Wednesday, May 21, 2014

DIY Toys: Alligator Upcycled From A Sweater

After seeing how much fun my son had pretending our sofa was a boat and the carpet, the water, I decided to upcycle an old cotton turtleneck of mine into an alligator toy.  Sorry about the quality of some of the pictures.  They were taken at night in low lighting.

Cut the following pattern out from the sweater, inside out.  Be sure to leave an allowance of fabric around your pattern for sewing.  (The sleeve is the tail).

You end up with this shape.

Next cut open the seam at the bottom of the pattern where the alligator's head is, so that the jaws can open.  In the image above, the seam is on the bottom of the head, where the label is.  (Not the label on the right side of the picture on the foot).

So you're left with a mouth that can open like this:

Then put the head over a doubled piece of fabric to make the inside of the mouth.  I used an old, torn pair of sweatpants.  Because they are pants, the fabric is already doubled.  Cut out the inner mouth shape to match the shape of the head.

Then fold in the sides of the head on the top and bottom, about 1/4th of an inch and hem it.  You can hand sew or use a sewing machine.  Just make sure no rough edges are on the outer edges anymore.

Fold in the edges of the inner mouth and sew them so the edges have a smooth finish like this:

Using a blanket stitch by hand, sew the inner mouth to the head.  It will end up looking like this:

Here is a side view:

Then stuff the alligator from the sleeve, which will be the tail.  I just filled it with old cotton fabric scraps and torn socks.  This makes it easy to wash too.

When the alligator is stuffed, pinch the sleeve to form a triangle for the tail and sew it closed.

Cut out some eyes and sew them on.  Use fabric marker to draw nostrils and any other details and you're done!

Here is our toothless alligator swimming on a blue comforter, (which looks gray in this picture), with a felt fish and the octopus I had posted about earlier. 

Here is a close up.

He's not eating that fish.  He is giving him a ride across the Everglades.

And here he is being fed some playfood pizza.

Check back every Monday and Thursday for new posts on Wading Through Soup.  Coming up in the next few weeks: a recipe for a BPA-free (can-free) enchilada sauce and more DIY toys.  

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