There is a lot of problem solving in my job. I love making custom creatures, but I don’t know everything there is to know about making and designing stuffed animals (yet.) Each one has it’s own unique set of design problems. It is one of the reasons why I enjoy the work so much. There is always something new to learn!
Sometimes I just work it out on my own. These are the days that bits and pieces of animal body parts fill my studio as I try to get a particular piece to look just right.
Sometimes having a husband who is a structural engineer comes in handy. He doesn’t know anything about sewing, but he does understand how to get something to balance!
And sometimes, I seek outside help.
I feel so blessed that there are so many stuffed animal designers out there who are willing to share their expertise through their patterns.
Each time I make a new one, I learn more about how to sew, construct, and design on my own.
This last week I have been making turtles.
Like this one.
The pattern is from Fluff and Fuzz. I must say I loved this pattern, and it adapted well to a fleece stuffie.
And then there is this happy turtle friend:
This is a Funky Friends Factory pattern. I love the unique shell design and the sweet little smile on his face.
After building my confidence with a little pattern research, I was then ready to tackle a turtle of my own.
Enter this cute custom stuffie:
A turtle who travels with a snake on his shell. A dynamic duo (and I think the snake is a fierce protector!)
From start to finish, hours and hours of work are put into each new creature. But to me, the time and effort is worth it. There is something very satisfying about creating something so completely unique!
What things in your life are worth that extra bit of effort and time?Read More
When it comes to snakes, I am a bit of a wimp. Mice, spiders and other creepy crawly things don’t really bother me. But even itty bitty garter snakes make me freeze up in fear.
Because somehow I just can’t help loving this little guy:
I made him using the Squeaky Snakes Pattern from While She Naps. (Remember the Lovey Dovey? That was one of her patterns, too.) This guy is actually of the non-squeaky variety, but I like him just the same.
Next up on my sewing list are some cute and cuddly turtles!
What creepy crawly animals are you afraid of?
A few weeks ago I won some free patterns from While She Naps. Abby Glassenberg is a very talented softie designer and I was super excited to try out some of her patterns.
Here is the first one! This is the little puppy Lovey Dovey, made with this pattern.
Isn’t he cute? Designed after one of her toddler’s favourite toys, it’s the perfect size for carrying and snuggling.
I found Abby’s pattern to be incredibly easy to follow, and the only thing I changed was how I made the face (embroidering facial features isn’t something I often do, but I think the fleece nose and eyes look just as cute!)
He’s just as sweet from the backside, too!
This one already has a home and I can definitely see myself making a few more of these as baby shower gifts.
What have you been creating lately?Read More
Last week I had one of those days where there was a lull between custom orders, and it was just me and the sewing room and a whole day ahead.
And so I did something that I haven’t done in months – I went through my bin of UFOs, and projects “to start” and cleaned it out right to the bottom! I found I have lots of great patterns and fabric ready for summer tops and dresses (and hopefully will make the time to sew them this year!)
I also discovered three cute little bags that I had cut out but never sewn together. As I finished the first, I thought I might write up a bit of a pattern review, but have since discovered that the pattern is no longer available, so I won’t bore you with pattern details for a pattern you can’t even try!
Here is the first one, pretty in summer stripes!
The inside even has a pocket, and I really like how the handles are part of the bag itself.
The original pattern is Keyka Lou (they have lots of great little handbag PDF patterns!) but Amy Butler has a pattern for a similar, if bigger and boxier, bag. A coworker of mine uses a very similar bag for carrying her lunch and I have always admired it and now have my own! Oops! On further clicking I have discovered that Keyka Lou sells their retired patterns for $3! So if you really like the bag, you can buy the pattern here. It’s a good little pattern all in all, although I found the handles a little finicky and am trying to work out a better way to do them.
Have you found anything interesting in your UFO or “to make” pile recently?
One of the projects I really wanted to crochet was a cute pair of bunny slippers from this book. I really gave it my best shot (and persevered long after the point I would usually give up – this is what being on vacation allows me to do!) But in the end, it just wasn’t meant to be.
And maybe it was for the best.
Because instead I made these super-cute Mary Jane slippers:
I just love them! They were fun and easy to make, and only took a few hours. I also found them easy to customize and to add a row here and there for the perfect fit.
If you crochet, and would like to make your own, you will find the pattern here. I’m so thankful for talented crafters who share their expertise through tutorials, aren’t you?