For all of you who want a toy torah that doesn’t look like everyone else’s toy torah… I’ve written up a tutorial!
Now, I’m not the type to measure and plan everything ahead of time – I like to plan as I go – so I don’t have exact measurements for you. What I do have is a LOT of photos and a bit of advice. Ready? Here we go…
What you’ll need:
- a sewing machine
- white or beige fabric for the parchment
- wood-coloured felt for the handles (small scraps will do)
- a wide ribbon, any colour
- small bits of velcro
- pretty fabric for the covering, and a piece of felt to match
Step one: preparing the “parchment”
Cut out a rectangle of fabric for the “parchment” of the torah. To reduce the amount of work, you can make this portion out of felt – it won’t unravel or fray. If you’re using any other fabric, be sure to serge, hem, or satin stitch the two long sides.
Measure your rectangle and divide the length into three equal sections. This will matter later.
Step two: handles
Cut 8 of the shape you see in this photo, from the wood-coloured felt scraps. Sew pairs of them together all around the curve, leaving the short straight end open. You will end up with four of these. Turn them inside out so that the seam allowance is not seen.
Cut four circles for the handles. Their circumference should be just a bit smaller than one-third the length of the parchment. In the middle of each circle, snip an “x” large enough for the finger-shaped handles to fit through.
Put a handle through the cut in the circle. Sew the open end of the handle to the loose flaps of felt on the circle. Repeat. You’ll have four handles that look like very long nipples.
Step three: putting the body together
Starting at one end, pin the long side of the parchment to the edge of one of the handle-circles until it overlaps itself slightly (this should bring you to the one-third mark). Sew around the edge of the circle using a satin stitch (zigzag stitch with wide width and short length), being careful not to sew the parchment to itself. Repeat on opposite long side (so that you have two handles, one at the top and one at the bottom of the short end)
Take the overlapping end of parchment, fold it over a bit, and stitch it to the body of the parchment so that it forms a tube, capped on each end by a handle. Leave a small part of the seam open for stuffing.
Repeat these steps on the other end of the parchment so that you have two tubes with handles.
Stuff each tube through the small hole, then close the gap in the seam.
Step four: the belt
Close up the torah (roll the two tubes until they are touching each other) and measure around the middle. Cut this length from a piece of wide ribbon, adding a bit of overlap. Make note of where the ribbon overlaps, and attach a small piece of velcro to each end (they should be on opposite sides of the ribbon, i.e. on on top and one on bottom) so that the ribbon forms a belt to keep the torah closed.
Open the torah, place it face down, and then pin and stitch the middle of the belt to the middle of the parchment. This ensures that the belt won’t get lost when the kids are playing with the torah.
Step five: the cover
Close the torah and fasten the belt. Stand it up on a piece of felt and trace around it, adding about 1/2 inch for a seam allowance. Cut out the felt shape – should be halfway between an oval and a rectangle.
Cut a rectangle of fabric for the cover. It should be long enough to cover the torah from one handle to the other, and wide enough to wrap around the torah with a couple of inches of overlap. Pin the wide end of the rectangle around the edge of the felt and sew together. It should look like this:
Fold the felt part in half widthwise and place in front of the torah handles to measure the location of your holes. Cut generous holes for the two top handles to fit through. When you’ve finished cutting, it should look something like this:
You’re done the sewing, if you want to be. For a fancier torah, add trim or appliques to the cover. I just cut the cover material so that the raw edge was visible at the bottom, giving me a nice frayed fringe. It looks like this:
If you do make one of these, please send me a picture to share with the other readers. Happy crafting!