viernes, 11 de marzo de 2011

How to Make Sweater Dog Toys

I have been lucky enough to become the foster mom of a super-skittish three-year-old mutt named Gracie. She had had a hard life. Two years on the street, hit by a car, three months in a shelter, nearly put down, and finally saved by a no-kill shelter where she lived for another six months. Then she met me. . . now she's the most spoiled mutt in town! She was scared at first (rightly so!), but she's slowly warmed up and now we're the best of friends. I sometimes cook her dinner (I know!), I run wih her, and I play with her. And boy, does she love toys! So while looking at my pile of sweater bits left from last month's projects, I could think of only one thing. . . toys for Gracie! What's more, they're so much more affordable than the store-bought toys. Win-win! Want to make some?  

Here's what you'll need:
  • Old sweater (I used acrylic sweaters so I could wash the toy when it gets dirty)
  • Pack of squeaks (I found mine at Petsmart; they come four to a pack)
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Stuffing
  • Hand needle
First, gather your sweater or sweater parts.

I was left with a bunch of sleeves after all of my sweater projects last month. I thought making a pet project with them would be a great crossover into this month's pet projects.

You can use any part of a sweater to make your dog toys. If you're using a full large sweater, you should get about four toys: one from each of the sleeves, one from the back, and one from the front.

Draw and cut out a bone-shaped pattern from a large sheet of paper. Mine measures 12 inches long, 9 inches at the widest part, and 5 inches at the middle. Pin your pattern onto your sweater material.

 Cut out your bone-shaped pieces.

 Pin your fabric and sew it together using a 3/8-inch seam allowance. Leave a 2-inch hole along the side to turn your bone right-side out.

Stuff your toy with stuffing and the squeakers (I used one at each end), and sew up the hole by hand. Make sure to sew it up nice and tight, especially if you have a dog who likes to play rough.

Once your toy is sewn up, it's ready for play! As with all toys, it's best to supervise your dog when he/she is playing with the new sweater toy.

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