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Turning tiny dog tail for plush toy

Beanhi | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Does anyone have a quick and easy way to turn the a tiny (1/2 wide) dog tail for a plush toy? The dog is made of wool blend felt. I’ve able to turn the tails with sheer luck. Only took 45 minutes or so.



  1. woodywoodpecker598 | | #1

    Tube turners are excellent to use but you likely are going to run out and buy some just for a few(?) tails. You could try a unsharpened pencil, knitting needle or a crotchet hook if you can get it started it works well. Just poke the closed end in with the hook (or what ever) and then roll the rest of the tail down over it. I also have read about sewers using a piece of string put inside the item when you sew it and then turning it that way but have never had any success with it personally.

  2. Tnuctip | | #2

    If you have an overlocker you could try this.

    Sew a thread tail a couple of inches longer than the piece you need to turn,  and  then bring the chain forward and lay the chain along the pattern piece fold line and hold it along the length of your piece and overlock the seam, keeping the thread chain free.  Finish with a long enough chain to get a good grip on and cut free of the machine.

    If you now pull on the thread chain the tube will turn itself inside out and the first few stitches of the overlocking shoud gather up and close the end of the tail. If you still have a gap taper the stitching onto the beginning of the seam , but DONT catch the chain. (You may have to hand stitch to finish if your filling is bitty rather than fluffy but I assumed it is the turning that is the problem?)

    This is a good way to make a spaghetti strap also, but for open ended tubes, I tie a knot in the chain close to the back of the foot first to stop the ends gathering. This method is perfect for making miles of bias tubes and the thread does not pop even on straight grain woven tubes.

  3. Teaf5 | | #3

    Even with a regular machine, you can stitch a length of knotted twine caught in the closed end, keeping it near the fold inside as you stitch along the side of the tail piece. Trim the seams, and then tug on the twine; clip it off on the outside. The knot will remain inside, but it won't show.

    If the tail is really, really tiny, you might want to press the seams under and hand sew it, removing the need to turn it.

  4. sewelegant | | #4

    Try a straw.  Insert the straw into the tail, push the fabric into the straw with a blunt end object like a crochet hook (non-hook end).

    If the fabric is too bulky for that, I would try the sewing a string onto the end as mentioned.

  5. Betakin | | #5

    I have a set of tube turners and yes they work well but what I use the most is a pair of hemostats or (kelly clamps) that I used as a nurse. You can now find them in fabric stores on the notions wall or close to the sewing machine depts. I use my Kelly's to also insert serger needles.

    To turn items, just put the Kelly's in the sleeve and sqeeze to lock them and they will grip the inside end of the fabric and then pull the inside out.

    1. sewelegant | | #6

      The hemostat is a great idea, I found the smaller version in a stamp store and I find them invaluable for so many things.  100 x better than a tweezer.  I also have the needle holder and use that to put in needles and for heavier tasks.  Being a nurse you might appreciate my "alligator clamp" ... it came in handy when my husband and I were getting instructions over the phone on how to fix a computer problem.  I did buy it though, to use in my own doll creations.  I do not use it as much as I anticipated I would.  I have made tiny dolls, but had no trouble turning the small arms, etc. because the fabric was not bulky.  I have used those hemostats for that.

      1. Tnuctip | | #7

        Are these hemostats like locking tweezers? I have some sprung tweezers from a tool shop with handles that are crossed and joined at the end. They open with a squeeze and dont have to be held closed. Mine have bent nose and groves in the jaws and have  great grip for looper threading on my serger/overlocker and replacing needles.

        1. Betakin | | #10

          Tnuclip, Hemostats look like scissors on one end for your fingers to go through and have have no blades of course but have a small blunt tip at the end and yes they do lock.

          1. Tangent | | #11

            Some hemostats have smooth jaws, some have a grip pattern like a file.  They do resemble scissors, but have tabs between the jaws and the hinge that rachet into each other, to keep them from re-opening as they are being closed.  This gives them a very good grip in a small space.  You maually release the tabs when you are done.

            You can probably find them in several sizes, where fishing supplies are sold; they (and other interesting tools) are used for tying flies.

      2. jjgg | | #8

        My Needle holder is my most important sewing tool (next to my small trimming scissors). Because of its smooth surface (Kelly clamps have serrated edges) the needle holder is great for grabbing threads when you have to pull out basting.

  6. sewchris703 | | #9

    I use a plastic or lacquered bamboo chop stick, not the raw bamboo throw away kind.  Poke into the sewn end, and shove it through.  The fabric will turn itself right side out as you shove the chop stick through. 


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