Category Archives: Heather Bailey Happy Stacker Ring Toy

Happy Stacker Makes Kids Happy

I feel like I’ve been working on this project forever, but I’m thrilled to say, “The Happy Stacker is finished!” What’s there to say about this project that I haven’t already mentioned? First off, I had several comments and emails asking about the pole that the rings sit on. Surprisingly, it’s made out of nothing but fabric, Peltex interfacing (that super stiff stuff that replaced Timtex), and stuffing. All of this really helps the cone keep it’s shape – it’s firm, yet soft so that if someone falls or steps on it, they won’t impale themselves! It does require some hand stitching to create the pole, too. Unfortunately, it’s unavoidable…. Here’s what the toy looks like when it’s disassembled:

I should also mention the finished size it’s HUGE! Much larger than any commercial ring stacker toy. I looked on the pattern envelope to see how large it was, but never saw it mentioned so I measured myself – 12″ tall and 8 1/2″ at the largest part of the toy. Here’s a photo of Easton with the Happy Stacker so you have a size comparison:

Keep in mind that Easton just turned 5 months (today), so giving this to an older child will definitely make a difference – the rings will also be easier for them to manipulate as well. I should mention that there are several options to add embellishments (such as hanging tags and ribbon trims) that would help a child hold onto the rings, but I decided to omit these since Easton tries to pull apart toys (that aren’t supposed to come apart) and rips visible tags off of anything he sees. Lastly, I should mention that the Happy Stacker is definitely a labor of love. There’s lots of pieces to cut, interfacings to fuse, markings to transfer, seams to trim, stuffing, and hand-stitching involved so make sure that you go into this project knowing that it will be time consuming so make sure you create this for someone you care about or who will appreciate the hard work you put into it. This is definitely one toy that could become an heirloom.

Wow, I Did It

Going into the Happy Stacker project, I had my doubts that I would finish even the first ring. Why, you ask? First off, there’s hand stitching involved and anyone who frequently reads this blog knows that I don’t care for hand stitching. Secondly, the construction is much different that what I expected – I envisioned that it would be sewn together in a much ‘simpler’ fashion, instead, there’s sewing inner and outer gussets, turning pieces inside out and sewing part of the piece, etc. And let’s not even get into all that circular sewing! I’m happy to report that I put my preconceived notions aside and made one ring:

I started of by sewing the first ring, I figured it would be the hardest to construct (I have more difficulty sewing on a smaller scale). I hand stitched the inner gusset, but not trusting the strength of my stitches, I went back over it with the machine – Easton is already a bit rough on his toys so I’d hate for him to find a way to rip open a ring and pull out all the stuffing. I also found that the instructions weren’t that difficult to follow either – even though they were different than anything I’ve constructed before. Actually, it’s quite cleaver how they are sewn up! With one ring down, I have 4 left to go – maybe this will be done before the beginning of next week after all.

Happy Stacker

After several weeks of having the Happy Stacker stare at me on my sewing table, I finally decided to get started on it last night. Although it looks rather uncomplicated, after reading though this pattern, it’s going to be a project that takes awhile to construct – the fabric and pattern cutting alone took me an entire night! One thing that I did do to make the process go a bit faster… ironed the interfacing to the material before cutting. According to the directions, the interfacing should be applied at a 45 degree angle to the grain line of the fabric to keep the doughnut shape round. I may have ‘wasted’ more fabric by adding the interfacing to the material first, but it allowed me to keep the grain lines of the material and interfacing aligned properly and saved me some cutting time. Now the hard part, lots of circular and hand sewing!

On The Cutting Table

It’s a long weekend – Taylor is away at Table Rock with a friend and her family, Easton is napping (he’s exchanged is 30 minute cat naps for 1 1/2-2 hour snoozes), and Bret doing a variety of projects which leaves me plenty of time for sewing… or at least lots of prep-work for sewing! On the table right now are two items for Easton: Amy Butler’s Military Style Hat from Little Stitches for Little Ones and Heather Bailey’s Happy Stacker and a pincushion for myself from Sew Pretty Christmas Homestyle. The first two projects are up on the sidebar for you to check out the details and I’ll have a book review of Sew Pretty Christmas Homestyle tomorrow. In the mean time, have a great long weekend and happy sewing!