29 November 2011

Make a 'STUFF 'n' STAY' for creative play

How would you like to take an ordinary kiddo shirt and transform it into 'lift-the-flap' clothing?  Lets face it, those books are still fun! You will learn how to make a simple 'stuffie' (completely removable for washing) and watch your kids turn it into an interactive prop for creative play. You could even make a few and rotate them.







1. Get inspired. What do you think would make a fun prop? A moustache? An ice-cream? An envelope with a felt letter? Your fabric stash can be a good place to draw inspiration...do you have some stripes that scream villain or conveniently, a fabric with a ready made prop lurking in the print (see telephone). You could put something noisy inside; crinkly plastic, a bell. The cord can become part of the game too! You guys are the creatives. Go wild.

2. Gather materials, including some stuffing to fill the shape with.

3. Cut the cord and attach velcro. The cord should be long enough to reach where the prop will be used (but not long enough to go around a neck) plus an extra inch that will be fixed inside the stu ffie. Cut a narrow strip of velcro (about an inch) and secure it to one end of the cord with a zig-zag stitch, going up and back several times.

4. Draw the sewing line. This will be the perimeter of your stuffie when it is poofed up. This line should be just out from the edge of the image so you don't lose any of it when you sew.

5. Cut the shape just outside the sewing line this time. This will become the seam allowance.

6. Flip over and re-draw your sewing line on the wrong side.

7. Cut the felt backing. Pin the fabric to your felt and cut around the shape.

8.  Attach velcro to felt backing and to shirt. Sew a couple of strips of velcro to the back of the felt backing. Cover a generous area...the stuffie needs to be easy to slap on in a hurry (when you have to hang that telephone up fast). Now for the shirt. When considering where to place the complimentary velcro strips see if there is somewhere in the fabric design to disguise black or white velcro, like in stripes as above. This just makes for a slightly neater look but its not a biggie if its not possible. Pin and sew the velcro on, making sure the stuffie has plenty of area to stick to.

9. Attach cord and sew stuffie. With your fabric right side to right side (velcro facing outside), sandwich the cord between the two layers and pin in place, leaving an inch hanging outside and the rest on the inside. Shut the lid and pin around the remainder of the shape. Sew your Stuffie following the line you drew earlier, making sure the cord is still tucked inside. Leave a gap in the stitching large enough to turn stuffie back the right way.

10. Now stuff it. Stuff it real good.

11. Close the opening with small neat hand-stitching, using co-ordinating thread.

12. To add a little extra tactile goodness and give the stuffie a quilted effect, pick a couple of lines to emphasize and sew along them.


Congratulations...if you made it this far you didn't stuff up. Sorry. Now stick it on and enjoy the entertainment.