Well folks, I have been trying to branch out a bit from my horses and rabbits, and it has been an interesting journey. For one, I simply haven’t been able to find any patterns that I like. Well, that’s not exactly true. There is a lot of adorable stuff going on in the world of felt right now- miniature felt animals, little collectibles etc. But working with felt is a whole different game, and I am not wanting to get into it right now. So I ordered a book (really a pdf file) of some cute little miniature animal patterns and thought I would do some experimenting.
There were two problems with the book. The pattern sizes all needed to be adjusted because I don’t want to do miniatures and, well, all the instructions were in Japanese.
The first animal I attempted was a squirrel. Woodland creatures seem to be very popular right now, so why not join the trend? I found a nice rust colored, upcycled corduroy and got to work. I did alright following the pictures, despite the Japanese instructions, but I failed to take into account the stretchiness of the fabric. Once I started stuffing, I just couldn’t stop. The little squirrel rear end got fatter and fatter until it was as round as a ball. The boys thought it was hilarious, and so adopted the bottom half of my first attempt as a new ball game. They call it tumble butt.
So then I tried it out in a nice, unstretchy, charcoal- colored wool. I like how this one turned out better, except every one in the family asked me if I was making a rat. Turns out, squirrels and rats look a lot alike, except for the tails. The tail made a big difference once it was on, but I think I should stick to brown colors the next time to avoid rodent confusion.
After he was done, I thought it would be good to try a little something more common, like a cat or a dog. The cat pattern turned out to be a lot more difficult, or maybe I need to brush up on my Japanese, because I had to redo it several times. I like the final product, but I feel like there is a lot of room for improvement. These are definitely rough drafts.
I do like her pink bow though.
And last but not least, the puppy dog. This pattern caused me a lot of grief, and my family much hilarity, because I couldn’t seem to adjust the head to the proper size. It was absolutely too enormous for the little body. I wish I had thought to take a picture of before and after shots. I re-sized and re-sized it, and even now, I think it is too pointy.
What I would really like is a good book on developing your own patterns. Any suggestions? And any other feedback? I am pondering over which direction my little shop should turn. Thanks!