The Fox and the Hog

Time to introduce some new friends for my shop, folks.  I’m still plugging away at developing my own patterns, or at least altering patterns that I find. And I continue to experience more frustration than success.  What, between adjusting patterns and trying out different fabrics, I am never sure just what I am going to end up with.

These next two projects are definitely rough drafts- especially the fox.  I have been on a velvet kick lately, since I like stuffed animals to be nice and soft to the touch.  But velvet has it’s own set of challenges, when it comes to sewing.

There are several things I would like to change about this fellow- the legs and nose for a start, but I like to use my blog as a place for constructive criticism, so have at it!

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And then there is my little hedgehog, who didn’t cause me nearly as much trouble.  I made him from some soft, purply velvets and stitched little ‘spines’ all up and down his back.  He is super soft and cuddly.

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I must say that I love his little face.


Anyways, I am going to keep experimenting with animals, but I found a new book on sewing beautiful birds that I am just itching to try out. So we will see what comes of that!

Puppies and kittens and squirrels, oh my!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!