January 18, 2016

Making: Valentine's Day Themed Dog Toys

I'm usually really terrible at planning ahead to make themed DIYs, but I had lots of stuffing laying around and I wanted to play around with my sewing machine more. So I thought that making Valentine's Day themed dog toys would be just the perfect solution. 

Some DIYs turn out really great. Others turn out ok but there are some learning lessons that come out of it. This is more the latter. But I had a great time making these and now have a few handmade toys to add to Piri's toy bin for him and our dog guests to play with it. 

But first, a couple of things I would've done differently: 
1. Different fabric. Most of Piri's toys are actually made from fleece type of material so perhaps fleece would've been a better choice. Perhaps they would feel a bit more familiar for dogs's mouths as well. 
2. Add fringes. Dogs love dangly things, don't they? It would've been nice to add them around the borders. 
3. Have a little more patience. This is a big one. a) I am pretty much a beginner when it comes to sewing, and I am fine doing straight lines, but curves are a whole different ball game (at least to me). While I do sometimes like the semi messy finishes {looks more homemade and I like that look}, I wish I was a bit more patient instead of running the fabric through my machine and losing control. b) Also, learn and practice invisible stitches by hand {eecks!}. I quickly looked up how to do it while doing this DIY and somewhere I ran out of patience and didn't do a clean job.  c) Finally, washing the fabric and maybe ironing them beforehand. I ended up tossing them in the washer and dryer {thank goodness I had a bunch that needed washing} after they were made. Sometimes I forget that I need to do more pre-leg work before actually starting DIYs.

Keeping these lessons learned in mind, shall we go through materials needed for this project? 

01 // Fabric. I got mine at half yard length {should be plenty} from Joann's. 
02 // Squeakers
03 // Scissors
04 // Thread and needle
05 // Pencil
06 // Stuffing

Not pictured here is a sewing machine. Mine is Janome 2206

If you don't have a sewing machine, then you can sew by hand using a needle and thread. 

With my pink fabric, I drew a heart shape right on the fabric and cut it out {making sure that I cut out the pencil trace. I wouldn't want Piri or our guest dogs to chew on that part}. I then placed the two pieces with the wrong side facing out and sewed them together. But don't sew all the way since we'll need to put int he stuffing and squeaker in. 

Using the little un-sewed part of the toy, I flipped the fabric inside out so that the right side of the fabric is now showing {your hem line should also be hidden}. After putting in some stuffing and the squeaker I used the invisible stitch technique to sew up the rest of the toy. 

I didn't want to be bothered with the invisible stitch so with my remaining two fabrics I simply sewed showing the hem line. I do wish I had a little bit more patience when going along the curves but I am not totally disappointed in the way the toys turned out. 

I had originally chosen these three fabrics because the patterns were fun but as I mentioned before, perhaps fleece would've been the better choice to make dog toys. I'll have to play around with that and see how it turns out in the near future. 

And that's it! Heart shaped dog toys, with squeakers that dogs go crazy for, just in time for Valentine's Day. 

Nala, our most recent Piri's Place guest was by my side the entire time I was making these. She goes bonkers for toys and every time I accidentally squeezed the squeaker her ears perked up a bit more and her eyes twinkled as well. 

These toys are Nala approved! 

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