Saturday, May 15, 2010

Felt Ghosties Tutorial

Mod Podge Rocks did a month-long spot on this company called Torendi a while back, and through Amy's posts, I found inspiration! She'd directed us to Torendi's shop, and in peeking through their awesome selection of die cuts, embellishments, and all sorts of other scrappy goodness, I found these felt ghosties.

I was in love.

But I'm not much of a scrapbooker. I try, but it's harder to keep up with than sewing. All my scrapbooking stuff is shoved in a trunk, hard to access and.. sigh. I'm just bad at keeping up. 

So logically, I had to make these adorable little scrapbooking embellishments a little more life-sized! I decided that they'd be a super cute little set of car-safe toys for my 20 month old son. Car rides can be boring, right?   I work out of the home, so my son spends quite a bit of time in the car per day. Keeping him entertained - especially in 5:00 traffic - can be a challenge. Hard or heavy toys can be dangerous in an accident, or even if you just stop quickly. Soft toys are great for car rides! Even if there IS a reason for them to go flying, they won't hurt when they hit you.

So, toddler-sized stuffed felt ghosties! These stay in my car and are special just for vehicle trips. :)

The coolest part is how simple they are to make! Even someone just starting out with a sewing machine can whip these out.

What do you need?

Five sheets of felt ($.29 each at Joann's) with matching thread. Pick three colors for your ghosties, white for the whites of the eyes, and your eye color of choice. The toddling terror's eyes are blue, so blue it is!


Fabric Scissors

And some fiberfill.

Take your three sheets of felt for the ghostie bodies, and fold them in half. (An 8" x 11" sheet will fold in half to 8" x 5.5") Cut out the general shape of your ghostie from each. This makes sure that the "legs" (What are ghost legs called, exactly?) match up perfectly. The bodies should be about 4.5 inches tall by 5.5 inches wide when cut. 
Cut out small circles from your white felt, and even smaller circles from your blue felt to create your eyes.
Now you're looking at a pile of ghost guts!


I don't like using pins on these. The felt is thick, and I always seem to move the eyeballs around when I'm trying to pin them. You certainly can use them if you feel that you need them, but I find them to be a complete pain on this project!

Take your three ghosties over to the sewing machine. Separate the front pieces from the back, and set the backs aside. You want to sew the eyes down to the fronts only, before attaching the fronts to the back.

Pick one to start, and lay it down on your sewing surface. You'll have your ghost body, the white of the eye, and the colored portion of the eye laying stacked up. Make sure the eye is located exactly where you want it on the body! Start by sewing the colored portion of the eye - this helps hold the white in place.

Be careful when sewing this part. The colored portion of the eyes is very small, so use light pressure on your machine's treadle. If you press too hard, your stitching will take off straight across the white part of your eye!

When you've sewn both colored parts on, you'll be looking at this:

  Sew on all of the colored portions for all three ghosties, then rethread your machine with your white thread. It's time to tack down the rest of the eye!

Since the colored portion of the eye is holding down the white, there isn't much worry about the white portions slipping. Felt tends to grip onto itself - another reason I'm not fond of pins with this project!

Start slow again. Even though these circles are bigger, they're not big by any stretch, and loose white threads look silly on red bodies!

Now we're looking at fully attached eyes!
Repeat for all three ghosties.

Now that all our ghosties have their eyes, it's time to attach the backs to the fronts. Match up those ghostie legs, wrong sides together, and pin if you so desire. We're going wrong sides together (eyeballs facing out!) because these are very small toys when finished. It's hard to hand-sew felt and make it look pretty, so I machine stitch this closed. It's a more uniform look if the whole thing is stitched wrong sides together!

Starting off center, at the side of the top of the head, use a scant 1/4" seam allowance and sew around the outside of your ghostie, leaving a 3" gap in the top of the head for stuffing.

Remove your ghostie from your machine, and stuff lightly with fiberfill:

Pin your gap closed. (Yes, I pinned!)

And starting where you left off, machine stitch the opening closed:

Repeat on your other two ghosties (making sure to use matching thread for each ghostie, or they become Goofy Ghosties) and you are DONE!


Addie said...

Oh my, I might have to make some of these for my son for Christmas in addition to the angry birds I made him! glad i found your blog from sew mamma sew!

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