The more Dylan interacts, the more ideas I get. Recently he’s been obsessed with the laces on my sweatshirt and different textures on fabrics. I started to think about what toy could incorporate all of those details and I came up with a jellyfish!
I collect a lot of fabrics. Whenever I go into JoAnns, I always raid the remnant sections. I love finding cheap fabrics in cool prints, colors, or textures and coming up with ideas for it afterward. Some people think of their project first and then go fabric shopping, I kind of go the other way. It’s like a weird sewing version of Chopped. So because of this, I have a TON of fun fabrics so when I went to look for material for the jellyfish, I had a bunch of cool textures/details to choose from.
I tested a few different fabrics when making these. For the body, I recommend choosing a sturdy fabric. For the printed one in the pictures, the fabric is a cotton thermal and it is just too soft for how I wanted it to feel/look. The yellow version is a stiffer fabric and it holds the shape much better! I plan on switching the blue corduroy tentacle fabric for the body in the next one I make.
The first step is cutting all of the patterns out. For the face, I added a zipper for the mouth – Dylan isn’t able to play with that yet, but I think later down the line it will be fun for him to zip it back and forth. To prep the zipper, I moved the puller down and folded the zipper tape in half. I pinned it in place and sewed close to the folded edge. This allowed me to cut the zipper down to a smaller size without having the raw edges. One of the edges had to have the tape unzipped, so I hand sewed a loop of embroidery floss to keep the tape together. (Check out the detail photo) For the eyes, I tried one version that had embroidered eyes and one that had felt eyes. I think I liked the felt version better, just because it was easier and faster.
After assembling the face, I started to work on the tentacles. To turn the edges in, I folded the edges into the middle and ironed it to stay in place. After that, I then ironed it in half. This way there were no raw edges/fraying. To stitch these, I did a zig zag stitch down the middle. I chose the zig zag because it added a nice detail and because I knew it would make the fabric all wiggly. And it did! (especially after washing the finished toy!) To add more detail to the tentacles, I added some knots.
Now all of the pieces are ready to be put together! With the body pieces facing in, pin and sew around the top edge. For the bottom edge, push four of the tentacles in the pocket of the body and pin them to the edge. You’re going to saw the bottom edge in two parts, leaving a space in the middle. This will allow you to turn it right side out once it’s all sewn. Once the bottom is sewn, you’re going to sew the corners. (it’s kind of hard to explain so I made a little diagram to explain)
Once it’s turned right side out, add the stuffing. When it’s good and stuffed, we’re going to close it up. To do this, center the last tentacle in the middle opening and turn the edges of the body in. Pin and sew!
And just like that, you’re all done! I threw the finished toy in the laundry with Dylan’s clothes – it seemed simpler than trying to pre-wash all of the fabric. This weekend it’s supposed to snow a whole bunch so I plan on staying in and sewing a lot. Hopefully come Monday, I will have three colorways of Jellyfish on my Etsy as well as some super cute animal baby shoes I’ve been working on.
Stay warm everyone!