Tiny Foxes

Recently I sewed a basic t-shirt with some remnant fabric from Jo-Ann fabrics. It’s a fun shirt, and I’ve gotten a lot of joy out of wearing it.

fox shirt

(sorry for the poor quality shot…)

But I’ve gotten even more joy out of what I made with the scraps: Tiny stuffed foxes 🙂DSCN4758

They are super easy to make, and would work with any fabric that has cute animals on it. The how-to for these cuties is pretty straight forward, but just in case you want to make your own, here goes!

  1. Cut out two of the animals, leaving a generous border.
  2. Face the pieces together, right side in.
  3. Sew around the outside, leaving an opening.
  4. Turn right side out (use something pointy like a dull pencil or chopstick to help!)
  5. Stuff with other smaller scraps or poly-fil, and neatly stitch closed.DSCN4754
  6. (optional) Have far too much fun placing them in your herb garden 🙂DSCN4753

A few tips and ideas:

  • If using a stretch fabric, like my foxes, make sure the pieces you cut out have the stretch going in the same direction.
  • If there are a lot of curves, clip the fabric outside the seams carefully (don’t cut through your stitches!) to make for smoother turning.
  • Stitch or glue your finished tiny creatures to a pin and wear for a dash of whimsy =^.^=

Hammin’ It Up!

No, no actual ham. Hammin’ as in hamsters!

I haven’t quite gotten over my felt squees, which I introduced in this post. A friend of mine has been feeling down, and I thought a little squee might just cheer her up. And she likes hamsters. So this little guy was born:007French knots give his eyes just the right amount of sparkle and his whiskers are adorably tiny. He’s so lively and frisky that he needed a friend.

I didn’t just want to do a second-verse, same-as-the-first type deal, so I changed it up, inspired by Molly over at Wild Olive. (btw, Wild Olive is one of my fav blogs. You’ve probably heard of it, but if not, check it out!) I simplified the design a bit, and here’s the finished hamie:010Again, french knots to the rescue! But enough of the glamour shots; here’s the full body deal.001What a dynamic duo! These buddies cheered me up just making them, so I have high hopes as to their cheer potential for their new owner 🙂012

Frankly, a Squid

Ahoy there, readers!

There’s a monster on the horizon, waving tentacles, grabbing sailors, rending the ship in half! Thar’ she goes; the GIANT SQUID! And alas, it’s a monster of my own making! Truly, man has been felled by hubris once again.005Oh, wait. What’s that?

The latest reports indicate that it is not, in fact, a giant squid, but a cuddle squid!Squid!It is still true that I made this monster. A good friend of mine has a penchant for squids, and I’ve had this excellent tutorial pinned for ages. And then I was cleaning out my fabric stash and found an old tye-dyed skirt. The fates aligned, and the squid was born!

The tutorial is actually for an 8 foot squid, but I didn’t have quite that much fabric and stuffing (or ambition!), so I scaled down the pattern to two feet and cut my pieces.

so many tentacle pieces!Assembly was fairly easy, and mostly done on machine. I did have to hand-sew the tentacles and the bottom piece of the body. The ladder stitch was my bff for this part!goodsquid3I had so much fun adding details, like the suckers on the underside of the tentacles. I just drew them on with sharpie, and then added little dots between the circles to build texture. I also liked the way the colors worked. I spent a lot of time with pattern layout to take advantage of the dyed fabric, and think it worked well.goodsquid1So a successful sewing project, some stash busted, and a very happy squid recipient. Win-win-win!

Sewing for Babies!

Hello everyone!072

I am quite a way from thinking about having kids, and seeing babies does nothing to change that. Sewing for babies on the other hand… I just loving making things for little ones. Yes, part of that has to do with the fact that baby projects are quick to sew because they’re so small. And of course I love how cute wee things are. But I particularly love making things for babies because I love the idea of handmade, and what is more handmade than a mini-human, swaddled and loved in handmade things?

My cousins welcomed a baby boy a little bit ago, and I just had to whip up a few things for the first time we would meet him.

First up was a little t-shirt:079I left off binding around the neckhole because I wanted to make sure it would stretch over the little guy’s head easily. I worked this up without a pattern, and I hope it fits him! He’s quite tiny, so I think it will.

Next, I made a little friend for him:075One often hears about “a boy and his dog” and I’ve often thought of seals of the dogs of the sea, so here’s a seal for the little lad! I used Simplicity pattern 1298 and worked it up in bright acrylic felt, so it’s sturdy and totally washable.

Finally, I made a little quilted blanket out of flannel:070This is actually my first attempt at quilting, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I sewed 9 squares together for the front and used solid green for the backing. I skipped binding in favor of a clean edge (full disclosure: This was mostly a time saver, rather than a design feature). Instead I sewed close to the edge. I couldn’t get a clear picture of the quilting, but I sewed a cross through both layers at each join of the front pieces. And to make it personal, I hand-appliqued the baby’s first initial, using the same flannel as the backing. I LOVE this blankie, and I think it may become a staple in my baby-gift arsenal!

All together, there’s not cohesive color or style, except cute!082I really hope the little one likes them 🙂

Felt Squees

This week, I took a break from practical sewing to make some completely adorable, totally frivolous things. Specifically, I made little stuffed animals out of felt, but they turned out so gosh darn cute I call them felt squees. It’s a sort of onomatopoeia of the reaction they inspire.

See if you can look at them without squeeing!

Mr. Bear just wants love!I wonder what he's thinking?Foxy-loxy!Now I love these little guys so much that I couldn’t stop playing around while taking pictures. See what I mean:foxbun“Oh, no! Look behind you, Mr. Bunny! Mr. Fox is watching you!”

Honestly, though, my felt fox looks so sweet, I don’t think he actually would eat a bunny. I think he probably prefers dewdrops and teasel pie!

bear2It looks cloudy today! Good thing Mr. Bear found a nice leaf to shelter under so he stays dry if it rains. Wait…who else do we know who uses a leaf for an umbrella?

totoro1That’s right! It’s our neighbor, elusive forest creature, Totoro!totoro2These guys were all super easy to make, as they’re just two layers sewn together. Without a base, they don’t really stand up, but have a simplicity I enjoy. They’re also super addictive. As you may be able to tell 🙂

Hope you enjoyed your daily dose of cute ^.^

Create-Your-Own Cat

003Look at this dapper kitty! Isn’t he adorable? But wait! Who’s that behind him?

002Awww! Look at that fuzzy duo! Oh, look again! There’s a whole family!007

Don’t you just need some cats like these in your life? Well,  don’t worry! They’re quite easy, and don’t cry out for perfection! Before you know it, you’ll have a basket of cuddly kittens too. Here’s how to make one of your very own =^.^=

Materials:materials

  1. pattern
  2. fabric – I like t-shirt or fleece, and generally use two colors
    1. the amount of fabric will depend on the size of your cat
  3. 2 buttons
  4. needle and thread/sewing machine
  5. embroidery floss
  6. ribbon
  7. stuffing

Directions:

  1. Draft and cut out the pattern pieces. You can use the picture as a pattern or draw your own similar shapes. These cats are supposed to look a little home-spun, so don’t worry too much about exact proportions.step 1
  2. Using the pattern, cut out two body pieces, two tail pieces, and a bottom.
  3. Put the body together, right side of fabric together, and sew around the sides and top, but not the bottom edge. Do the same for the tail pieces. Then pin the bottom piece to the body of the cat, and stitch, leaving an opening like in the illustration.step 2
  4. Before you turn kitty right-side out, carefully notch the fabric at the neck and the ears. Then turn out and sew across the bottom of each ear.step 3
  5. Stuff the body and tail, and then insert the tail into the gap of the body. Using a running stitch, stitch the body closed.step 4
  6. Sew on the button eyes and embroider a face. Tie the ribbon around the neck to make a collar. step 5

Enjoy your new friend!

Tips and suggestions:

  • I like to cut my cats from the sleeves of old t-shirts, and then stuff with the scraps. Recycling 🙂
  • If you’re giving a cat to a small child, consider embroidering eyes – or drawing them on with sharpie – so there’s no choking hazard.
  • You can embroider the face before you sew if you find that easier. I like to do it last to I’m more sure of placement.
  • Make a whole litter in different sizes!
  • Play with different materials for collars. I made one cat with a snowflake-print fleece and gave it a scarf instead of a collar.

    100_1710

    Have fun with your new friends!

Nice To Meet “Shrew”

So little while ago, a friend of mine asked me to make him a life-sized shrew. He was doing a presentation on PA’s largest and smallest predators, and the short-tailed shrew is PA’s smallest! (Thank god he didn’t ask for largest, a black bear!) If you’re not familiar with this small rodent, here’s a pic.

photo from Blarina_carolinensisPCSL20929B

I whipped one up out of brown felt, and made a tutorial. I’m inspired to share this now, because as the snow melts in my neck of the woods, you can find little tunnels under the snow where shrews, moles, and field mice have been navigating. Come summer, these tunnels riddle the lawn and can be harder to spy.

So make yourself a little shrew and picture him scuttling beneath the blanket of white, waiting for spring!

Materials: Brown felt*, two seed beads, brown thread, sewing needle, stuffing, pattern

I don’t have a pdf or anything for the pattern. Just use this picture as a guide, keeping in mind that the felt body pieces should be 2.7-3.5 inches in length, with a .5-.8 inch tail.

* a note about the color. Real shrews have a grey tummy, but I didn’t have any grey felt. If you’d like yours to be more accurate, simply cut the bottom piece (which is at the top of the picture) out of grey felt.

Procedure:

1. cut out all the felt pieces.

2. Use a running back stitch along the edge of the side body pieces to make the body of the shrew.

3. Baste the feet and tail onto the bottom piece of felt.

4. Turn the now-stitched top pieces right-side out. Now’s a good time to stitch the beads on. I forgot to take a picture of this step, but I trust that, using the finished shrew photos, you all can figure out where eyes go.

5. Leaving a small gap around the tail, stitch the bottom to the top. I know in sewing you typically put wrong sides together, then turn right-side out, but the felt is a bit too stiff for that. Instead, pin the bottom to the top as it will look finished and use a small, neat blanket stitch all around. Oh, and you won’t really be able to do blanket stitch over the feet and tail, so just do a tight running stitch over those bits.

Again, follow the yellow marks for stitching. And note the opening by the tail; that's where you'll add the stuffing.

6. Stuff your shrew and then sew up the gap. You want him to lay flat on his belly, so don’t over-stuff. And that’s all!

Enjoy your tiny predator :)