Monday, December 19, 2011


Yes, you read it correctly! I have finally put together a free pattern for you all to enjoy as a Christmas Gift to celebrate my gorgeous baby boy's first Christmas. Introducing you to the Crunch Jellyfish pattern!

Designed specifically to stimulate little minds, this toy has been tested and approved by Mr Harrison (my 8 month old). Never sewed before? Well that doesn’t matter! This pattern is simple enough for the most beginnery of beginners and you can even sew it with a needle and thread if you wish. Of course, if you don't fancy sewing you can buy or order a custom Crunchy Jellyfish from my Etsy Shop.

The Crunchiness of this jellyfish is due to a bit of cellophane inside so when baby scrunches the toy it makes a great crackling sound to stimulate his senses. You could also change the sound of your jellyfish by inserting a squeaker or a rattle instead. You could even make a band of Jellyfish!

Materials you’ll need:

- Scrap of fabric for the body (about 22cm x 16cm)*
- Scraps of fabric for the tentacles (about 13cm x 15cm for each tentacle)*
- Scrap of felt for the heart (about 3cm x 3 cm)
- Embroidery thread for the face and heart applique (black for the face and red for the heart)
- Stuffing ( I use polyester stuffing as it’s machine washable)
- Ribbon  about 1cm wide and 6cm long (for the loop on top)
- A piece of crackly plastic (I find Glad Oven Bags make an excellent crackle but you can use cellophane or clean plastic packaging from anything that sounds good)
- Thread for sewing your jellyfish together


- Sewing needle and/or sewing machine
- Sharp scissors
- Embroidery needle
- Chopstick or stuffing stick for turning and stuffing

* I use polar fleece for the jellyfish I sell, this is because it’s soft and easy to wash because it’s machine washable and dries super fast (my little man is a major drooler) That said, most fabrics would be suitable. Felt is easy to sew but hard to turn the right way out and tends to pill a lot. Wool is a nice natural alternative and so are bright coloured cottons commonly used in Patch-working. If you’re feeling thrifty try using an old sweater for an extra Ooomf of character :)

Step 1.
Print and cut out your paper pattern pieces. Pin the pieces to your chosen fabric and cut out. You will need 2 body pieces, six tentacle pieces and one heart piece cut from felt. Download Pattern PDF (you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer available Here for free)

- Body piece: cut 2
- Tentacle piece: cut 6 (3 pairs)
- Heart: cut 1 from felt (felt doesn’t fray so it’s great for applique)

Step 2. 
With right sides of the fabric together, pin and sew around the tentacles. Trim the seam allowance back by half (this helps curved seams look smoother). Turn the tentacles right side out, use the chopstick to help turn it out. You should have 3 finished tentacles. Set these aside for later.

Step 3. 
Using the embroidery guide on the body pattern piece, transfer the markings onto one of your body pieces using a fabric marker. I carefully cut along the smile and eyes on my paper pattern so I can poke the pen through and mark the fabric accurately. Otherwise you can ‘Wing it’ which can give you the best expressions and most unique toy.  Embroider your jellyfish face using your embroidery thread start with the eyes, then mouth and finish with the eyebrows.
Step 4.
Again, using the placement guide on the body pattern piece, take your felt heart piece and stitch it in position using embroidery thread on the same body piece you embroidered the face on.

Step 5. 
Using the placement guides on your paper body pattern, pin the tentacles to one of the body pieces with the tentacles facing into the body. Slowly and carefully sew the tentacles down 5 mm from the edge of the fabric (this is just tacking them down in place and also makes sure they won’t pull out during rough play. Notice I don’t stuff the tentacles? That’s because it’s easier for little fingers to grab, chew and bend. I made prototypes with stuffed tentacles and without and my son thought the one without was way more fun. But feel free to experiment.

Step 6. 
Take your piece of ribbon and fold it in half. Pin it to the top of one of the body pieces as indicated on the pattern pointing it down into the body. Stitch it in place 5mm from the edge of the fabric like you did with the tentacles.

Step 7.
ALMOST DONE!!! Now you can put your body pieces together. Pin the body pieces right sides together. Carefully stitch around the body leaving a small section open for turning as indicated on the pattern. Turn your jellyfish right side out.

Step 8. 
Time to stuff!!!  Grab your plastic scrunchy material. Roughly cut 2 rectangles about the size of your jellyfish’s body. You may find you want 3 pieces for extra crunch. Place the rectangles on top of one another and insert into your jellyfish using your chopstick to help flatten it out. You want the plastic evenly distributed. Then take your stuffing and work it in behind the plastic until it’s nicely pudgy, again your chopstick will come in handy.

Step 9. 
The last step! Now take your needle and thread and stitch up the opening of your jellyfish. TA DAAAAA! You clever thing you, congratulations on making your very own lovable Crunchy Jellyfish for your little one :)
You can use this pattern to make as many jellyfish for your family and friends as you like but please don’t sell toys from this pattern.  

My Official tester performing the 'chew test'.

 Now that you have your beautiful Jellyfish, show him or her off to the world on Flickr! I created a group just so you can upload your photos here.

I would love to know what you think of the pattern in the comments section below and feel free to give me suggestions or ask any questions about the pattern.

This pattern is also available on Kid Independent in the Christmas 2011 Guest Series which I originally created it for.

Merry Christmas and Love from Pinky The Toy Maker xoxo

Albury Twilight Markets

My recent adventures to the Albury Twighlight Markets where a huge success with lovely shoppers, a great atmosphere and some much needed fresh air on my part! The very best moment was when a little 4 year old boy came up to me to buy a hand puppet. He was the cutest little guy and so polite! The best bit was that he took it straight over to his little sister and started entertaining her with it... TOTALLY ADORABLE! Here's some pictures of my little stand:

I'd already sold a few toys and puppets before I remembered to take a photo. 'Barry he Bedtime Bandit' (orange puppet with crazy face :) as his new owners call him, went to a very good home and he currently entertains a little 8 month old girl who likes to giggle when  Barry tickles her with his head feathers.

 Mr Sock Sloth, Bunny and Retro Froggy chilling alongside some Huggy Wuggs.

Scrap-o-saurus Herd 


These little fellas were a super hit with the boys young and old :)

My patterns on display

A School of Crunchy Jellyfish (And Lucas enjoying is Pad Thai in the background :)

I of course couldn't have attended the markets without the help of My wonderful Mother in Law, Lucas and Bubby (My official tester who was so well behaved both nights!)

I am busting to do the markets again and think I might attend the February twilight markets next. I need a month or so to replenish my stock...after sewing up a Christmas storm for my friends and family that is!

Thank you so much to all those who came to see me at the markets and especially my Mum's Group who are brilliant supporters and to Ren, the organizer of the markets at Albury City Council

- Pinky xoxo