Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Leila's cutest ugly friend

my favorite jeans got a huge hole in the knee as a result of wearing them as often as possible for the past four years and now crawling around on the floor after Leila. Since my foot gets stuck in the hole every time I try to get into these jeans now, I decided to turn them into cutoffs and hope summer comes early this year, then make a stuffed toy for Leila out of the bottoms!
Step One: Cut off your jeans!

Step Two: cut out the body and appendages from the fabric (two matching pieces of each! I made mine so that the legs are included with the body, so I only had to cut out arm pieces separately.)

Step Three: Decorate! Sadly, I ran out of daylight to take pictures during this step ... but I used felt and buttons to make eyes, ears, a big button tail and also a nosegay for one hand. Before I stuffed and sewed the body together, I reinforced the backs of all the button stitching with craft glue to prevent Leila from pulling the buttons off and sticking them in her mouth. A smarter idea for a seven-month-old would, of course, be to not use buttons.

I don't have pictures of the next steps, but I'll try to explain as best I can.

Step Four: After all the decorating is finished, sew and stuff any appendages (but NOT the body) and sandwich the pieces together in this order: 
back of ugly face up (decoration facing you).
appendages (arms, legs, ears, tentacles, etc.). make sure they are pointing in, for example, if you have arm pieces, lay them so that it looks like your ugly is hugging itself. 
front of ugly face down.

Step Five: Pin around all the edges, especially where there are extra layers of appendages.

Step Six: Stitch around the edge of your ugly leaving a quarter-inch edge and a four-inch hole for turning.

Step Seven: Turn ugly right-side out through the four-inch hole you left. If you pinned the appendages right, they should all stand out in the correct places!

Step Eight: Stuff the ugly and sew up the opening using a slip stitch. I used standard polyfil for the stuffing, but a greener option would be to use clean plastic shopping bags. This would also create the "crinkle" effect that babies are so fascinated with!

Here is my finished ugly toy for Leila. I'm not sure what it's supposed to be - the ears are sort of bearish but it stands up on only two legs, so your guess is as good as mine. She is sleeping now, so we'll have to wait for tomorrow to see if she likes it.

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