Do you ever make something and wonder to yourself, "I can buy this at Walmart for ten dollars - why am I putting in so much effort to do this?" I must admit that those thoughts ran through my head during this project. A lot of seam ripping went into this project, which wasn't easy since I was sewing white chenille with white thread. But when I gave it to my little boy, my rumpled thoughts were soothed by his big smile, and the way he so readily reached for this little cotton tail and became fast friends.
Here is a toy I made with my hands. A toy that was created with things that we had on hand. A future lesson for my boy in giving handmades. A lesson for me about what it takes to craft a softie - the time and labor it takes. I won't ever buy a stuffed animal and take the craftsmanship for granted again.
In my New Years Goals post I posted about wanting to learn how to sew from patterns. This was my second attempt at making something with a pattern. Meet our little cotton tail! It's from Jill Hamor's book Storybook Toys. I was first introduced to this book by Amy's blog over at NanaCompany. She made a chenille cotton tail bunny for her daughter. Well as the saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I hope it can be construed as flattery because I do so admire her work. And admiration often leads to imitation. So with that being said - I made my own sweet boy a chenille bunny friend.
"Most of the doll's clothes and the other toys in this book are made with such small amounts of fabric that you are likely to find the perfect fabric in your scrap bin." ~ Jill Hamor
On a learner's note - I hand basted in a dark contrasting thread a lot during this project and I recommend it to all beginners sewing up a softie. By basting I was able to see how the parts were sewn together and whether or not I was doing it right. It was also easier to maneuver through the machine instead of having to worry about taking out the pins, especially in tight corners. I also did not embroider the eyes, but instead used plastic ones. I actually like the look a lot better!
I also did sew on the head at a bit of an angle as you can see. That wasn't a deliberate change in the pattern, but I kind of like the tilt of this little cotton tail's head. It's like he wants to whisper a secret.
When it is all said and done, and this little friend is snuggled up close to my son's soft face, I am happy that I made this project. I learned a lot through this process and I hope to make more toys and get better and better with each attempt.
On an aside, did you hear that Heidi from Fabric Mutt is hosting a Sew your Library link party? I believe three amazing ladies will be taking turns hosting the link up. This week is Martha from Weekend Doings. I learned about Martha's blog from this link up party and I just have to say that she is one talented lady! Don't you just love the idea of a sew your library party? This is actually such an amazing idea! I have been trying to make a goal for myself to not buy any more crafting books until I create at least one project out of each book I have in my library. I think this party is just the ticket to work on that goal don't you think!
Happy Sewing friends!
Linking up to Sew the Library at Weekend Doings, TGIFF, Finish it Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts.