Sunday, November 27, 2016

Crafting with Oldest Nephew: Making a "Stuffy"

I promised my eight year old nephew that we'd have a "crafting" day today - just the two of us. He was very excited at the idea and said that he couldn't wait. I wasn't sure what he wanted to make but promised to help with anything he wanted.

We went to the "big" Joann's fabric store in Wheaton Maryland. It's about twice the size at the one near my house and is quickly starting to have the better fabrics as well. Since Joann's was having a big sale, I figured we could stop by and check out all the fabrics to see what he wanted to make. Also, since they have paints, clay, jewelry making, and a whole bunch of other crafts, we could easily switch to that as well.

After looking all around the store and at patterns, he told me what he wanted - a stuffy. Apparently, a stuffy is like the Raggedy Andy doll we saw a pattern of but he wanted one that looked like Link from Zelda. Okay, this I can do pretty easily and make my own pattern. We ended up with "flesh" toned muslin (I don't think anyone is really that color), a green cotton flannel remnant, a brown cotton remnant, and a huge thing of stuffing to make the stuffy with.

Once home, I drew out that pattern using my frixion markers (most amazing things ever!) and he cut it out.

Once he finished cutting it out, I had him try to sew it together.  

However, that didn't work.  Unfortunately, I didn't cut it quite right and his stitches were a bit too big so we ended up cutting out a second stuffy out of the yard and a half of "flesh" tone muslin I got.   I then sewed it on the sewing machine.  He did try the peddle for a bit but the corners and curves are too tricky for an 8 year old who is learning to sew.   

Once we turned the muslin inside out, he was very happy to see it was human shaped - but without a skeleton.  So, we worked out a new system - I stuffed the stuffy and he handed me the stuffing or other things as needed.  He did try to stuff it but, like he said, it was not as easy as it looked like it should be.  Also, wooden spoons work wonders for pushing the stuffing into legs and arms.  

Once it was stuffed, I sewed up the head and started on the "hair".  The hair is just left over yellow yarn from a Navy (blue & gold) team colors scarf I made last year.   I showed him how to do it and he did do one row at least.

However, soon after this picture was taken, he got upset at his lack of ability to make perfect stitches and asked me to do the rest.   Once I sewed up the yarn on the back of the head, we started on clothing for the now naked stuffy.

I drew out a simple t-tunic patten and had him cut it out.

I also cut out a hat, sewed it up, but had him sew the hat to the head.  This way, he'd be able to point to what he sewed easily plus he got some more sewing done.   Mostly, he did all the cutting - which is also an excellent skill to have.   

Nephew with the finished stuffy!!!   We weren't able to get around to making the boots but that will be fine for next time.  The stuffy is not naked - a very important point- and does have a ribbon belt so, according to my nephew- he was good.  He later took a sharpie and drew in eyes and a mouth.  

Anyway, just a cute little project to do with my oldest nephew.   I might try something easier next time that he can sew himself - like a t-tunic or pajama bottoms.


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