Monday, January 10, 2011

Bring it on, Tooth Fairy!

Emma and all of her little friends are at the tooth fairy stage of life.  Em was desperate to lose a tooth since she felt like she was going to be the last one of her friends to lose one.  Her birthday is in June, so she’s already one of the last ones in her class to have a birthday and she felt like she’d be last to lose teeth too.  But, she actually lost 2 this fall, and was not the last of her friends to do so.  The night she lost it, I whipped up a little tooth pillow for her to keep it in until the tooth fairy could come and trade it for a little moolah!
  It was a very rough, rough draft. Basically, I just wanted to have something for her to use with the idea that I’d make a better one down the road.  One of her friends since birth (there were about 8 of us that all had babies that summer) just lost her first one last night, and I'd promised to make her one for when that first one popped out.  So…I got behind and made it today instead.  It’ll sure be ready for that second tooth, though!
  I made a little tutorial of my efforts in case anyone was interested…you can’t get much eaiser than this and it is very easy to personalize!  I have never given sewing instructions to someone before, so if something isn't clear, let me know...

TUTORIAL STEPS:
1.      Grab a tooth template to use.  I got mine from the web (search tooth clip art) but you could just draw one if you’re talented like that.  I am not—my talents lie in other areas…or so I tell myself!

2.      When I made Emma’s orginal one, I used a sheer fabric I’ve had for a long time (a failed attempt at Tinkerbell wings for Halloween one year), so I cut out 2 tooth shapes in the sheer fabric and 2 teeth in some muslin I had laying around.  Let me just tell you what a pain slippery sheer fabric is when you are making something as small as a tooth!  So, for this one, I attempted that method and then got frustrated with the sheer and switched to a plain white.  So, some of the pictures will be different as I forgot to take pictures for each step the second time around.  I embroidered the girls' names onto the white before I cut it out.  I only cut the 2 teeth shape this time since I didn’t need the muslin.  You could go wild here and make your tooth in any fabric you choose, who said it had to be white??  Although, I’d probably avoid yellow, and maybe a black polka dot, but that’s just me…

3.      I cut out a pocket shape from cute fabrics I thought the girls would like and simply folded in the edges all the way around and hemmed the top edge.  I didn't measure here, I just guessed on the size.  Just cut a rectangle smaller than the space it needs to fit in and then fold the edges in.  Then I pinned the pocket to the tooth with her name on it and sewed around the sides and bottom of the pocket to attach it to the tooth.

4.      Now, put the two teeth together, right sides facing, and then I put two layers of some old polyester batting I had behind the teeth.  You should pin all of this together but I hate to pin. I like to live in the moment and go for it...could be why the sheer didn't work out!  As you can see, I didn’t worry about cutting the batting out, because I’m going to trim all the edges after sewing anyway.  You don’t need two layers of batting, I just wanted it to be a little thicker then I thought one layer would give…again, do what works for you!  You could actually stuff it like a pillow with fiberfill, old scraps, etc.  It’s a tooth fairy pillow, not an heirloom gown, so get creative and break all the rules!

5.      Sew around the edges of the tooth, leaving a space open along the top that will allow you to turn this right side out.  I left about 2-3 inches open.  I then used my trusty pinking sheers to cut along the seam line and trim off all that extra batting.  Using pinking shears will also allow your fabric to turn better in the curves, but if you don’t have them, you can just clip near the seamline all along the curved edges.  I always iron at this point because I’ve found that pressing your seams will not only make your  finished project look better, but will help with turning it right-side-out.  Learning the hard way seems to be the way that works best for me…call me hard headed!

6.      Turn your little toothy right side out and admire your handiwork, because we’re almost done!  Now, you can press again to get those seams all straight and press in the open edges so they match for easier finishing.  I decided to make my pillows have a loop so that you can hang it on a bedpost or night-table drawer.  It makes it easier for the tooth fairy to drop in the money without waking up your sweet child!  ;)  So, I just added a strap of leftover fabric.

7.      To make this strap, cut out a strip of fabric long enough to fit around your bed post/drawer handle by about 2 inches.  I made a binding stip by folding it in half, wrong sides together and pressing,  Then I opened it up and folded both raw edges to that middle crease, pressed them and then folded it back in half enclosing the raw edges.  Then I just sewed along the open edge to seam it shut.  No pics of this...sorry.

8.      Now, just tuck the ends of your strap into your opening and pin it closed.  You have two choices here—you can whipstitch this opening shut and you are done and ready to hang it, or you can topstitch around the entire tooth, which will close up your opening and provide an extra detail around the tooth.  I chose to topstitch because my hand stitching is nothing to brag about!! 

See, easy-peasy and so sweet!  There are lots of things you can do to make this personalized.  You can hand embroider your child’s name if you don't have a machine or add a toothy grin.  You can use all different fabrics or keep it simple.  You can choose to stuff it instead of using batting.  You can leave off the strap and make it just the tooth.  All that matters is the tooth shape and the love you put into it.  So, go on, make a little one’s day and give them a special pillow just for them and the tooth fairy!  And let me know if you do!

I will be trimming some threads, I see before I give these to the girls.  Just one more reason I need a magic sewing elf to come and live in my sewing room!

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