Editor's Note: This series of posts became a book!
Stuffed Animals: From Concept to Construction was published by Lark Crafts in 2013.
I love jointed soft toys because they have moving parts. Any place on a toy where two parts are making contact could have a joint. Hips, shoulders, elbows, knees, and claws are all places to create joints. Joints in a toy invite you to come over and play, make the toy move and let your imagination take hold. They add fun and complexity to a toy design so it is good to know how to make a variety of different kinds of joints.
We already looked at making basic button joints. Over time I will do posts on many other ways to create joints so that they are here, fully described, for us to reach to when we are designing new toy patterns.
I first learned about gusseted button joints from Susanna Oroyan's book, Anatomy of a Doll (look out in a few weeks for an exiciting giveaway here from Susanna's publisher, by the way!). I was making a crab and I wanted to attach the claws so that they would be able to move back and forth. The gusseted button joint was the perfect solution.
I am going to sew the gusseted button joint that connects Humpty Dumpty's upper arm to his lower arm. The joint will be part of Humpty's upper arm.
To begin, I simply sew up Humpty's lower arm.
Now I can focus on the upper arm and creating the gusset.
I will need to draw an additional pattern piece that will be the gusset. I use the end of the upper arm as a guide. I draw a line across the top where I want the gusset to begin. This creates half an oval. My pattern piece will be this half oval and it's mirror image – resulting in a whole oval.
I cut the oval from fabric, folded it wrong sides together, and pressed a crease in it.
Now I place it, right sides together, against the end of Humpty's upper arm.
Because of the joint, Humpty can move his arm at the elbow. He can wave (a good thing for an egg that is about to fall off a wall)!
Have you ever created a gusseted button joint for a toy or doll? We would love a link so that we can see more examples and get inspired. Do you have any suggestions for ways to use this joint? Or tips for creating gusseted button joints? Please leave a comment and add to the discussion! Thank you, everyone!