Monday, December 19, 2011

FREE TOY PATTERN

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

Tools

- 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




4 comments:

bee said...

Pinky thanks so much!! I've been saving cereal bags so I can make a crunchy toy for Elora and this will be perfect!! She LOVES crunchy stuff and those jellyfish legs will be fun to munch on too :) Your little one is SSSOOO cute! I hope you're enjoying being a mum :) I'm loving it! Have a rad Christmas.... I'm so excited it's Elora's first xmas too huzzah!

Pinky Higgs said...

I;m very glad you like the pattern Bee and I'm so glad to hear from you fellow mummy! Elora is an absolutely beautiful name, I'm sure she has a smile to match! Being a mum sure is a challenge but it's the best job in the world :)

jfo888 said...

awesome thanks so much you are very talented x

America DiGangi said...

Hi Pinky!
Thank you for the idea and the pattern. Is this okay to put in the dryer with the glad oven bag inside? I know the bags are used for cooking and can withstand heat but I plan on making this as a gift for a friend and I would like to give her the comfort knowing she can put this in the wash and dryer without worrying about the plastic inside.
Thanks for your help!!