Once again this year I will be contributing to Softies For Mirabel a toy drive hosted by Pip Lincolne (Meet Me At Mikes) where toys are hand made for the Mirabel Foundation who support children abandoned due to parental drug use.
This year I tried out a new pattern I had in my stash Simplicity 1549 making 2 toys from it an owl and a bunny. I brought this pattern I think at the start of 2016 but never got around to making it last year.
The owl is made from brown fabric leftover from draft stoppers I made last year. The leg fabric is the same fabric but in a stone colour. The fabric had a very open weave so I decided to use a double layer of it on the body and legs as these areas would be stuffed and I didn’t want it falling apart or the stuffing getting out. The wings are a single layer with a layer of pellon inside each one. I did they eyes differently as I think I have mentioned before I don’t like closed eyes on toys. Eyes give the toy personality and I like them open.
For the bunny I used more of the stone fabric again doing double layers but this time on all pieces. The ears aren’t stuffed but I wanted them to hold their shape so that is why I did double. The purple body is leftover polar fleece as is all the applique on the eyes, ears, nose. The mouth is some pom pom trim from my stash, I love the added bit of texture it gives.
These toys were very easy to make as there wasn’t a lot of pieces or complicated sewing. I did all the applique bits by hand as I enjoy hand sewing but you could have easily done them on the machine.
I hope some little kids enjoy these toys and the toys make them feel safe. They were made with love.
I do love a pattern whether it be PDF or paper packet that is multi use, by that I mean that you can make it multiple times for different people or for the same person but in different fabrics each time. That is certainly the case with McCalls 3274. The pattern has all the letters in the alphabet as well as 3 additional shapes.
On this occasion I made the letter E just from some fabric I had in my stash. In the past I have used this fabric in baby blocks but I wasn’t sure what I would make with the remainder but it is perfect for this letter.
This is meant to be a letter N, I’ll admit it looks more like a H. To me the diagonal middle section doesn’t have enough definition but I didn’t discover that until I had stuffed it fully. It isn’t the end of the world I’m sure the little boy who is going to get it will still like it as it has fabric that he likes. I’m planning to make another one later in the year (it is already cut out) but this time I’ve cut it so the diagonal section is more prominent.
Soft toy letters had been on my to make list for some time so I’m really glad I purchased this pattern last year. I’ll be making a lot of them this year
This little guy came out of no where but I am so proud of him.
I brought the pattern (Simplicity 8156) on a whim at the ASG Industry Day. Prior to the day I had planned out all the patterns I would be buying but on the day I remembered I needed to make a gift for a 1 year old this Christmas. I was too lazy to find an existing pattern in my stash instead I flipped through the Simplicity catalogue and came across this pattern thinking yep that will do. To be honest I wasn’t really taken by the pattern but it looked easy and it was different to the other taggie toys I’ve made. As I was going to sleep that night I had an idea.
The next morning I started work on him. I decided he would be the Hungry Little Caterpillar. I set myself a personal challenge of only using fabrics from my scrap stash. I love setting myself challenges like this as it really forces you to think. This toy was the perfect toy for a scrap challenge as you only needed small pieces for each of the various bits. I raided my scraps and found enough of everything.
I made him a little bit different to what the pattern says to. I used only cotton fabric for the body not cotton and fleece. I didn’t use ribbons instead for his legs I made my own fabric tabs from a left over piece of red cotton and for his antennas I used wool felt. I also decided he needed a tongue inside his mouth to add a bit more character. In real life I’m allergic to caterpillars so I would never have imagined myself making a Hungry Little Caterpillar 🙂 Essentially he is a taggie toy but because he doesn’t look babyish as the child grows the toy becomes a character in a book that the child can read whilst holding their little toy. Most taggies lose their use once the child stops teething. This little guy could be made for a child of any age.
I have also reviewed this pattern on Pattern Review. If you have never been on Pattern Review before and you like sewing you will find it a very interesting website. People post personal reviews on anything that you can sew, books, sewing machines. It is a very informative site.
Miss 4 is into My Little Pony so for her birthday this year I decided to make her a plush pony. Her name is now Twilight Sparkle and she is very happy with her new owner. Not to break the magic but Miss Twilight originates from Bubbles by Melly and Me. Her sister was made a few years ago.
This was the first time I’ve worked with panne velvet and to be honest it may be the last. It wasn’t the easiest fabric to work with as it kept curling up. When I pre-washed the fabric it rolled itself into a giant ball which was hard to pull apart. As a result of the curling fabric her leg seams are crooked and she doesn’t stand up. Ponies don’t always stand some like to lie down and this one does. I don’t do this very often but I almost ditched her half way through sewing as it was that difficult and I wasn’t happy to how it was looking. Towards the end she came together so she was a keeper. She does have her good points, her ears are the best I’ve ever made. She feels so plush and squishy. I do have some of the fabric left over, if I was to work with it again I would interface it next time and perhaps make an item where I could sew 2 pieces together then cut the shape from the fabric to stop it from shifting around so much.
Introducing Miss Petunia.
She is the feminine version of Puppy Dog Pete by Funky Friends Factory. Poor Petunia sat in pieces for weeks until I finished her. I had assembled the arms, legs and ears but the rest of her for some reason I had been putting her off. I’d perhaps convinced myself that attaching the head to the body was going to be very difficult so I kept making excuses not to work on it. I was too tired, I didn’t have the time to sit and concentrate. The day I decided she was getting finished as it was nearing her deadline I set aside the time and just did it. She was easier to finish than what I’d convinced myself. I thought I would struggle fitting in her nose so did it by hand not machine (the pattern it actually suggests this too) Petunia isn’t a toy that you can’t just wing it and the pieces fit you need to follow the pattern and have the fabric pieces marked with the corresponding letters or at least be able to reference back to the pattern pieces where the letters should be. I’m happy with how she turned out. I’m hoping little Miss 2 likes her as well.
I finished my tea set. I hand painted all my fabrics using Liquid Radiance. I used various techniques to create patterns and prints on the fabrics. This has to be the most planned out tea set I’ve ever made. Once again I used the pattern I used was Ric Rac’s Tea Set. It is a great pattern.
On the cups for the outside fabric I used the piece of I created via heliography. The stars are randomly placed on each panel of the tea cup. I could have fussy cut the pieces if I wanted to but instead I just folded the fabric in half right sides together and pinned my pattern pieces so I was cutting 2 pieces at once. What each panel got on then became random. When piecing the cups together I tried to get a variety of star coverage so one cup didn’t end up with heaps and another with very little.
On the inside of each up I used the pole wrapped fabric. Each cup has one darker piece in it and the rest light fabrics which were the various layers of the fabric wrapped around the pole. For the inside bases of the cups I used the spotted fabric I created by heliography and air exclusion. I did 2 pink and 2 purple.
On the handles and the bases for all the items (plates, cups, teapot) I used the stripped fabric I created by folding the fabric. My original plan was always to use this for the handles but by chance I got all the bases done from it too which ties all the pieces together.
I also used the spotted pieces as the centre of the plates again 2 pink 2 purple. For the top side of the plates I used some of the fabric I salted to create patterns. Again keeping with the them I did 2 pink 2 purple.
For the bottom of the plates I used the more of the salted fabric but alternated the colours so the plates would end up with both a pink side and a purple side.
The teapot lid is made from the mop up fabric piece I had. On the spout, handle and main section I used the 2 fabrics which I created using the scrunch and fold technique. Each piece of fabric had different colours and marble lines through it so I alternated the pieces on the main section. The spout and handle have one piece of each fabric on them.
Sadly I forgot to take a picture of them all together but as you can see they all match and make a lovely set. They are mostly all the same tones pink and purples but the different amount that of paint I put on each piece and the other colours which I added to it slightly changed the appearance on each piece of fabric. I loved trying out the different techniques of heliography, air exclusion, salting that created the different patterns and textures on the fabric.
I have bits of fabric leftover from cutting out the various pieces. I have no idea what I will use it for yet. I’m finding it hard to let go of these scraps as I made them.
I made this toy for a new born little girl.
Ok so it isn’t in the traditional colours that you make things for a little girl, however when her parents have a favourite soccer team you make it in the team colours as the odds are the child is going to grow up supporting that team too. Their team is Western Sydney Wanderers I used left over fabric scraps from when I made the Western Sydney Wanderers player earlier this year. The toy is an English paper pieced pentagon ball just as I have made them before. They are really simple to make and are a great way of using scraps. You could use any colour scraps you had to make this as they don’t really need to form a pattern unless you want it to. This ball is a good toy to make for a child of any age not just babies, it soft so it can be tossed around inside and not do too much damage. It can be made any size it just depends on what size you cut your paper templates.