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Toy making Tips - newsletter archives.

Funky Friends Factory Newsletter Archive


Hi there,

Today I'm going to share my special tips and tricks for closing your toys so you have a beautiful finish!

I have had a LOT of practice so it seems like the EASIEST thing in the world to ME... BUT I know that some beginners find sewing their toy closed the scariest part of making their first toy! Don't worry, you are not the only one and there's no need to panic... let's get started!!! :)

* As they say in London - MIND THE GAP!

Here are my 7 special suggestions for shutting up! :)


1. Use matching thread.

If your thread matches the fabric it will make it harder to see where you have sewn your stuffed animal closed.

* If you look closely you can see I used pale blue to sew Sandy Seagull closed - NOT WHITE!


2. Fleece is fabulous for beginners!

Fluffy fabrics like fleece or minky have a pile (fluffiness) that will help to hide your hand-stitching. (Minky can be very messy to work with so a great tip is to cut fluffy fabrics outside!)

I use the SAME white upholstery thread whenever I sew a fleece soft toy because it hides my hand-stitching so well. There's no need to buy strong thread in every colour of the rainbow if you don't have to!

*Look closely - my first few stitches are almost invisible!

Combine Tip1 and Tip2...

Combine these first 2 TRICKS for a double whammy effect and NO ONE will be able to spot where you sewed your toy closed!

* * Anyway - no one SHOULD be looking at Dilby Duck's bottom!


3. Hide your stitching with printed fabrics!

This is a great tip if you are a beginner toy maker - DO NOT USE PLAIN FABRCIS!!!!

With plain(solid) fabrics, the seams (joins in the fabric) will stand out very clearly and your closing gap will be much more noticeable...

*especially if your stitching is a little bit messy!

Choose fabric with a little fleck or dot rather than plain fabric, it will make a big difference! You don't have to use a WILD and WACKY print - just something with a little bit more detail than a plain/solid fabric.

*A great excuse to go fabric shopping!

And use you imagination! Look how lovely these 2 versions of Kiki Koala look in bright patterned cotton prints. It makes them look so cheerful as well!

* See - Kiki Koala doesn't ALWAYS have to be grey!



Try and make your stitches small and even. If you cannot get your stitches SMALL... at least be as neat as you can!

* A good tip is to use a short, sharp needle!


5. Finger-press the seam at the stuffing gap.

I hate doing housework BUT I don't mind ironing - if I am making a soft toy!!!

Finger-press the seam open BEFORE you turn your soft toy right sides out. This will make it easier to see where your line of stitching should go when you sew the softie closed. This will help you to keep the seam allowance even as you sew, so you will have a smooth close.

* Here you can see Heather Hippo BEFORE and AFTER turning.


6. Pin the stuffing gap closed before you sew.

I like to pin the seams together along the 'sewing line' (where your hand stitches will go). This way I can make sure that I haven't used too much or too little toy stuffing!


I have used one pin for this stuffing gap. If the toy is bigger, I usually leave a slightly bigger stuffing gap. If I need more than one pin, I pin the gap closed on ONE SIDE and start sewing the from the other side.

*Removing the pins as you go along stops the toy stuffing from escaping!


7. Don't give up - practice makes perfect.

You may not have thought of this BUT even the best surgeons needed a lot of practice before they got very good at sewing US up!

* You will get better - pretty quickly!

LASTLY let me say this... Don't worry - be happy!

No seriously!!! Please don't be upset if your stuffing gap looks a bit messy on your first few softies. Most times the receiver of the stuffed toy is NOT going to care about HOW neatly you sewed it up!! Remember the old saying -

* Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!



Well, there you go - lots of cool TIPS and TECHNIQUES to make your toys FABULOUS!


Now I'm really looking forward to seeing YOUR beautifully CLOSED toys ~> come share your photos on my Facebook page!




Till next time,

Happy sewing,






Funky Friends Factory, P O Box 814, Aspley, Brisbane, Queensland 4500, AUSTRALIA