Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sensory Tag Blanket--Impatient Craftaholic Series

Let me share an evil word in the handmade industry...


Boo, Hiss, MEOW! What are Taggies? Taggies is a company that makes tag know those blankets our grandma's made? Well, they copyrighted it, as of course they have every right to do so. I most certainly do not begrudge anyone their right to the almighty dollar and I am a big fan of capitalism. But the copyrights these owners have on Taggies is INSANE. They want to copyright EVERY blanket with four sides and looped ribbons. They even want to copyright pretty much any fabric with looped ribbons inside. I have had EVERY ITEM I made with looped ribbons pulled off Etsy, Artfire, and other venues because of the lawyers for the Taggie company. Do they have the right to do so, Sure. Do I have to like it? NOPE.

So here you go my friends, since they say I can't sell any blankets with tags in them (which by the way Mrs. Taggies, you should probably call up WAL-MART because they sell tag blankets too. Oh wait, you only go after small time moms at home.) Anyways, since I can't sell mine...I'll share with you how to MAKE your own.

Two fabrics (I used Flannel and Minky)
Ribbons to coordinate or contrast your fabrics
Cutting Mat or Surface

Step One:
Choose the size of your blanket. You may want a large blanket or just a small lovey. Whatever size you choose, put your fabrics right sides together and cut them the SAME size/shape.

Step Two:
Gather your ribbons. The type is up to you, grosgrain, satin, solids,etc.

Step Three:
Cut your ribbons to approximately 4-5 inches long.

Step Four:
I like to then lay out my ribbons to see where I want to place them along the edges of the blanket. Rearrange them to your liking.

Step Five:
Now take your ribbon and FOLD it (not making a hard crease, just a gentle fold) with the pattern on the OUTSIDE where it's visible.

Step Six:

Now take the RAW EDGE of your ribbon and insert your ribbon (Still folded) in between the fabric while it's right sides together.

Now your raw edge of the ribbon and the raw edge of the fabrics LINE UP. Pin to keep it straight.

Step Seven:

Now continue this all the way around the edges of the blanket, using the pattern you wanted for the ribbon placement.

Step Eight:

Now head to your sewing machine! You will choose a starting point on your blanket, and remember that you are TURNING and TOP STITCHING this blanket, so you'll be leaving an opening large enough to turn the fabrics right side out. Where you start/finish your opening is up to you.

I prefer a walking foot because I am using minky. But you can use a regular foot, particularly if you are using cottons/flannels, etc. If using stretchy fabrics you should use a ballpoint or Microtex needle.

Step Nine:
Sew along the edge of the blanket in a straight stitch, turning when you get to the corner. You should stop roughly 2 inches from your starting point so you have room to turn the blanket.

Step Ten:
Now you'll need to turn your blanket right side out.

Step Eleven:
Once your blanket is turned right side out, gently tug on all your ribbons to assure they are secure. This also helps gently pull the seams straight. You can iron your blanket at this point, although I did not iron this blanket because you should NOT iron minky.

Once your blanket is smooth, head back to the sewing machine to sew your top stitching.

Step Twelve:

Continue straight stitching (or zigzag, or even decorative stitch if you wish) all the way around the edge of the blanket, making sure you go over the opening you turned your blanket in. If you used a walking foot, you'll need to use a regular foot to backstitch your seams because you should not backstitch with a walking foot.

VIOLA! You have a beautiful taggy blanket!

Step Thirteen:
Now for the clincher....The Taggies company will hunt you down if you SELL a blanket like this. BUT last I checked, their patent does NOT cover if the ribbons are not looped. And quite honestly for my own protection, I'd prefer not to sell a blanket with looped ribbons anyway due to the risk of babies fingers getting stuck in them.

So what to do, what to do? EASY. CUT the loop on the ribbon and HEAT SEAL the edges!!

There you go! Now you have a cool sensory tag blanket and you did not break their patent! Naturally, before you make the blanket if you plan on cutting and heat sealing, you can do that before you make the blanket, but I was showing you both options.

Feel free to ask any questions and share this tutorial, but please give me a link back! :) Check out my other tutorials in the left hand side bar!



Niki said...

Take that, Taggies! :p

I despise that company, really. I had someone make a small sensory tag pillow for my daughter even while that company was hunting down copyright (and PATENT - they also patented it, which is another reason they can whip people for infringement) offenders. I don't think she can sell those anymore either, though. I'm glad I got it when I did, as I don't sew.

PussDaddy said...

Personally I don't see what is wrong with a company protecting it's copyright. Had it been one of the small "mom and pops" who had invented it and taken the time and money to trademark and copyright it or whatever and someone copied them everyone would be up in arms. Sometimes it simply comes down to who gets there first.


mamaslittlemonkeys said...

Puss, I totally respect that these were two moms who took the time to patent it. but their patent is SO BROAD. They want to say they own EVERY piece of fabric with looped ribbons. And it ticks me off that a huge congolmorate like Walmart can sell them but little moms at home can't? I had a bib with a few ribbons on it and they pulled did NOT break their patent at the time it was made, but they've sense expanding their patent beyond crazy realms. I mean its like saying you invented the onesie (which is a trademarked word by the way..) Its just a bit too far, in my opinion...

So like I say they have the right to protect their patent (although they were NOT the first to make these). But I also have the right to give ppl FREE instructions to sew, since I'm not making money off of it, it should be ok...


nice to see ur furry face again:) Havent had time to tweet much lately!

PussDaddy said...

I do know onesie is trademarked too and have often wondered how onesie or Gerber would react if someone embellished a onesie and sold it using the onesie name and something came off the onesie and a kid choked to death on it. None of these sellers have any concern about this stuff, and in fact would say it is up to the parents to make sure their kid doesn't choke, as long as they get to keep selling their stuff whether it is safe or not.

It is nice talking to you too, I was gone a few days myself.


KD Jewelry said...

Sorry but just because these fools got a PATENT does not mean they invented it These blankets along with fringe blankets have been running around the LDS/Mormon comunity for YEARS. These people just wanted to make sure nobody else was allowed to share in their profit. And that goes for gerber and Onesies too. JMO.

Andrea said...

Love it! Yeah, I've noticed the same thing from this company - the broader and broader definition. I don't make them myself, but I've seen seller after seller get items pulled. For example, their patent used to say that the ribbons had to be evenly spaced - when they changed that THOUSANDS of items that had already been made were suddenly pulled! Pretty soon they'll have every quilt that has ribbons of any type attached to it under their so-called "patent"!

By the way, I know people who still do get away with selling them... they just don't do it online where Taggies can see them! I doubt they'll ever get ridiculous enough to track down every craft show seller... ; )

mamaslittlemonkeys said...

That's what makes me HOW broad its gotten. And they've expanding it over and over. Its just such a broad patent...

and i can understand if its a huge company (LIKE WALMART) who is selling them (oh wait, they are!) but its just small moms at home they're going after.

Stitches In Cotton said...

I guess they are waiting till they have ousted every tag blanket from little mom and pops and gain a ton of money so they can go after Walmart. I mean there is no way they could hold a candle to the lawyers at Walmart so their only avenue is the mom and pops online. I wonder how much they pay the person who searches all day long for taggies online.

thriftymama said...

Thanks so much mama's little monkey for the instructions. I am an amateur at sewing. I make simple things for my kids and family. I've recently decided to try a hand at making some, what seem simple, cute baby gift items for friends and family to help cute down on the overpriced baby gear out there and make something more personal. Not to mention I like to find just the right gift and that seems hard to do with all of the stores changing things out every time you turn around. So thanks again for your time. By the way I agree on your Taggies position.

Alison said...

A company here in Australia claimed they made up the name/saying 'Sooki La La', and have patented it. I can tell you that my parents and grandparents were calling us, Sooki La La's back in the 70's, so NO, they didn't invent the name. But they patented it anyway. So ridiculous. I totally agree with you in regards to this issue. A blanket with tags on it, should not be able to be patented for heaven's sake.
Hope you have some other products to keep your little business going, and I hope the other company get bad publicity for being so nasty. Parents love buying off small stay at home Mum businesses, and we don't like buying from bullies.

Sid said...

you can still make these blankets, with cut loops, make sure you have them little longer, and then tell your buyers to Knot the ends, it acts as double sensory blanket...babies love the tied ends...another idea is to provide a cloth sealing tape, along with the blanket.


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