Lion on the loose

Spotted in a Hampshire garden, a lion at large!

Meet Larry the Lion. He’s a Funky Friends pattern I’ve used to create a memory animal from babygros as a keepsake for a friend’s son’s forthcoming first birthday.

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I used six babygros to make Larry. Most were newborn size, which didn’t leave me with a lot of fabric, and therefore, not much room for mistakes. As luck had it, the pieces which I did cut out wrong were from the fabric I had most of, so I had enough spare to re-cut them. Phew.

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I hit a few obstacles along the way:

  • the eyes: I forgot to insert the craft eyes before sewing the head to body, making it much more difficult as I had to pull the head back out through the stuffing gap. Having not used craft eyes before, I had to watch a video tutorial to learn how to do so. All went well, until one was positioned incorrectly, and then I had to watch another video to work out how to get the washer off the back of the eye so I could remove it!
  • pattern markings: not that I’ve done a great deal of sewing from patterns, but in the little I’ve done, I’ve not been too bothered about transferring pattern markings. This time, I dutifully got out my carbon paper, washable pen, tracing paper, tracing wheel and transferred the markings. Only to realise when I started sewing that I should’ve transferred them to the right side of the fabric, not the wrong side like I had. Rookie error.
  • hand embroidery: not my strong point. I really struggled to get the toes on the first paw looking right, but once I had mastered it, the rest were quicker. As for the French knots on the cheeks, that took two attempts. I gave up last night and tried again today, with more success.
  • interfacing: the mane is a little floppy, I think I could definitely have used stiffer interfacing. One to remember for the next one.

Once I’d finished him, he went for a spin in the washing machine, followed by hanging out on the washing line for the afternoon.

I’m pretty pleased with how he turned out.

Stars and Stripes bear

I’ve been holding off from posting til I finished my nephew’s memory bear. Finally, he is finished. 

Originally, I was going to make him out of these:

I planned it out like this:  

But, I just wasn’t feeling the colour combinations. I had a flash of inspiration that some of my nephew’s babygros had been passed on to my little boy. As luck would have it, they were too small for him. So, I changed tack and went for these: 

I added in a complimentary polo shirt and wanted to keep the teddy saying ‘Hi Mum’. I felt this looked much better:  

 

I struggled with how to transfer the pattern markings, however, I hope to remedy this for future projects with some recent Amazon purchases …

I made the same mistake as with my last (as yet unfinished) bear, in that I didn’t transfer the pattern notches properly. Rookie error! I’m very much a learn by making mistakes person! That said – apologies if this offends some out there – I’m not sure I see the need for matching notches on a project like this. Seems a hassle, when you can match up pretty accurately without them …

New stitches learnt as part of this project:

  • Ladder stitch – for sewing up the openings left for stuffing. Actually another name for slip stitch, as it turns out. 
  • Satin stitch – for the nose. Did not go too well. I was satin-stitching over a piece of felt stuck on with fabric glue. The middle bit of the nose was fine to satin stitch, but the ends were somewhat troublesome. I went for my favourite ‘It’ll do’ approach.

I raided my button jar for the eyes. I knew there was a reason I’d kept all these ‘spare’ buttons.

 

All that remained was to wash off my washable fabric pen. Every time, I curse myself for using it, as it never seems to come off as easily as I think. It’s just much easier to work with than chalk. For me, anyway. I was reluctant to put the teddy in the washing machine, as I wasn’t convinced my slip stitching would survive. So I went for the dampening option. Three separate attempts and two short stays in solitary confinement the airing cupboard later, there was still blue ink, so into the washing machine he went. Followed by a third stint in the airing cupboard.

   
   

Here’s the finished bear. Of all the things I’ve made over the past year, he’s one of my favourites. And reasonably quick to assemble too.

 
   

  

 

It was my birthday on Tuesday, and, for the first time, I created an Amazon wish list and sent it to my parents and my husband. All craft-based items. I’m not a lover of Amazon wish lists being thrust upon people; I don’t like being told what to buy someone. Unless I’ve asked for suggestions that is. But, being sent a wish list when I haven’t asked what someone would like? Well, I think that’s rude. Anyway, disappointingly, I got absolutely nothing from my wish list. But, I can’t complain as I was taken on a spa break to the lovely Ragdale Hall and treated to several lovely treatments. I did receive a couple of Amazon vouchers though, so I used them to treat myself to my wish list. Quite a few arrived today. Here’s the haul so far:  

Excitingly, this week I also purchased the fabric to make bunting for my friend’s wedding in August. The colour scheme is ‘sunset’: pinks, yellows and oranges. Whilst debating the best way to cut out the flags with my friend, she wondered if you could get a pinking rotary cutter. And you can! So, I’ve ordered one. Excited to get started on this. I’m going to aim for 100 metres of bunting. Am I mad?!