Welcome back for our second weekly tutorial for the Farmyard Friends Crochet-a-Long! All month long I am going to be posting tips to help us along as we make our farm animals together. Be sure to check out the CAL announcement for more information and head on over to the Monster's Toy Box Ravelry group to join in on the barn-raising fun.
Sewing up the Legs
Most of our Monster’s Toy Box farm-animals (and several non-farm animals) have a similar body type: standing on all four legs. Because the legs are integrated directly into the body, there is no need to sew each one on individually. However, it does leave a seam in between the legs that will need to closed up before you can stuff your critter.
In this tutorial, I will be sharing my preferred method of tackling this seam. I am of the opinion that when it comes to crochet, the only correct technique is whichever one works best for you, so don’t think that this is the “only” way to do it.
I find it easiest to think of the leg seam as a cross. There are three tail ends from the legs. The two across from each other will form the left and right “arms” of the cross; the last one will form the bottom and the top.
This schematic similar to the one I use in my patterns, but slightly expanded for this tutorial. From here on out, I will be using left, right, top, and bottom to refer to which legs should be sewn together.
(Note: When you are sewing up your own amigurumi, you will use the three tails ends from the legs, but for the sake of illustration, I used different colors for each of my tails to help differentiate them.)
Before You Begin:
To help prevent any gaps from forming, run your tail ends through the stitches of the side of the body beside the legs.
Step 1: Make the “Left Arm” of the Cross
Whipstitch the first five stitches of the left top and bottom legs together. There should be four unworked stitches left on either leg.
Pull the remaining tail end to the inside of the body.
Step 2: Make the “Right Arm” of the Cross
Repeat for the other side; close the gap of the side of the body, then whipstitch the first five stitches of the top and bottom legs together, leaving four stitches unworked on either leg.
Again, pull the tail end to the inside of the body.
Step 3: The Bottom and Intersection
This time it’s going to be a little bit different.
Close the gap on the side of the body and whipstitch the four unworked stitches of the left and right bottom legs together.
You have now reached the intersection of the legs, where you will join the left and right arms of your cross together.
Whipstitch the next stitches on the two bottom leg together. They will already gave stitches in them from sewing the sides of the cross together; simply ignore these.
You have now completely sewed up the bottom legs. Now onto the top!
Step 4: Completing the Intersection and the Top
The next stitches you will whipstitch together are the fifth stitches from the top left and right legs. Like before, these will already have stitches in them, which can be ignored.
That’s all for the tricky part. It’s all smooth sailing from here:
Simply whip stitch the last four unworked stitches of the two top legs.
Your seam should look like this.
Step 5: Loose Ends
You are finished with the sewing; now to tie everything off.
The tail ends from the left and the right “arms” of your cross should be on the inside of the body. I find it easiest to simply tie the two ends together with a square knot, making sure to smooth out any loose tension in my seam before doing so.
For the last tail end, be sure to close up the gap on the side of the body, and then tie it off on the inside of the body.
Now you can start stuffing the legs and body of your critter.
Here is what it should look like when everything is tied off and stuffed. Had I used the body color for my seam, it wouldn’t even be noticeable.
And there we have it, one crosswise seam complete! It might seem a little intimidating at first, but it is actually very simple… just make sure that everything meets in the middle and you’re golden.
This technique works for mini animals, too, just with fewer stitches for each side.
This concludes this week’s tutorial for the Farmyard Friends Crochet-A-Long. Next week, we will be talking about seaming a little bit more, specifically, how to use stitches as a grid to help with attaching 3-dimensional pieces, like the snout on Francis the Pig.