Taggie Monster Tutorial

by Wendy Copley on March 28, 2009

The other night I had a dream I was making a super cute stuffed monster for Augie. The dream was one of those super realistic ones, where you wake up and you’re not sure if you actually lived it or not. I made the monster out of actual materials in my stash and it was a combination of two different projects I’ve been meaning to put together for a while — a taggie blanket and a stuffed monster kit that I picked up at the Maker Faire last year. The project came out really cute in my dream and when I woke up in the morning, I knew I wanted to make one just like it!

Taggie Monster!

This is what the taggie monster doll looked like in my mind’s eye. Wouldn’t you want to make one too? Man, I have a good imagination.

Taggie Monster!

I assembled all the materials I would need. From the top you see: polyfill (I had to use the nasty plastic stuff because they were out of the nice bamboo kind at the craft store), a sheet each of white and black felt, my Craft monster kit (I used the instructions from the kit as a basic guideline for my monster, but I made several modifications), super-soft purple fleece, cupcake fabric and polka-dot fabric. I also used, but forgot to photograph, embroidery floss and lots of small pieces of ribbon. Tools I used included: a sewing machine, cardstock, scissors, needle and thread.

Taggie Monster!

I started off by drawing a free-form, amorphous blob on a 12×12 piece of cardstock. I included an ill-defined head, along with stumpy arms and legs.

Taggie Monster!

I decided to make a non-taggie monster of Wyatt while I was at it. He told me he wanted it to have seven eyes so I gave it a really big head to make sure they’d all fit.

Taggie Monster!

Next, I cut the monsters out of the paper. These guys are going to be the patterns.

Taggie Monster!

Next, I pinned the pattern pieces to the fleece and cut them out. I was planning on using the contrasting polka-dot pattern on the back of Augie’s monster so I only put them down on a single layer of fabric. If you were using the same fabric for both the front and the back, you would double up the fabric and cut them both at once.

Taggie Monster!

When I cut the pieces out, I added about a half inch seam allowance around the pattern piece so the finished project wouldn’t be too much smaller than the pattern. I just eye-balled this because this is one of those fun projects where you don’t have to be an exacting Virgo (which is what I usually am).

Taggie Monster!

I then put the pattern piece and the fleece down on top of the polka dot pattern (right sides together) and cut the shape out of the dot fabric. Are you sick of this polka dot fabric yet? I’m not! I totally love this fabric. I’ve used it on two other projects: the camera cozy and the bean bags. You’d never know it from my blog, but I actually do have other fabrics.

Taggie Monster!

OK, so next I cut the eyes out of felt. Nine white circles (2 for Augie’s monster, 7 for Wyatt’s) and nine smaller black circles. I just free-handed these too because I wanted them to be monster-y.

Taggie Monster!

I sewed the pupils to the eyeballs with the machine. You could hand sew these, or even glue them on with fabric glue, but I’m making this for a baby and these suckers are a perfect choking size so I didn’t want there to be any chance that they will come off the doll.

Taggie Monster!

I went around the pupils twice to make sure they were very firmly affixed. Hmmmm…it’s hard to see that in this photo.

Taggie Monster!

Here’s the back. See how well that bad boy is fastened on there? My baby is safe!

Taggie Monster!

Once all the pupils were sewed onto the whites, I sewed the eyes onto the right side of the fabric. Again, I went around the circle twice to make sure they were on there really good.

Taggie Monster!

Now, I attached the ribbon. I have a bunch of ribbon for scrapbooking, but I also bought a bag of ribbon remnants for $1 at the craft store. I tried to use a mix of satin and grosgrain ribbons in different widths and lengths. I cut the pieces about 2 to 2 1/2 inches long. I folded each piece in half and then pinned them onto the right side of the backing fabric with the ribbon ends along the edge of the fabric and the looped end pointing toward the middle.

Taggie Monster!

Here’s a little bit more of a close-up.

Taggie Monster!

Next, I pinned the two pieces of fabric together, right sides facing each other.

Taggie Monster!

Then I sewed around the edge of the sandwich, leaving about a half-inch seam allowance. I wasn’t super precise about this, because that makes it more monster-y. I also left about a two inch gap for turning the monster right side out.

Taggie Monster!

Next, I trimmed the excess ribbon to match the length of the seam allowance. I also ran an extra line of stitches along the part of the seam allowance where the ribbons were. Again, I did this because it’s for a baby. I wanted an extra line on security to prevent a choke-able ribbon from coming loose in case he somehow managed to rip out the main seam.

Taggie Monster!

Then I turned the monster skin outside out. Starting to look more monster-y and less sewing project-y, huh?

Taggie Monster!

Then I stuffed that bad boy full of poly-fill and sewed the gap shut. I hadn’t planned on putting a mouth on it, but after it sat a few hours the lack of a mouth really started to bug me, so I embroidered one on. If you want a mouth too, you should put it on after you sew on the eyes so it’s finished nicely.

Taggie Monster!

And here’s the finished monster! Doesn’t he look amazingly similar to what I dreamed about? Go back up to the top and check it out. It’s amazing how close I got!

Taggie Monster!

And here is the taggy monster with Wyatt’s seven-eyed monster. They are friends.

Taggie Monster!

Here’s the back of the monsters. The back of the baby’s is bright, cheerful and stimulates his mind. Wyatt’s has a cupcake on it’s booty. I bet you were wondering why I had that cupcake fabric in the photo waaaaay back up there at the top, weren’t you? Well this is why. I cut one of the cupcackes out of the fabric and appliqued it to the backing piece on Wyatt’s monster. This is why his monster is named “Cupcake Butt.” We haven’t come up with a name for Augie’s monster yet. Anyone have any suggestions?

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