YES. I finally got something DONE. Something good and important and FUN.
I made some toys for April 2013 Fluff for Foster Care project over at Hopeful Threads.
When they first announced the project they offered up a free pattern for some super cute sea horses. Three different sizes.
Here are the smallest sizes:
And the medium sized ones:
I decided to make the smaller sizes so I could use up some scrappy sized fabric versus cutting into larger pieces I have stored away.
I found some great fabric right in my current scrap bucket. No need to even dig into my scrap bags in my craft room. I have my scraps somewhat sorted. I keep anything smaller than about 5 inches in a fabric bag. Over 5 inches (but less than a FQ) goes in the bucket. Bigger pieces are in bags in my craft room (I hoard all the bags new fabric comes in so I can use it to house my stash).
The pattern called for lining the fabric with fusing but I didn't have enough to do so and I like a squishier stuffed toy so I skipped that step. It also called for wide ric rac for the fins but I didn't have that either. So instead I cut some wavy pieces from some wool blend felt and I used some lacy trim I had in my collection. The lacy trim is from the towel cake my sister constructed for me for my wedding some 12 years ago. I found it when I was cleaning out my junk room (which is mostly plastic bins of stuffed toys and other "clean" junk like that--nothing gross). I'm proud to report I have just about used up all the towel cake trim now. (years ago I used a bit on an apron I made for a sock monkey). Lets hear it for up-cycling. (for the record, the trim was in perfect condition--it was pinned to the towel cake so it's clean and fresh--I would never use something icky for a charity project--hell, for any project).
My trim swap worked out well. The lacy stuff really looks cute and was even easier to sew in than ric-rac would have been. The lacy stuff had a nice wide base so I had plenty of seam allowance to make sure it was fully in the back seam. Ric rac would have had gaps (which would have annoyed me).
I used sew on googly eyes for the smaller ones. I think they should be pretty secure but I still wouldn't recommend them for very young kids. The medium sized ones have safety eyes so good for all ages.
The fabric? The red was from some fabric I bought to do a swap. I thought the "splish splash" was cute and appropriate for a sea horse. The purple is some fabric I think someone gave to me or I got at thrift (never fear, it's clean and fresh). The orange I got in a swap (swapped a woman for some scraps she had). And that green is very NEW to my stash. It's some of that fabulous Saltwater Octopus fabric I just received. I thought it was good karma to use my winnings toward some charity sewing. The size was perfect for the seahorse and I still have a nice big piece for my own needs (got to have at least a few bits for my scrap quilt).
But four sea horses is NOT enough to donate.
SO. . .
I checked out my personal stash of softies (things I've made just because I wanted to try out a pattern) and guess who caught my eye?
These two fabulous ladies are PERFECT for the cause. Not only do they go with the underwater theme I stumbled upon but they already sewn! Yeah for saving time.
Never fear, they are NEW. I made them just to try out a pattern in a book and then just tucked them onto a shelf. Despite being "test" toys, they turned out VERY well. I wouldn't hesitate to give them to someone I know (if I knew someone who would want them--not many kids in my life and the few that are are male so cutesy mermaids might not be their first choice). They are bit of a time consuming pattern, so I'm happy I have them already made so I don't have to burn time working with the pattern again. I knew these sweet ladies would find the right person/charity. I'm very happy to send them along with their herd of sea horses.
They are perfectly safe for all ages. The faces are stitched/marker. No small parts at all.
You can really see the size difference in the sea horses in these pics and see how the mermaids are just MADE for this set.
I'm excited to send them off but I'd like to make a few more things too. I'm toying with either a few plush squids (not the squid pattern I use for the giant squids, but another cuter looking one kids might like) or some smaller plush. I was thinking some of the little Dachsund puppies I've made might be cute options for older kids. I'd think older kids might not want a larger stuffed toy (don't want to seem uncool with a toy) but a littler toy might appeal to them. I was tempted to send along the set of puppies I already have made but they are made from acrylic felt and I think they look better in wool felt, so I'd prefer to make wool blend felt ones for giving (though there is nothing wrong with the ones I have--I just want to make "better" ones as gifts).