I have a baby boy expected next month in the family and wanted something very ‘manly’ for him to drool and slobber on, so I came up with a lion tag toy.
Flannel – Approx. 2 -10” squares.
Black embroidery floss
3 -4 yards brown ribbon
2 yards orange ribbon
Poly-fil for stuffing
Needle and thread for hand-stitching
So to make Leonard the Lion, I first started with stitching his little face with the embroidery floss. I found it easier to do this with an embroidery hoop. I had a hard time holding the fabric tight while I stitched the sunshine. After completing the face, I cut the size of circle I wanted from the flannel, making sure to have the face centered. Cut a second circle the same size for the back of Leonard. I also used the end of a large thread spool as a template to cut four circles that will become the ears.
I then stitched ¾ of the way around two small circles, clipped the edges and turned them inside out and pressed. Do the other ear, don’t forget and make Leonard with just one ear. Stitch the ears on to the front above the eyes like so…
Cut ribbon into 5 inch pieces, using orange first pin them to Leonard’s face, over his ears, then pin all the brown ones on top of the orange. Stitch around Leonard’s face, making sure to catch each ribbon piece in the thread. I left some hanging over to ensure the ribbons don’t pull out easily when baby gnaws and teethes on Leonard. This picture shows all the ribbons sewn into place.
Cut a circle of your plastic wrapper the same size as Leonard’s head. Next, take the back piece of Leonard’s head, and sew the wrapper to the wrong side of the flannel. This will be in the inside and make a crinkly noise while baby chews and drools. I used a cough drop wrapper. Make sure you can’t see the wrapper printing from the right side of the flannel. I sew this in rather than just stuffing it in to make it more durable through washing. If it were just stuffed in, while washing, water could get into creases and create mold - and we don't want baby putting a moldy toy in his/her mouth.
Now put right sides together. It will look like this as you sew…
Wrapper on the outside, all the ribbons on the inside. I suggest a small zigzag stitch for this part. **Remember to leave an opening to turn this right side out. Leave about ¼ of the circle open, the wrapper takes up a lot of room and needs space while turning. Clip the edges of the entire head before turning so it lies smoothly when turned. Now stuff Leonard’s head with the Poly-fil.
All that is left is to pin the opening closed and using a needle and thread, stitch the hole up. Going through the wrapper, depending on its thickness, will need some shove power, a thimble may help. You can see Leonard is almost done, a little hand-stitching and he will be ready for shipment.
The sunshine taggie was made the same way - except I wanted the crinkly on the front of the sunshine's face. So I sewed ribbons to the back of the head and the wrapper to the front. This kind of sewing project is a great reason to hoard all your tidbits of leftover ribbons. I hope all your babies love the tag toys as much as the ones in my life do. ~jan