on my posts…

So be sure to leave a comment on this blog post  – to let me know YOUR favourite sewing tool or if you leant about something new from this post (?) –  to be entered to win a complimentary Membership for the Sew Many Funky Friends Club!!!

Thank you for letting me share my favourite toy-making tools with you!

Pauline McArthur

bye for now,





  1. Lori Morton

    Your critters are all sooooo cute!! Thank you for sharing your fave tools..never thought about a chopstick (tho I have used knitting needle before lol)Learned great use for the elastic bands! way cool idea!! Thanks too.. for chance to win your drawing! πŸ™‚

  2. Janet Tyner

    I love using the chopsticks for so many things. Did you know you can use them to press open seams? It is sometimes tricky, but place the stick under the seam and press open along the seam. If you find some that have the 4 flat sides at the end, they work great.

  3. Debra Miller

    I really thought your numbers 2 and 3 were great ideas that I had never heard or thought of. I use a large dowel for stuffing but that sometimes makes the stuffing hard. I have had wonky legs on toys in the past and couldn’t figure it out. All your patterns are adorable!

  4. Judy M

    Good tips. I use a wooden screwer for holding seams under the needle.



  1. Creative Spaces… Week 3, Day 2 – Cherry Blossoms Quilting - […] you miss Pauline’s post on favorite tools? You can see it […]

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