How to Make a Simple DIY Crinkle Taggie Toy

DIY Taggie Toy Tutorial. http://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

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Seventeen months ago, I became a mommy.  For the first time!  Now, I had been a step-mom to four beautiful girls for some time, but I had yet to have a baby in my household, at least not full-time.  As of November 2015, that all changed.  My sweet little wild man was born… and not only did my life change, but my crafting changed.

I used to knit shawls, crochet scarves, and hem dresses.  Now I knit teddy bears, crochet baby blankets, and sew taggie toys. Nearly every craft I do or think about centers around my son.

Unfortunately, as a first-time mom, I didn’t know ahead of time what my son would want or need.   I also didn’t know many of the items could be made right in my craft room for less than buying them in a store.  So, I was late on almost everything.  I bought when could have made.  Or, my son didn’t have it at all.

Taggie toys are a big example.  I had never seen them.  I had never even heard of them.  So, my son didn’t get one until he was nearly 15 months old.

You see folks, I discovered taggie toys only a few months ago when nearly all the teeth in my son’s mouth decided to come in all at once.  He was in terrible pain.  Desperate to help him, I decided to look for an alternative to baby Tylenol and the frozen teethers he simply refused to use.

I consulted the great and powerful Google and was blessed with about a million pictures of various teething toys.  Some made of silicon, some in rings, some crocheted, etc…  But one picture really caught my attention.  It was a taggie toy with a wooden teething ring.  I immediately thought, “DJ would love that!’

As I continued to search I came across a package of 10 wooden teething rings on Amazon.  It may seem stupid to you, but that’s when it hit me.  I could make this stuff!  I mean, why not?  I had a ton of scrap material and ribbon.  All I needed were the rings.  I fixed that issue with a quick click on the Amazon ad.

A few days later, my son had his first taggie toy and he was happily chomping down on the wooden teether. 😁

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Beginner Sewing: Woven versus Knit Fabrics

Woven vs. Knit Fabrics_ What's the Difference? http://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

 

When you first decided to start sewing, I bet you thought it was going to be easy, didn’t you?  If not, you are smarter than I was.  I thought it would be a breeze.  I mean, how hard could it be?  You pick a pattern, grab some fabric & thread, put it through a machine and voilà you have made a beautiful summer dress!

Boy, I couldn’t have been more wrong! It’s not that simple.  At least not in the beginning.  You see, there are things you should learn before you can even begin to sew.

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Understanding the 5 Basic Sewing Machine Stitches

The 5 Basic Sewing Machine Stitches. http://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

 

If you are a regular blog follower then you know that I talk a lot about my first sewing machine experience.  How I was so intimidated that I refused to touch the machine… for nearly four months!  Eventually, I braved the instruction manual and studied the parts of sewing machine.  More>>

Perplexed by all the little metal and plastic pieces that came with the machine, I then learned all about presser feet and when to use them.  More>>

Next I stared at the display screen.  This is what it looked like.

 

 

Okay, so I realized that these are obviously sewing stitches.  But what kind of sewing stitches?  And when do I use them?  If you are asking yourself the same questions, then this tutorial is for you!

I’m not going to go through every single stitch that my sewing machine can do.  That would be crazy. There are literally several hundred on my Husqvarna Designer Diamond Royale.  No,  I think we’ll just stick with the basics.

Let’s learn about the five most common sewing machine stitches.  The ones you’ll use most as a sewing beginner.

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What Are All Those Presser Feet For Anyway?

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Sewing Machine Presser Feet. http://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

 

If you’ve followed along on the blog then you might remember that when my fiancé bought my first sewing machine about four years ago I was terrified of it. After allowing it to collect dust for several months, I eventually drummed up the courage to open the user manual. Hey, don’t judge! Sewing can be intimidating, especially if you are new at it and you’ve never even touched a sewing machine before.

I first studied the sewing machine parts and their functions. Once I felt comfortable with the sewing machine and the basics of how it worked, I then turned my attention to all the bits and pieces that came with my machine. There were wires, dusters, clips, caps, plates, bobbins, and about 15 things called presser feet.

I stared at each foot. I twirled them in my hands. I studied their markings. I had no clue what they were or what on earth I was supposed to do with them. I’m not going to lie, even after four years I still haven’t used them all, but I have learned what they are, what to do with them, and what each one is used for.

So, if you haven’t figured it out, that’s what today’s tutorial is all about. Presser feet and their uses.

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Getting to Know Your Sewing Machine: Parts and Their Functions

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Sewing Machine Parts and Their Functions. http://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

 

Hi folks!  If you’ve just bought your first sewing machine or are completely new to sewing then you’ve come to the right place.  When my fiancé bought me a sewing machine four years ago, I had no sewing experience.  You read that right folks. I had NO sewing experience.  I didn’t even hand sew.

Folks, you have to understand. Danny, my fiancé, didn’t just buy me a cheap beginner sewing machine. Oh no… he bought me a Husqvarna Viking Designer Diamond Royale. The KING of all sewing machines. Hailed as the best on the market. At least that’s what the sales lady said. 🙂

The point is that I had no idea what I was doing. I was so intimidated by this machine that it sat, untouched for over 4 months, on a table in my craft room.  I was terrified by it. I had no idea what to do with it.   Then finally, one day, I took the bull by the horns and grabbed the user guide.  What’s the first thing I looked at?  Yep, you guessed it. The parts of my sewing machine and their functions.

It’s important, right? How are you supposed to use a sewing machine if you don’t even know what the parts are or what they do?  So, if you’re sitting there like I was 4 years ago, scared of your sewing machine and unsure where to begin, let me help ease your fear. I’m going to hold your hand as I walk you through each sewing machine part and help you to understand what they do.

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Product Review:  Fiskars Spring-Action Fabric Scissors

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Spring-Action Fabric Scissors

Are They Right For You?

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 I do not work for the Fiskars Corporation nor am I being compensated for this article.  I am simply a user of the Fiskars Easy Action Scissors and would like to give my honest opinion of the product.  However, this post does include affiliate links.  If you purchase an item through the links, I will receive a small compensation, which is necessary for the upkeep of this blog.  Please see my Disclosure Policy for details.

 

I had a stroke when I was twenty.  No, really.  It’s true.  I did.  It left me a little weak on the right side of my body.  As luck would have it, I am also right-handed.

This can make sewing, knitting, and crocheting a bit difficult.  If you’re a crafter who suffers from ailments like arthritis, fibromyalgia, or even Multiple Sclerosis then you understand exactly what I am talking about.
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How to Sew a Plush Baby Rattle

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Hi folks!  So do you remember that tutorial I posted a few weeks ago, the one in which I showed you how to make a super simple lounge pillow?

Well, today’s tutorial was born out of that project.  The scraps of that project to be exact. No, it’s not another pillow.  Read the title folks!  😉

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How to Sew a Fun & Easy Large Pillow

A Fast, Fun, & Easy Sewing Project for Kids

http://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

I remember walking into Walmart a few months ago with my step-daughters, Dakota & Kassidy, in tow.  I was under strict orders to only get what was on my list.  I was not… let me say that again… I was NOT to buy more fabric or yarn.  You see folks, I have loads of both and had come to an agreement with my fiancé, Danny, that I wouldn’t buy more material until I had used up some of what was already taking over my craft room and spilling out of the cabinets & drawers in our house.

So, of course, I headed straight for the ‘Craft and Sewing’ section of the store.  This was not because I intended to break my word, I promise, but simply out of necessity.   Truth be told, since I usually spend most of my time hunting for the perfect yarn for my next project, rummaging through the fabric remnants to collect pieces for a quilt, or simply wandering through the isles admiring all the craft eye-candy, I know the layout of my local Walmart in reference to this section.  I’m lost if I don’t start my shopping from this section.  Seriously.

Anyway,  I made it to ‘Craft and Sewing’ fully intending to simply ogle all the fabric goodies as I passed by on my way to the grocery section,  but… well folks, as the saying goes “there are no perfect men in this world, only perfect intentions”.  That’s right folks, I broke my word, my oath, my promise.  I bought fabric. 😃

Let me explain.  There was sale.  Need I say more?  Lol.   Honestly, I just couldn’t help it.  There were two carts filled with fabric on sale for a dollar a yard.  Yes, you read that right folks, it was only a dollar a yard!  Dakota and Kassidy were bubbling with excitement and I must admit I could barely contain myself.  The girls instantly started planning their new projects.  Now, you have to understand folks that these girls are polar opposites.  Kassidy is our crafty girl full of ideas, sunshine, & rainbows.  She is always cooking up some type of fun & colorful craft project.  Dakota, however, is our dark brooding artist.  She spends most of her time with pencils & a sketch pad in hand drawing flowers, patterns, & animals.  Yet, here they were, both giddy with joy over the same thing. Fabric.  How could I say no?  I couldn’t.  So I caved.  But, I allowed them only one yard each.  I figured spending only a couple bucks would soften the blow when their dad found out that I had broken my vow.

Once we were home and I had soothed Danny with the words ” but we only spent two dollars”, (I did this while batting my eyelashes and flashing my very best smile. He wasn’t pleased, but he forgave me. 😃) it was time to decide what to make with our new fabric.  But, what on earth could we do with just one yard of fabric?
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How to Fix Sewing Machine Thread Bunching Up

 What you should check before making a 911 call to your sewing machine mechanic

 

Thread bunching up when using a sewing machine. http://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

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Does this look familiar?  “Bird nesting” or thread bunching up on the top of or on the underside of your fabric is one of the most common problems during sewing.

Not only is this an extremely frustrating issue, it can also put a major stopper in the creative process!  I know because it happened to me. 😕

First of all, don’t panic!  This situation is normally an easy fix and usually doesn’t need a call to your sewing machine repair man.

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How to Hem a Bridesmaid Dress

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Online Sewing Class

How I Hemmed a Bridesmaid Dress Made of  Satin and Sheer Polyester

How to Hem a Bridesmaid Dress http://ww.itchinforsomestitchin.com

NOTE:  The color of the dress is blush, but does appear darker in some photos due to lighting differences.  I promise, every picture is in fact of the same dress.

This is not the post  I had planned for this week.  But, life is filled with the unexpected, interruptions, and delays.  This has been especially true for me the past two weeks. After being down with a pulled muscle for nearly a week, it was fast approaching my step-daughter, Alex’s, wedding day, and I was already behind schedule.   When I was finally back on my feet and just starting to get back on track, there was a big bump in the road.  My other step-daughter, Dakota’s, bridesmaid dress was almost a foot too long!  Yes, the dress had been ordered in her size and fit nicely everywhere else, but, you see, all of my step-daughters were blessed with petite frames.  However, as well as being petite, Dakota has the added challenge of being… uh…. I’ll say “vertically challenged”.  She stands only 4’10” tall.

So, it’s a week before the wedding when I get a call from Alex asking me to hem Dakota’s dress.  Now, for those of you who’ve been following along, you know that I am not a professional seamstress.  The idea of hemming a bridesmaid’s dress, especially in such a short period, was definitely above my pay grade.  But, there were no other options as the professional seamstress claimed she couldn’t do it in a week’s time!  I warned both Alex & Dakota that it would not be a perfect job, but I would do my best.  Then I fell ill for the next four days.  This left only two days to hem the dress before the big day.  Life really knows how to throw you some curve balls!  LOL.

Even though I was still not feeling up to par, the Thursday before the wedding, I tackled the dress.  It had two layers.  The bottom or inner layer, made of satin, was simple enough to do.

Step 1.

The night before I had determined that I needed to take nearly 9-1/2 inches off the inner layer, so the first thing I did was measure.itchinforsomestitchin.com

Step 2.

Using a fabric pen, I marked the bottom edge and the sides of the inner layer where I wanted to make the cut.  The marks fade and ultimately disappear from 30-minutes to several hours, depending on the type of fabric.
itchinforsomestitchin.comitchinforsomestitchin.com

Step 3.

I used a large ruler to draw a line from each marked edge all the way across the fabric.

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Step 4.

I used a ruler and a rotary blade to slice along the marked line.

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Step 5.

The top or outer layer was sheer polyester and there was a TON of it.  I found the easiest thing to do was to lay the front part of the outer layer over the newly cut satin layer and repeat steps 3-4.  I cut the sheer layer about 3-inches longer than the satin layer.

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Clearance on Sewing Supplies http://www.itcihinforsomestitchin.com

Click image for Everyday Clearance on Sewing Supplies from Craftsy

Step 6.

I laid the cut portions of the dress on top of the back part of the sheer polyester layer that still needed cutting and repeated steps 3-4.  I cut the back part of the sheer layer right along where I made the cut for the front part of the sheer layer so that both the front and back portions would be exactly the same length.

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Close-up of back part of sheer polyester layer beneath the two previously cut layers.

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Here is the dress after all three layers, the inner satin, and the two outer sheer polyester layers, have been completely cut.

itchinforsomestitchin.com

 

It’s lookin’ good, right? But, of course, it’s not finished.  The newly cut edges had to be sewn so they would not fray.

Step 7.

I double folded the edges of the dress.  All the way around, both the satin and the sheer polyester layers.  I started with the satin layer, but only took pictures of the sheer layer.  The process was exactly the same.

itchinforsomestitchin.com

Forming the first fold of both the satin inner and sheer polyester outer layers (sheer layer shown).

 

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Forming the second fold of both the satin inner and sheer polyester outer layers (sheer layer shown).

Step 8.

As I folded, I pinned the folds down with straight pins.

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Pinned Satin Inner Layer

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Pinned Sheer Polyester Outer Layer

 

Step 9.

I used a zig-zag stitch on both the satin and polyester layers to keep the edges from fraying.  Since I was on a time crunch, I wasn’t able to run to the store to get matching thread so I decided to use clear nylon thread instead.  It worked out just fine.

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Sewing the satin edge. Shows that pins were removed while sewing.

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Sewing the sheer polyester edge. Pins were removed as it was sewn, but are pictured here.

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Zig zag stitch on the satin inner layer.

The dress is complete!  It took three hours just to fold and pin the sheer polyester layer and an entire day to finish the project.

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Dakota’s face when I told her these pictures where going on the blog. LOL.

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Close-up of the edge of the hemmed bridesmaid dress.

 

You can see that the hemmed edge is not perfect, but also not bad for my second sewing project ever.  I wanted to correct my errors, but Dakota steadfastly told me, “No way.  You’re done.  They give the dress character.” LOL.  What she lacks in height, Dakota makes up for in attitude!

Until next time…  Happy sewing!

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