Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Stuffed Dandiya-- Toddler Safe!

As I write this, it's dark, rainy and cold outside-- and I'm loving it! After months and months of blistering heat it's great to have a few overcast days.
Stuffed Dandiya or Wands Tutorial from Make it Handmade

 This weather also means that Navratri is coming up. During Navratri, people get together and do folk dances for 9 nights in a row to celebrate the harvest season. You can learn more about the holiday here. I also have to give a shout out to the University of Texas Raas team.  Hook 'em horns! You can see videos of Raas (one of the folk dances) on their website. 



One of the folk dances is traditionally done with sticks. These are beautifully decorated and traditionally made of wood.

Traditional Dandiya source
I have fond memories as a child of using a pair of dandiya that my aunt had made for me (and my siblings and cousins) from painted wood. I also have not so fond memories of smushed thumbs and fingers when my 'dance partners' were a bit too enthusiastic.

Today I'm going to show you how to make 'stuffed dandiya'. Since my kids are so young (and maybe a little too rambunctious), I'm not about to hand them a pair of wooden dowels each and let them  go to town.

I came up with these 'stuffed fabric dandiya as a solution. I'll go over how to construct the dandiya today, and on Friday, we'll go over tips on decorating. This method is also a great way to make stuffed wands, septors, or batons for Halloween.

Don't sew? No problem! I'll give tips below on how to do this without picking up a needle or thread.



Supplies: 

  • 2 fabric rectangles 5 inches by 13 inches
  • polyester stuffing (I used Morning Glory fiberfill)
  • ribbon and trim
  • saftey pin
  • hand sewing kit
  • Fabric Glue (optional)

Getting Started:

Fold the rectangle in half long ways, so the pretty side of the fabric is on the inside.  Sew own the long edge to create a long inside out tube.

*No-sew: You can use fabric glue or stitch witchery to make this seam if you don't have a sewing machine.
Stuffed Dandiya or Wands Tutorial from Make it Handmade
Turn the tube inside out using your preferred method. I used a safety pin, but am totally open to suggestions on how to make this go faster.

Stuffed Dandiya or Wands Tutorial from Make it Handmade

Close One End:

First fold the fabric in about half an inch, and finger press to mark the crease.

No sew: Simply glue this end shut after folding in half an inch. (Skip the next two steps, and go on to stuffing.)

Stuffed Dandiya or Wands Tutorial from Make it Handmade

It was important to me that the ends were round, so I used a gathering stitch to close the ends. Unfold and sew a running stitch using the crease as a guide.
Stuffed Dandiya or Wands Tutorial from Make it Handmade
Now tuck the edge back in and pull the thread tight. Hide the thread tail by pulling it to the inside.

Stuffed Dandiya or Wands Tutorial from Make it Handmade

Stuff

This is by far the hardest part of the project. The easiest way would be to get your kids to do it for you. Both my kids think polyester filling is really yummy, so it wasn't an option for me.

I used polyester filling and a knitting needle to tamp down the stuffing as much as I could. The firmer it is, the better.

Once you are about an inch from the end of the dandiya, finish the edge with the same running stitch technique.

Stuffed Dandiya or Wands Tutorial from Make it Handmade


One done! If you are making dandiya, you'll want to make a pair. Make the second the same way, double checking that the length and firmness match as you are stuffing.

Stuffed Dandiya or Wands Tutorial from Make it Handmade

I know they don't look like much yet, but they'll look fabulous once we decorate them on Friday!

2 comments:

  1. cool idea! im an adult and I could use these!

    ReplyDelete
  2. its wonderful i tried it for my kid

    ReplyDelete

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