Friday, February 20, 2015

A new friend: a valuable lesson






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 

Oh how true that statement is! Three pieces of chenille in the scrap bucket, stuffing from pillows used at my wedding by my ring bearers, and a piece of fabric I had in my stash by Denyse Schmidt. This little friend took very little fabric to make. I think if I made another one too, it would sew up fast. Even with all my seam ripping, it took one of Liam's long nap sessions to sew together.

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.

20 comments:

  1. What a cute little bunny! And he looks super-soft! You're braver than I am---my son is pretty hard on his toys, and also unpredictable. I don't want to spend all the time making him a toy, only to have it either destroyed the first day or completely ignored and neglected!

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    1. Hi Genevieve! =) He is super soft! The more you wash chenille the softer it gets! He is a bit rough with his pulling on the ears but it makes me happy. =) But I totally understand! I kinda cringe when he pulls on it really hard - I just try and remind myself that I can mend it lol.

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  2. I am always thinking "is it worth it?" when I think of how I could buy something for less and not even have to put in any effort.

    I think this toy will be very special, though, and well worth the effort. I imagine it may even be passed down to the next generation. I particularly like that you used the stuffing from your wedding ring pillow. I don't know how you attached the eyes, but, if it is for a little fellow, you may want to check regularly that they are not coming loose. You've done a great job. He is very cute - I particularly like the flash of colour under his ears and tail.

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    1. I have to agree! It was well worth the effort - and I love how it was created from scraps and things we had around the house. Thank you so much for the comment concerning the eyes - they are pretty sturdy - I tried to actually remove them because I messed up on the placement but I couldn't. When I looked it up on youtube it said that I would need to use players and detach them from the inside... so I think they're on pretty secure. I will make sure to keep my eye on them though! Thank you for your sweet comment!

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  3. oh he is totally worth the effort, and I think our kids always love what we make for them :)

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    1. I have to totally agree with you Deborah! I hope this little guy will learn how to love and appreciate handmades!

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  4. That cheeky red fabric on the ears and tale is so cute :)

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    1. =) I love it too Rachel! It's so cheery!

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  5. It is so precious, a real treasure for your son.

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    1. Thank you Judy! This little guy is super special - so it's so nice to be able to give in this way!

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  6. this is so sweet. i am totally impressed with how you lined up the pattern in the chenille.... would that attention to detail be found on a walmart piece? i think not! -jennifer

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    1. Thank you Jennifer! I agree - by doing it myself I'm able to make it the way I want it. =)

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  7. What a truly lovely wee companion for your son. I bet he will treasure him always and your seams will stand up to much more laundering than a bought one. Just beautiful.

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    1. Than you Anna! He loves it! It's his sleeping buddy! =) I has done pretty good in the laundry! Chenille just gets softer the more you wash it!

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  8. Your handmade from the heart bunny will be treasured for a long time. Thanks for sharing your story with us at TGIFF.

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    1. Thank you Shelley! It is such a blessing to be able to give to him in this way! Thank you for hosting TGIFF!

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  9. This isn't just the cutest bunny ever, it is so full of sentimental meaning Karisma! Love what you did!

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  10. Super cute little bunny! Those thoughts of "is it worth all the effort? Should I just buy it?" go through my head many times. But always arrive at the same conclusion: Handmade is always better. The love that you put into and the sentimental value is worth the effort. I'm sure your son will cherish it forever.
    Thank you for linking up to Sew the Library.

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  11. This is such an adorable little bunny,sure to be loved for years to come!

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  12. Super sweet - and I've totally had that thought before while sewing something!

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