Friday, August 24, 2012

The first Noel (a christmas crocodile)

At long last!

*trumpet flourish*

She is complete.

And her face is on the correct end (no more butt fah-say!).

Jeepers creepers, check out her peepers!

Now, I have to say a few things about the pattern and all that.  The pattern is from the "Toys to Sew" book.  Yes, the same book I gave away a copy of a while back.

While this is a good book (lots of cute ideas) it's not very user friendly (for beginners).  There aren't a lot of step by step tutorials/photos and it really does assume you have a more than basic knowledge of sewing.

With this pattern in particular, I found the piece of patchwork they say to make was a little stingy.  True confession, I was not super careful when laying out my pieces so I ran out of patchwork when it came time to make the legs.  So some sides of the legs are single pieces.  But even if I had been very careful I still think the piece of patchwork fabric wouldn't have been quite big enough.

That's my one major criticism of this pattern.  I think at the very least the instructions should have reminded folks to place pattern pieces very carefully (or advise to make patchwork a bit bigger if you're worried you may run out).

As for the instructions, here are some tips the book doesn't give that I feel would have been helpful (even though I have some decent sewing experience, these tips always bear repeating).

1.  BASTE.  Yes, it's annoying but it's SO worth it.  Especially if you're attaching limbs at the same time you're sewing the sides of a piece together (versus attaching limbs to finished bodies).  Basting holds the limb in place but it also gives you the chance to double check placement BEFORE you machine sew the whole body together.  This is vital when you're attaching the limbs to the body before you turn and stuff.  Baste the limb on then give a little pre-turn to the piece so you can see what it will look like.  It will save you getting everything done only to find out a leg is on backwards.  Tearing out basting stitches is nearly painless veruses tearing out machine stitches.

2.  Lay out pattern pieces BEFORE tracing and cutting.  Another step that seems redundant but it will save you annoyance later.  Take the pattern pieces and just lay them out on the fabric first to get a rough idea how much space they will take.  That way you can head off any issues before they arise.  This is particularly important if you're using fabric you have in limited supply (like the patchwork used for this project).

Overall, the pattern wasn't hard to do even with the brevity of instructions.

More pics?


 All the fabrics were from a mystery fat quarter set I got from the Fat Quarter Shop.  I love mystery fat quarter packs but was a little caught off guard by this one.  I simply wasn't expecting christmas themed fabric.  Especially "fancy" christmas fabric.  This set (I forget the exact name right now) has rich colors and even gold accents.  I had no idea what to do with it until I remembered this patchwork crocodile.

It really is great fabric.  You can see there are repeating patterns (in different colors) and unique patterns (trees with forest animals like deer and quail and gold accent snowflakes) and even some prints that weren't necessarily "christmas" (you could get away with using them for non seasonal stuff).

And I'm very happy to report that Noel is "good enough" for donation to a charity sale.  A lot of times the first stab at a pattern has good results but not "good enough" to ask someone else to pay money for it (or to even give away as a gift).  You need to give the pattern one more stab to clean up any little errors you encountered.

But not Noel.  She came together VERY well, even with having her face (temporarily) attached to her bum.  I would be proud to offer her for a charity sale.  In fact, I think I'll put her on my "future charity sale" shelf (along with three new ewoks I made).  I think someone would pay $20 for her.  She's very "whimsical".  Who doesn't want a crocodile for christmas?


  1. Oh how funny. I love the feet. Thanks for linking up!

  2. What a cute and unique toy! Noel is sure to make someone a great gift.

  3. What a cutie!! How fun that he is all patches! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Link It Up Thursday.:)

  4. hello there and thank you for your info – I've certainly picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise a few technical points using this website, since I experienced to reload the site many times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I'm
    complaining, but slow loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement
    in google and can damage your quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords.
    Anyway I'm adding this RSS to my email and can look out for much more of your respective intriguing content. Ensure that you update this again very soon.

    Look into my site - weightloss drops

  5. I must thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this website.
    I am hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts from you
    later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me
    to get my own, personal website now ;)

    Also visit my website: want to lose weight fast