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Gift presents for kids: sewing Taggie Caterpillar

Sewing  |  September 22nd 2011  |  0 Comment

The Very Taggie Caterpillar

Ah, scrapbusters. The way I prove to my husband that it’s *actually wise* not to throw things away.

I’m not sure if this little guy is technically a good scrapbuster or not, since he takes barely any fabric, and under 2 feet total of various ribbon. But my daughter just LOVES him, so it’s a win-win since I didn’t need to buy a thing.

Taggie Caterpillar

Time: one hour or less

Supplies:

  • Basic Sewing Supplies
  • 2 – 3×12 inch pieces of fabric
  • 20-24 inches of ribbon in various colors and textures
  • Candle/lighter
  • Optional embroidery floss or felt for eyes/face

I was so pleased to recall this polka-dot fabric leftover, since it makes such a great caterpillar body. These circles are about and inch and a half wide, so when I followed the pattern of the fabric, it stitched up a little narrower than I might have done otherwise. But it worked!

First, cut your fabric to 12×3, give or take, and affix your face (if you plan to have one). Mine was an afterthought. Duh. Much, MUCH easier to do it first!  Trim your ribbons into 2″ lengths.  I cut 10 pairs of legs and a set of antennae.

Gently melt the edges over a *controlled* flame. This will keep them from fraying.

You can also cut 4″ lengths and fold them in half to avoid this step, but then you need to use twice as much ribbon. Pin it around one of your body pieces. You may want to arrange two at the head for antennae (I did). All of these ribbons will be pointing inward. I know this may seem odd, but since stuffies get stitched inside-out, you arrange everything sort of backward. Just think of him hugging himself with a whole lot of legs. (Arms? Legs. Can you hug with legs?)

Now place your other body piece so that the right sides are facing and the legs are all inside. If you decide you want to make him crinkly (I opted not to) you can cut a piece of 3×12 inch cellophane or firm plastic bag and layer that on top of everything. Think, wipes package, cereal bag, or chip bag rather than grocery store plastic. When in doubt, scrunch it and see how loud it is – the louder, the better!
Stitch along one side, the head and the other side. Once you’ve stitched it once, add another row of stitching. It won’t take long, and it will pay off when your seams stay closed. Leave the butt-end open. That’s where his stuffing goes in. Try not to make jokes about this as none of them are family-friendly. :P

Once he’s all stitched up, you can trim the excess from the edges – especially the corners.

Now, turn him right side out. You can accomplish this with a butterknife or a chosptick. It may be tempting to use your scissors since they are right there, but just be *really* careful not to poke any holes if you do.

This is when I realized he had no eyes, so I stitched a couple on with embroidery floss.  I hate when I get ahead of myself!

Now, stuff him fairly lightly. Enough to puff up, but not really firm.  Pin his rear end shut.

Topstitch the open end. You could also whipstitch it or blindstitch it if you prefer, but I opted for strength of seam over detail orientation.

Now, you are going to quilt him to create his segments. This was easy for me to see my guidelines. If you have used something striped or dotted, it should be fairly easy, otherwise, just measure how big you want the segments and mark them with tape or disappearing marker.

Backstitch at the beginning and end of each segment. It might be tough to get your stitching started, so use the legs to guide the body back and forth under your machine if you need to.

Then trim up your loose quilting threads, and give him to a kiddo to enjoy!

Fun, quick project!