Title:
Plush toy stitching
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method for creating a plush toy having a pre-stitched open seam is disclosed. The method includes pre-stitching an open seam of an outer covering of the plush toy with a drawstring. The pre-stitching is formed in such a manner so as to be loose, enabling fill material to be added into the outer covering there through. The pre-stitching step can include forming a straight-across stitch using a single drawstring, or a crisscross stitch using two drawstrings. The drawstring has a free end extending from an end of the open seam which can be pulled after the plush toy is filled to close the open seam. One or more knots are formed in the drawstring adjacent to the outer covering as a final step.



Inventors:
Block, Stanley M. (Agoura Hills, CA, US)
Block, Annette N. (Agoura Hills, CA, US)
Application Number:
09/795966
Publication Date:
08/29/2002
Filing Date:
02/27/2001
Assignee:
BLOCK STANLEY M.
BLOCK ANNETTE N.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H3/02; A63H9/00; (IPC1-7): A63H3/02; A63H9/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
ACKUN, JACOB K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kamran Fattahi, Esq. (KELLY BAUERSFELD LOWRY & KELLEY, LLP Suite 1650 6320 Canoga Avenue, Woodland Hills, CA, 91367, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A method for creating a plush toy, comprising the steps of: providing a plush toy outer covering having an open seam forming a fill material injection aperture; pre-stitching the seam with a drawstring in a manner such that the drawstring is loose and the seam remains sufficiently open to allow fill material to be injected into the plush toy outer covering through the pre-stitched seam; filling the plush toy with fill material by injecting fill material into the pre-stitched seam; and closing the open seam by tightening the drawstring and tying a knot in the drawstring adjacent the outer covering.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the pre-stitching step includes the step of creating a straight-across stitch across the open seam.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the drawstring has a free end at an end of the open seam.

4. The method of claim 2, wherein the straight-across stitch is created with a single drawstring.

5. The method of claim 3, wherein the open seam is closed by pulling the free end of the drawstring away from the seam and tying a knot in the drawstring adjacent the outer covering.

6. The method of claim 5, including the step of pulling portions of the straight-across stitched drawstring in a sequential manner before pulling the free end of the drawstring.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the pre-stitching step includes the step of creating a cris-cross stitch across the open seam.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein the drawstring has a free end extending from an end of the open seam.

9. The method of claim 7, wherein the cris-cross stitch is created with two drawstrings which cross over one another in the stitch.

10. The method of claim 8, wherein the open seam is closed by pulling the free end of the drawstring away from the seam and tying a knot in the drawstring adjacent the outer covering.

11. The method of claim 10, including the step of pulling portions of the crisscross stitched drawstring in a sequential manner before pulling the free end of the drawstring.

12. A method for creating a plush toy, comprising the steps of: providing a plush toy outer covering having an open seam forming a fill material injection aperture; pre-stitching the seam with a drawstring in a straight-across stitch across the open seam in a manner such that the drawstring is loose and the seam remains sufficiently open to allow fill material to be injected into the plush toy outer covering through the pre-stitched seam, the drawstring having a free end extending from an end of the open seam; filling the plush toy with fill material by injecting fill material into the pre-stitched seam; and closing the open seam by pulling the free end of the drawstring and tying a knot in the drawstring adjacent the outer covering.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the straight-across stitch is created with a single drawstring.

14. The method of claim 12, including the step of pulling portions of the straight-across stitched drawstring in a sequential manner before pulling the free end of the drawstring.

15. A method for creating a plush toy, comprising the steps of: providing a plush toy outer covering having an open seam forming a fill material injection aperture; pre-stitching the seam with a drawstring in a cris-cross stitch across the open seam in a manner such that the drawstring is loose and the seam remains sufficiently open to allow fill material to be injected into the plush toy outer covering through the pre-stitched seam, the drawstring having a free end extending from an end of the open seam; filling the plush toy with fill material by injecting fill material into the pre-stitched seam; and closing the open seam by pulling the free end of the drawstring and tying a knot in the drawstring adjacent the outer covering.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein the cris-cross stitch is created with two drawstrings which cross over one another in the stitch.

17. The method of claim 15, including the step of pulling portions of the cris-cross stitched drawstring in a sequential manner before pulling the free end of the drawstring.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to plush toys, such as teddy bears and the like. More particularly, the present invention relates to a method for creating a plush toy having a pre-stitched seam.

[0002] Plush toys are well known in the prior art. The majority of plush toys are purchased fully stuffed with fill material and can comprise a number of caricatures of varying sizes. Recently, there has been devised a business which allows a customer to select a plush toy covering or skin and participate in the plush toy being stuffed. Typically, the business offers a selection of plush toy coverings or animal skins from which the customer selects. The plush toy may be personalized by inserting items within the plush toy, choosing accessory clothing items in the form of outfits, hats, etc. During the process, the plush toy is stuffed in front of the customer. This is often performed by injecting fill material through a pressurized nozzle into a pre-formed aperture in the plush toy. The aperture is typically formed in the back seam of the plush toy and the customer can assist in filling the plush toy by stepping on a pedal which injects fill material into the plush toy. The business employee then sews the aperture along the seam and the customer has witnessed the “birth” or “creation” of the plush toy, intended to make the plush toy much more special and personal to the customer.

[0003] It has been found that the act of stitching the aperture can be time consuming, resulting in increased labor costs for the business and possibly requiring other patrons to wait unnecessarily.

[0004] Accordingly, there is a need for an improved method of creating such plush toys which eliminates the need to hand stitch the stuffing aperture seam. The present invention fulfills these needs and provides other related advantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] The present invention resides in a method of creating plush toys. The method first comprises providing a plush toy outer covering having an open seam which forms a fill material injection aperture. The open seam is pre-stitched with a drawstring in a manner such that the drawstring is loose and the seam remains sufficiently open to allow fill material to be injected or otherwise stuffed into the plush toy outer covering. The plush toy outer covering is then filled with fill material through the pre-stitched seam, typically by pressurized injection. The open seam is then closed by tightening the drawstring and tying a knot in the drawstring adjacent to the outer covering.

[0006] The seam may be pre-stitched using either a straight-across stitch or a crisscross stitch using one or two drawstrings. Typically, the drawstring has a free end extending from an end of the open seam. The open seam is closed by pulling the free end of the drawstring away from the seam, which causes the seam to close. It may be necessary to pull portions of the cris-cross or straight-across stitch sequentially before finally pulling on the free end of the drawstring to sufficiently tighten the drawstring and close the open seam completely. However, this has still been found to be less time consuming than hand-stitching the open seam after the fill material has been added.

[0007] Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] The accompanying drawings illustrate the invention. In such drawings:

[0009] FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a plush toy outer covering in the form of a teddy bear;

[0010] FIG. 2 is a rear elevational view of the plush toy outer covering of FIG. 1, illustrating a crisscross stitch formed with two drawstrings in an open seam thereof;

[0011] FIG. 3 is a rear elevational view of the plush toy outer covering of FIG. 1, illustrating a straight-across stitch formed with a drawstring in an open seam thereof;

[0012] FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram illustrating a user adding fill material into the plush toy outer covering through the pre-stitched open seam;

[0013] FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram illustrating the user pulling the drawstring of the stitching to close the open seam, in accordance with the invention; and

[0014] FIG. 6 is a rear elevational view of a stuffed plush toy having the open seam thereof closed and tied off, in accordance with the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0015] As shown in the drawings for purposes of illustration, the present invention is concerned with a method of creating a plush toy. A plush toy outer covering or skin 10 is illustrated in FIG. 1. A caricature of a teddy bear is shown for illustrative purposes, although it is to be understood that the plush toy can be of a variety of caricatures. The outer covering 10 may have certain portions which are pre-stuffed, such as the nose, ears, etc., as these require a more rigid fill material or cannot be adequately stuffed during the filling process.

[0016] With reference now to FIG. 2, the outer covering 10 includes an open seam 12, typically in the back of the plush toy outer covering 10. This open seam 12 forms an aperture through which fill material is stuffed, typically by pressurized injection through a nozzle designed for such purpose. In accordance with the present invention, the open seam 12 is pre-stitched with a drawstring 14. As illustrated in FIG. 2, a cris-cross stitch 16 is formed with one or two drawstrings 14. The stitch 16 is formed by overlapping the drawstring(s) 14 over one another in crisscross fashion, as illustrated by the solid lines representing the drawstring 14 in FIG. 2. The dotted lines in FIG. 2 are phantom lines representing the stitch 16 under the outer covering 10.

[0017] The stitching 16 is created in such a manner so as to be loose, allowing fill material to be added to the outer covering 10 through the open seam 12 and stitching 16. Free ends 18 of the drawstring 14 extend from the open seam 12, typically at an end thereof.

[0018] With reference now to FIG. 3, another outer covering 10 is shown having a straight-across stitch 20 formed across the open seam 12. This stitch 20 is formed by stitching the drawstring 14 from one side of the open seam 12 to the other which is repeated to form a ladder-like structure, across the entire open seam 12, shown by the solid lines in FIG. 3. The dotted lines in FIG. 3 are phantom lines representing the stitch 20 on the underside of the outer covering 10.

[0019] Once again, the stitching 20 is created in such a manner so as to be loose, allowing fill material to be added to the outer covering 10 through the open seam 12 and stitching 20. Free ends 18 of the drawstring 14 extend from the open seam 12, typically at an end thereof.

[0020] With reference now to FIG. 4, fill material 22 is added to the interior cavity of the outer covering 10 through the open seam 12 and stitching 16 or 20. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, such as the illustrated user 24 hand-filling the outer covering 10 with fill material 22. Typically, such operations include a container of fill material 22 which is kept loose and fluffy by agitation or the like. The container is attached to a pressurized device, such as an air compressor or the like, which can be used to selectively remove an amount of fill material 22 from the container and into the plush toy outer covering 10 through a nozzle or the like. The stitching 16 or 20 of the open seam 12 is loose enough to accommodate such nozzles. Personalized items may also be added to the interior cavity of the plush toy outer covering 10 at this point.

[0021] Referring now to FIG. 5, once the outer covering 10 has been adequately stuffed with fill material 22, the user 24 grasps the free ends 18 of the drawstring 14 and pulls tightly away from the open seam 12 to cause the drawstring 14 to come together and close the open seam 12. Under certain circumstances, the user 24 may have to pull portions of the stitching 16 or 20, typically starting from an end of the seam 12 distal from the free end 18 and working sequentially towards the free end 18. This may be necessary if the outer covering 10 is particularly thick, or the plush toy outer covering 10 or open seam 12 is relatively large in size.

[0022] As shown in FIG. 6, once the drawstring 14 has been pulled tightly, and one or more knots are formed near the outer covering 10, completely closing off the open seam 12 and preventing the fill material 22 from escaping the now completed plush toy 26.

[0023] It will be appreciated by the reader that the invention provides several advantages. The time and effort necessary to close off the open seam 12 is diminished greatly. Also, the business entity need not train their personnel in sewing techniques, nor hire those able to sew as the invention does not require any sewing, but merely tightening of the drawstring 14 and knot tying to completely close off the open seam 12.

[0024] Although several embodiments have been described in detail for purposes of illustration, various modifications may be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be limited, except as by the appended claims.