Embroidery-machine-only(ish) soft toys.

I got the idea for this off a video, so it’s not an original idea, but I wanted to try using Fred (short for Threaderic) the embroidery machine to make soft toys. Usually, I make the pieces for my soft toys in Inkscape and then lasercut them out of fleece; that works really well for me, but I do like trying new things. I’m especially interested in this one because it could provide a great way to motivate people to learn the basics of machine embroidery through Inkscape and Ink/Stitch!

The idea is that the face and other features are embroidered onto a piece of fabric, then a second piece of fabric is secured over the top (without moving the bottom piece) and then the embroidery machine uses a running stitch to draw the outline, leaving a gap for turning and stuffing. After that, you cut around the outside of the running stitch, turn it right-side-out, stuff it, and close it.

The first attempt was on plain cotton, and didn’t work out too well. I believe it was because the running stitch around the outline had very sharp corners, as you can see below:

For the second attempt, I used the node editing tool in Inkscape to make the corners a bit more gradual, and the results turned out a bit better.

Not perfect yet, but definitely worth a little bit of further investigation – if nothing else, I can see a great way to teach kids and adults alike about using Inkscape and the Ink/Stitch extension to use the embroidery machine :)