Monday, December 30, 2019

Carter's Blue Woobie*

A decade ago, I made quite a few stuffed toys for my friends who were all having babies around the same time. I loved making them but ended up really burned out. However, there was no way I wasn't making toys for my niece and nephew's children. Here is the story of stuffed toy #2, this one made completely from scratch.

Patterns Used: For the head, I used Simplicity 8938 (2019) because I wanted to use the adorable face shape of the bear with its full cheeks. I also used the pattern for the one-piece body and curved leg shape. The shoulders and arms were adapted from both the Wee Wonderfuls Kitty, Bunny, and Bear 3-in-1 pattern (2006), and McCall's 7795 (2018.)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope(s) once you were done sewing with it? No, it became its own thing.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Very much so, since I decided to simplify the whole stuffed toy experience from the last time I made a soft toy from fleece. This time, I choose not to have separate arms and legs. Really, the most challenging part was deciding which colors to use for all the decorative elements. I ended up cutting eye, muzzle, and tummy pieces in multiple colors and tried out different combinations.

The final design

Fabric Used: 59" Anti-pill Plush Fleece (100% polyester) in Mare Blue and Deep Blue, 59" Blizzard fleece (100% polyester) in Wedgewood, Gutermann 100% polyester Sew All thread in Iris #900 and Dark Blue #252, Kuni ecofi Classic Felt in Neon Blue, and Pellon Easy Pattern.

I used the chosen pattern pieces and Pellon Easy Pattern to trace shapes for blending and creating new pattern pieces.

The old and the new

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I created my own stuffed toy pattern by combining my favorite parts from primarily two patterns. I also drew inspiration from the book fleecie dolls (2008) by Fiona Goble, realizing that a fleece doll might be easier to clean and feel softer on a child's skin. over the years, I've made multiple versions of the Wee Wonderful animals, and while I love them all; knowing what I know now; fleece or a woven cloth works better than the flannel I used for them. Flannel is not durable enough for heavily-used (played with) dolls. The stressed stitches pulled right out of the delicate weave, and the fabric surface (and softness) wore down quickly.

Finishing touches that I added: Then came the truly fun part, adding details, the face, and personality using embroidery. This was so relaxing and meditative. I love his little face! The patch over the stomach gave the illusion of a chubby body and I even put a little puff of padding under both the tummy and the muzzle piece before stitching it down.

Blanket stitches in contrasting colors add both a hand sewn and finished feel to the whole project.

The last touch was adding a simple vest (which I'm sure was promptly lost) I adapted the idea from a tutorial for Tagalong Teddy from Betz White's book Present Perfect. (Unfortunately, the tutorial is no longer accessible online, so definitely go get the book.)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Oh, yeah, this is my new TNT doll pattern.

Chewing is acceptable.
Gently guarded by the family dog.

 From all the signs seen above it seems to have been a success!

Remember what a "woobie" is? If you do, you are around my age if you know what 1980s movie that term comes from.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Allee Willis - RIP

I just read that Grammy-winning musician Allee Willis has died. I just happened to have written a post on her retro-hip home design way back in 2009. Enjoy her out-there style.