Tuesday, March 1, 2011

stuffing and filling tutorial

Lately I have been obsessed with making stuffed critters.  In the process I have learned a few tricks.  And since every time a sewer sees my "stuffers" they ask how I get the stuffing so full and smooth. I will gladly share those tricks with you.  These work on both animals and pin cushions.

For Stuffing -
My two main tricks are
Use Chopsticks

Use a small stitch when sewing your pieces together.  I use a 1.5 stitch

 Turn your project right side out with the blunt end of the chopstick and then use the pointy end to CAREFULLY push out any smaller parts.  I say carefully because the pointy end will poke through the fabric.

Ball up a small lump of stuffing and puch into place with the blunt end of the stick.  The size of the lump depends on you opening.

With each lump you push in go back and forth over old and new lumps until you get the fill you desire.
Every couple of lumps, I do about 5 or 6, I use the pointy end and run it through the stuffing a few times.  This blends the lumps so the stuffing is nice and smooth. 
Continue this process until you are filled to desire.
Sew the stuffing hole closed using a small hand stitch.  Any stitch will hold as long as it is small.  I prefer the whip stitch.  I also go over mine twice for added strength.

This is more for pin cushions than animals.
For a filling you can use sand or crushed walnut shells (sold at pet stores in the lizard section)

Line your project with a light weight interfacing.  Like Stacy.  This will keep the filling from leaking out.

Use a small stitch to make your project.
Use a funnel to fill.  This way you can direct the fill where to go.

after each funnell full squish and shake you project gentley to pack down your filling.
When fill has reached desired firmness sew up hole with a small hand stitch.

For some pin cushions I use a combo of both filling and stuffing.  If you want to do this fill first than finish off with stuffing.  The fill will also add weight to anything you add it to,  like the bottom side of an animal.


Jocelyn said...

Thanks for the great tutorial. I've never used the nuts before, but have heard that they are great for pincushions. I sent you an email last week, and have not heard back. I'd appreciate if you could email me. Thanks.

Material Girls said...

I am leaving a comment because i had heard we might have a bug!

Waynette kenyon said...

cute critter..do you have a pattern??

QuiltSoup said...

Thanks for this totally excellent tutorial! I can't even remember what you look like anymore!

The Mac Clan said...

The chicken pattern is a Melly and me. The shop has them ordered but since they come from out of the country it takes a while. Nadine will post when she gets them in.

vshaynes said...

Great tutorial. I love the idea of the crushed walnut shells. I think I even have some left.