My 5 Toy making tips

Hello peeps. 🙂

This week I’m sharing some tips about making knitted toys. Whether you make your own knitted toys, you would like to start making toys, or perhaps you would like to know more about it.

I love making knitted toys, and I have been making them since I learned to knit as a child in the 80’s, so I thought that I would pass on some things that I have learnt over the years.

  1. Read the pattern carefully.

It may sound obvious but carefully reading the pattern before you start can make all the difference. I’ve often skimmed through pattern instructions only to find out that I have done things wrong and it either doesn’t look right and cannot be changed, or worse, I have had to unpick it and start again – resulting in lost time and discouragement.

I would recommend reading the instructions at least twice carefully before starting your project. You could make notes for yourself too especially if there is a difficult part to the pattern, so you know what you to do when you get to it.

       2. Stuff the toy properly but don’t overstuff it.

Again, this is something else I have been guilty of. Over filling a toy can make it look handmade in a bad way – which is what you don’t want, as having a finished item look like it’s been professionally made is what most of us, if not all of us, desire. Likewise, it’s important not to underfill it either as that too would make it look poorly made.

Looking at the picture of the finished toy gives you a good idea as to how much toy filling to put in it and some patterns will give you an amount of toy filling you will need to make the project.

Also, try not to fill your toy with large lumps of filling, use a bit each time and ensure it is filling evenly so it doesn’t appear to be clumpy. If anywhere does look clumpy once its sewn up, then try to separate it with your fingers and smooth out and rough areas.

       3. Pay close attention to the finishing.

How you sew and put together the finished pieces of your toy can make all the difference to how the completed item will look – professional or handmade in a bad way. Take your time sewing the pieces together, making sure you use even stitches that are hidden in the seams and use a thinner yarn, if possible, which makes the seams less bulky – although this is not always possible.

Pay close attention to the facial features as this is the first thing people will look at when they see your toy so if one eye is lower than the other, for example, it will be obvious.

I like to count the stitches to make sure I have my features in the correct place and I try to ensure that I sew eyes the same stitch width apart on each side of the face, so they are even. Take your time in sewing the features and unpick them if necessary to get them looking nice.

       4. Always use high quality products.

To get a nice finished product, always use high quality yarn and proper toy filling/fibre fill that have been made to industry standards. I read about people filling toys with all kinds of things, such as old pairs of tights and yarn scraps, but it’s always best to use a proper filling as these will be flame resistant and of an approved standard. Also, it gives a nice finish to your toy. The last thing you want is to spend all that time making a toy, then it doesn’t look nice because you can see dark bits of tights through the yarn!

       5. Have patience!

Knitting toys is often a time-consuming task and they are usually made over several weeks. If you are new to toy making, then I would suggest starting with something relatively easy that will only take a short time to make. It can be discouraging when you have to make so many pieces for a toy, then sew them all together, then make up the toy – believe me, I know! So, do try to have some patience with it and remember that it’s a long-term journey not a quick trip.

Remember too, that it should be fun! It’s important to enjoy yourself when making toys, else there is no point, so enjoy yourself and do please share your toys with me either on here or social media.

Here is a link to my Ravelry projects where you can see some of the toys I have made:

https://www.ravelry.com/projects/WittiKnitty

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to share,

Sarah.IMG_0115.JPG

A few of my knitted toys!

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