Tuesday, December 8, 2015

For Swaps: Patches and a doll

Got two swaps out to the post office this morning.

First up is an art doll swap.  The theme was fall/winter/christmas.

I just could NOT figure out what I wanted to do for this. Correction.  I thought I wanted to do one thing (a mushroom person thing) but it just didn't do it for me.  I was bored with the idea from the start.  Then all the sudden I wanted to make Krampus.  But that didn't seem like something my recipient would be into (even though it's not a profile specific swap).

My partner liked bright fun colors and "whimsy".  So I went out on a limb and decided to try out a new Dolls and Daydreams pattern I grabbed up during the last sale.  It's the 7 dwarfs/elf pattern that has a TON of options for customization.

I dug up some of my brightest/most fun christmas/winter prints so it would be lively and bright (my partner's profile specifically noted they don't like drab fabrics).

But it still felt less art doll-ish than I normally make.  For me, "art dolls" need to be less kid safe then a regular stuffed toy which means I need to put a bit more work into adding extras to them (or they need to just straight up NOT be a toy, like the painted doll I did for halloween. . .that's so not a toy for kids to maul).

So I had some fun with his hat.

Elroy Elf is headed off to his company party and hopes to win the Ugly Hat contest.  (what?  ugly sweaters are SO over, like five years ago!).  He even has his white elephant gift which he hopes goes over well (jokes on everyone, it's just a piece of styrofoam wrapped in fancy paper!)

That hat is tacky on BOTH sides.

Good luck, Elroy!

I hope this is well received since it's not as hard core "only adults may touch this because it's just so NOT for kids" art doll but it's still very "artsy".  It's well made and meets the size requirements so there's really no way I won't get a full rating but I just don't want to disappoint my swap partner (though if someone made this for me I'd be thrilled, it's cute as shit as far as I'm concerned).

Next up are the latest set of patches for the Disney alphabet swap.

M, N, and O

Closeup time!

M is for Mickey Mouse.  I knew I wouldn't get through this swap without making the classic Disney mouse ears design (and I welcomed it since it would be an easy yet good looking patch).  I stuck with Mickey's color scheme, too.  Red, yellow, and white.  (no back shot for this since it's just solid yellow).  This was a super easy patch but it still looks good (simple doesn't have to mean you're cheating your swap partner, sometimes simple works).

N is for Nightmare Before Christmas.

Holy crap, looking at this pic this patch turned out really great (that's not to say it's hideous in person, just that it's photogenic considering it wasn't that hard to make).  I went with a simplified version of the graveyard scene (which I think is also the cover art for the movie, except it has Jack on the little curly thing).

Detail shot!

Oh, yes I did.  I cut that little curly cue right out of felt and it wasn't that hard at all.  The curly and the moon are felt glued to cotton fabric.  The grave stones are felt, glued and stitched down (the one against the purple is just glued, the other one needed a few stitches since the glue didn't really stick to the felted sweater used for the foreground).

I got super lucky when I was going through my felt scraps to find bits for the tombstones I found some bits from a felted wool sweater.  It was a striped sweater and the one color was perfect for a dark earth look BUT it also had just a tiny bit of the yellow from the stripe next to it so it looks like moonlight shining on the ground.  I love when happy accidents happen like that.

Then I added my last jack-o-lantern button (I want to get another card of those, they're cute but not too cute).  The true art is more detailed with a bunch of stones and a pathway and all kinds of pumpkins.  I simplified it a lot.

I have to pause to mention how great that purple background fabric is.  I was going for either a dark blue or purple and when I spied that purple it beat out the few blues I had pulled as contenders.

That's the background.  Crazy dancing skeletons.  I was tempted to use the same purple fabric for the backing/frame and I was tempted to use solid black but once I saw this fabric I had to use it.  Its' a nod to Jack.

(I also sent along a package of these super cool Nightmare Before Christmas buttons.  They have full figures of Jack and Sally, two Jack faces, AND a full figure button of ZERO!  I have a pack for myself but I was feeling greedy and didn't want to use any of mine so my swap partner got her own pack. . .she's a great swapper so she deserves a great bonus).

O is for Oogie Boogie, looking all sinister.

I hadn't planned to do two Nightmare Before Christmas patches in this set but it just worked out that way.

Oogie is made from a thicker type cotton (it's kind of like a khaki pant thickness) fused to a regular quilting cotton background fabric (it's a bright green, the pic washes it out a ton).  His face is heat set fabric marker (I made a stencil from the image I had and it worked like a charm).

This was a simple patch, too, but looks really cool.  It's a bit big but I think it needs to be big to really get a good look at Oogie's face.

The backing.  Yes, I fussy cut a bit to make sure the "something wicked" fully showed on the back (wasn't a big deal since it was at the edge).

Once again, my fabric stash comes through for me.  I thought I might have to get a piece of burlap-esque fabric for Oogie Boogie but that heavier weight cotton has just enough texture to it to pull off the look.

Next up are patches for P, Q, R, and S.  I have a few ideas already but I haven't given it a good think yet, so nothing is set in stone.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

TUTORIAL: Bacon Plushie

Ok, here it finally is.  You're going to totally eyeroll when you see how stupid simple this "pattern" really is.

First, a recap of the supplies can be found HERE.


Start by making a pattern/template.  I didn't provide one in the tutorial because it's really simple to just do yourself.  Then you can make the bacon whatever size you want.

To make the template, I started with a piece of paper and drew the wave side the length I wanted the finished bacon to be.  I cut out the wave and then traced it onto a piece of cardboard, making sure the waves were parallel to one another and were spaced as far apart as the width I wanted for the finished bacon.  Then I made a second template for the fat using the cardboard template (so the fat would match the wave of the bacon).  Use the bacon template to decide how wide to make your fat stripes.  Also, keep in mind the seam allowance (add a 1/4 inch all around the bacon template if you want the finished bacon to be the exact size of the template. . .if you don't add a 1/4 inch on each side, your finished bacon will be smaller than the template.  You do not add a seam allowance to the fat since you will be top stitching it to the bacon pieces before you assemble them)

(I strongly recommend you make the templates on cardboard.  It helps to have a thicker/sturdier template for this project, especially for the fat stripes since the fat is a narrow piece)

Cut out two bacon (mirror images of each other) and 4 fat total (2 a mirror of the others).  Before you sew, double check that you have matching fats for each bacon side.

Tip:  I use a super fine point sharpie when working with darker colored fleece.  I have tried using tailors chalk and wax pencils and it just doesn't give a good enough line for me to see.  The fine tipped sharpie makes a dark line (I will double trace to make sure) but it's also a narrow line, so when you cut on the line it pretty much disappears and won't be able to show through on the finished item.  (use a disappearing pen for the white fleece so no pen marks will show on your finished product)

Pair up a set of fat with each bacon half, making sure the wave of the fat is parallel to the wave of the side of the bacon (that's hard to describe but the picture shows what I'm talking about).

Take one bacon side and fold it in half to get the mid-line.  Center a fat on each half of the bacon side and pin (to the right side of the bacon side).  Pin the fat strips to the right side of the other bacon side, making sure the sides match one another.

My tip for getting a good match on the two sides is to layer them.  Pin the fat onto one front of the bacon and place fat stripe side up on your work surface.  Then lay the loose fat stripes (right side down) onto the pinned fat stripes (making sure the waves match).  Then layer the loose bacon side onto the stack (right side down).  Flip the entire stack and pin the loose fat stripes to the right side of the bacon side.  I know it seems fussy but you'll get the best results if you match the fats as best as possible.

With the fats pinned on each side, TOP STITCH the fat to the right side of each bacon side.  Use the same zig zag stitch you used for the egg (wider is better than narrow).  Be careful to make sure the stitch goes over the edge of the fat and into the bacon.  Top stitch all the long sides of the fat for both bacon sides.

Cut two eyes from black felt.  The size of the eyes will be based on the size of the fat stripes on your bacon.  I like the fat to be a bit wider than the eye.  Position the eye low or high on the toy (I prefer low) and hand sew using three strands of matching embroidery floss.  I position the eyes on the fat to insure they won't get caught in the side seam during assembly.  Using three strands of white floss, add shine to the top of each eye (I do a single stitch on each eye).

With black floss (three strands), hand stitch the mouth between the eyes and between the fat stripes.  Use a back stitch or stem stitch.  I prefer a back stitch (and usually take three to four stitches for each mouth, but it will depend on the size of your bacon).

(really, you could put the eyes horizontal or however you want, this is just how I do it)

Pin the two bacon sides together (ride sides facing) and sew using the same zig zag stitch you used to attach the fat stripes.  Leave an opening at the top of the bacon, between the fat stripes.  Clip the corners and turn the bacon right side out.  Roll the seams to make the wave of the bacon really stand out and then smooth the bacon flat.

Now you will topstitch along the sides of each fat stripe using a straight stitch.  This is why you wanted to line your fat stripes up as best as you could before you attached them to the bacon sides.  If they are lined up nicely, when you do the straight line top stitching the stitches will line up very well on the back of the piece.

When doing the straight line top stitching, stitch with the bacon's face UP.  You want the best stitching on the front side of the item (bobbin stitches aren't as pretty as top stitches).  By topstitching on the front side of the bacon, you also insure you'll get the stitching as close to the fat edge as possible for the best look.  Don't fret if the stitching misses the mark a bit on the back.  It happens even with the best pinning and careful sewing.  That's why I prefer to use nappier fleece for the bacon (and neutral thread).

When top stitching you'll encounter a lot of bulk at the ends of the bacon.  My tip is, when starting the stitching (at the beginning of a fat stripe) start with the bulk behind your presser foot (so start a bit in from the bulk).  Sew all the way down the fat and keep stitching right off the end of the bacon.  I've found my machine is fine with going over the bulk when it's at the end but does not like starting on the bulk.  Then you can go back and stitch the small bit you skipped (turn the project and stitch down/off the edge of the toy) or just skip it entirely.  It depends on your preference.  I've done it both ways and you can't really tell when you skip that inch or so at the edge.  In fact, you could probably stop/start before all the bulky edges.

Tip:  you don't have to back stitch on the top stitching step if you don't want to.  You can pull the top thread to the back of the project and knot it off.  I do machine backstitch but only a tiny bit.  I've found the nap of the fabric hides that tiny bit of extra stitching (neutral thread helps, too).

Ladder stitch the openings shut and enjoy you deliciously cute new friends.

BONUS TIP:  Since you decide what size to make these, you can make them smaller to make tree ornaments or cat toys.  I used the trimmings from the fat stripes on these bacon to make fat for a cat toy sized bacon using the same steps (but I didn't make a face).  Add some cat nip before you do the top stitching (for the bacon) and as you add the yolk (and before you topstitch around the yolk) on the egg.

Monday, November 30, 2015

TUTORIAL: Bacon and Eggs plush toys

AT LONG LAST.  A tutorial for the bacon and egg plush toys.

First, let me preface by saying this idea is far from original and is super simple but I did figure it all out on my own with trial and error.  I didn't use any existing pattern as a jumping off point, though I have seen plush bacon and egg toys and other kawaii food toys.  This "pattern" is just so simple that I don't want anyone out there thinking I'm merely recycling some existing tutorial (I haven't even googled to see if a tutorial for the way I make these exists, though I'm sure it probably does since this is such a simple design/pattern).

Ok, now that that's out of the way, let's start with a list of supplies:


Fleece (red, white, yellow)
Embroidery floss (black, white are the minimum you need color wise)
Felt (black, I prefer wool blend)
Neutral sewing thread (I always use off white)
Ball point sewing machine needle
Sewing machine with/zig zag stitch option
Marking pens
Cardboard template (for bacon)
Drinking glass (for egg yolks)

For fabric sizes it will really depend on how big you want your finished products.  I tend to get my fleece from the remnant bin and base my finished items on the fabric I have on hand.  For the egg fleece I prefer a shinier type for the white and a nappier for the yolk.  For the bacon I prefer nappier for both.  (for those unfamiliar with fleece there are different qualities, I think the lower quality stuff is the shiny and the "anti pill" is what I refer to as "nappy".  For the bacon fat I highly prefer "nappy" so it looks more like sticky fat).

For felt and embroidery floss you only need scraps.

We'll start with the egg tutoral.

EGG TUTORIAL (click pics to enlarge):

Trace a drinking glass to make your egg yolks.  I use a disappearing marker when working with light color fabrics especially if the raw edge will be visible on the finished product.  Always test your markers on a scrap first (some don't disappear as well on different types of fabrics).

The size of your yolks will depend on the size of the drinking glass you use and will determine the size of your finished egg.

Free hand cut small circles from black felt scraps.  Size of the eyes will depend on the size of your egg yolks.  You could also fully embroider the eyes if you prefer.

Situate the eyes either low or high on the face.  I prefer low but higher up is just as cute.

Hand stitch eyes to face using matching floss (you could use colored felt for they eyes, but I prefer black).  I use prefer to use two or three strands of floss.  A running stitch makes a neater eye than a whip style stitch (where the stitch comes up under the felt and whips over the edge of the felt to catch the felt to the fleece).  A whip style stitch will make the edges pucker a bit and distort the roundness of the eye.

Using two strands of white floss, add the shine to the each eye.  Shine can be on either side but keep it higher on the eye and have both eyes match.

Using three strands, embroider the mouth using a back stitch or stem stitch (I prefer back stitch, and for this size egg I only need three stitches to make the mouth).

This is a great way to use up some of those little floss scraps in your collection.  For the egg yolks I use reds, pinks, darker yellows, and oranges for mouthes.

Using the prepped egg yolk face, free hand draw a fried egg shape onto the wrong side of the white fleece.

DO NOT CUT OUT THE WHITE.  If you want to make your fabric more manageable, cut a square around the egg white shape.  It will be easier to sew later if you DO NOT cut out the exact white shape.

(or you could make a template on paper/cardboard and have all your egg whites be identical. . .I like free handing them for variety).

Place the egg yolk face down and situate the traced white on top of the yolk so the yolk is positioned on the white as you want it on the finished product.

Flip the white over and top stitch the yolk to the white using a wide zig zag stitch.  Stuff lightly at about the half way point in sewing.  Make sure the zig zag goes from the yellow to the white to insure the yolk is fully attached (and you'll get a nicer finish if the stitch completely covers the raw edge)

(for the zig zag stitch, I don't change my standard stitch length I only change the size of the zig zag.  My machine has a very small choice and a wider choice.  I pick the wider choice for all the zig zag stitching for the eggs.  Test the zig zag on a scrap to see which option on your machine works best for you).

With the yolk now attached to the right side of the fleece, assemble the rest of the egg by placing the yolk side face down onto the right side of another piece of white fleece.

Using the same zig zag stitch setting you used for attaching the yolk, sew along the line you drew for the shape of the egg white.

Leave a small opening for turning.

Trim around the seam leaving a generous 1/4 allowance.  Clip any severe curves or dips as you see necessary.  Leave a bit of extra allowance at the opening (to make it easier to hand stitch it closed).

Turn the egg right side out and roll smooth all the seams to get a nicely defined fried egg white shape.  Hand smooth the egg to get it as flat as possible.


 Top stitch around the edge of the egg yolk, staying just to the edge of the yolk.

(pic shows back of egg)

Ladder stitch closed the opening.

Enjoy the cuteness!!

(I'll post the bacon tutorial tomorrow)

2015 Fluff Project Goal: MET!!

I just wanted to make this official (even though I know I showed these items off before).


I set out to make a minimum of 5 items each month and a week ago (or so) I mailed out two bags of items which marked the completion of my 2015 bare minimum goal.

I got back up mailing stuff out but those two pics show my quota (plus a few extras) for September, October, November, and December.

I feel like I cheated for December because I made the pickles and they were SUPER easy, so I'm working on a few more (more involved) items for December.  I have three gingerbread men in progress right now so I want to (at bare minimum) get them done by the end of the year.  Then I'm going to make a Fluff Project year in review post and give a grand total (I know it's over quota a bit but not a ton).

I'm also hoping to get a few of the Ric Rac guinea pig pattern guinea pigs done for Fluff for December, too.  I'm set to make a pair for my friend's girls but if the pattern proves too fussy, I'm not going to push to get some made for Fluff (for this year).  I'll save the pattern and make a few for Fluff next year.

I have so many patterns I want to get to making, I'll have plenty to keep me busy for 2016.  (lots of Dolls and Daydreams patterns. . .they just had a sale and I snagged three more patterns from that).

2015 Softies for Mirabel: FINISHED

I mailed them out this morning and had been showing them off as I went (on instagram @madameugly) so now I'm making one big fat post about them.


Yes, I'm totally bragging and I don't care.  I'm damn proud that I set myself to producing a nice amount of toys (didn't set a number but I wanted it to be at least double digits) and I met it.  I treated this like a job but not in the boring torture yourself sense of the word and just LOOK what I was able to do.  Totally showed me how much time I piss away sitting in front of the t.v. (and this did not impact my t.v. watching at all, I still sat on my fat ass and watched a ton of t.v. but not quite as much as I normally do).

Ok, we need detailed pics.

12 snails.

I've made this pattern before for the Fluff Project (and might have even shown these off here as an in-progress pic).  The pattern is a free one I found online and I just picked through my stash to find the cutest fabrics (most of which were scrap sized).  This pattern is SUPER easy even though it looks fussy (the eye horns look tricky but really aren't, though you do need to go super slow when you sew them. . .I even turn the sewing machine wheel by hand for them just so they turn out really nice).  My biggest tip for this pattern?  DO NOT cut out both pieces (for body and shell) and then try to sew them together.  Trace the pattern once and then sew on the line (into two layers of right sides facing fabric).  Then cut out the sewn fabric (with pinking shears).  It's really the only way to do those eye horns and get a nice curl on the shell.  Also, leave extra on the opening of the shell.  You can always fold it up inside and crease it with your fingernail so you get a nice edge to do your ladder stitch.

7 pickles.

Only six are pictured since I'm recycling a photo.  I made 13 of these total and split them between Fluff and Mirabel (with mirabel getting the "test" one that turned out perfect).  I used fleece for these, the fleece that has the little raised fuzzy bumps.  I got it from the remnant bin.  The pattern is a free one from Abby Glassenberg (I used three of her patterns for this box of softies).  The original pattern is calls for felt for the body and french knots for the bumps (and felt eyes).  I used really small safety eyes instead and they fit perfectly.  BUT, I advise you put them on after you sew the pickle.  That's kind of backwards for safety eyes, but you have to put them close to the seam and trying to sew the seam with the eye stems all poking up is annoying (I had that problem when I was making the shark pattern I made for Fluff. . and it's not that hard to put the eyes in after you sew the item but before you stuff).

5 bacon and 5 eggs.

Nothing new here.  I made these for Fluff and they aren't that hard to make at all (I'm working on a tutorial for it. . .have the pics ready just need to type it up).  I hesitate to even use the word "pattern" because it's THAT easy (and there really aren't any pre-made pattern pieces, you can make the pattern pieces yourself then make the toys. . .it's stupid simple in that "holy crap, how dumb is that!" way).

3 crabbies.  That's an Abby Glassenberg pattern (and a recycled pic from the ones I made for Fluff. . .I used up all of that fabric making crabs or I would have made more than three for Mirabel.. .that pattern is easy and turns out a GREAT finished item, I used cottons instead of fleece with zero issues)

2 jellyfish

I made one of these for a swap before and (again) they are stupid simple.  They look like an Abby Glassenberg pattern but they aren't.  There's really no true pattern for these, either.  Just trace something that's circular (top pieces is about an inch larger than the bottom) and assemble.  They only tricky part is dealing with the tentacles.  I totally ran one over while sewing the side seam and had to fix it.  Annoyed the crap out of me.  Big tip for these is to put the eyes in after you sew them and before you stuff.  You don't "sew then turn" these so the eyes would totally be in the way as you're trying to ease the two different sized circles together while sewing (oh, and use a ballpoint needle and zig zag stitch when working with fleece).

1 flying squirrel.

Yup, totally an Abby Glassenberg free pattern (made for Wild Olive).  This is a simple pattern but pay attention when doing the ears (to make sure you put them in the correct direction) and be careful when you get to where the feet are.  I basted the feet to the body fabric but still accidentally caught the side of the paws (two different ones) in the seam and had to pick it out and fix it.  Not a huge deal to fix but annoying (the feet are felt so totally forgiving when it comes to picking out stitches).  I used a rather slick minky/low pile faux fur for this which was annoying but made for a kick ass cute finished product (so it was worth it).  OH, watch the grain of your fabric with this, too.  You could totally eff up the tail if you didn't mind the grain (the tail shape curves a lot).  Thankfully with the faux fur there was a lay to the hair so I had to cut a certain way which matched the least amount of stretch on the fabric.  (that's another thing I dislike about faux fur. . .you have to mind the pile).

I mailed this bunch out priority mail so they should totally make their destination in time (they need to be there by Saturday so I'm confident they'll make it with a bit of time to spare).

HUGE thank you to Spoonflower for taking the donations.  There is no way I could have mailed 35 stuffed toys to Australia for $12-ish (don't remember the exact total, but my whole postage bill for that trip was $25 and I had this box and three big bag style envelopes, one of which went priority as well).

For some swaps

Just showing off a few things I made for swaps.

First up is a ninni for a swap on swapbot.

The swap was for a winter/christmas themed ninni.  Once I got this idea in my head I had to do it.  I tried to convince myself to do a gingerbread man ninni instead but I ultimately went back to my original idea.  Christmas Tree Ninni!

The body is cotton, ric rac smile, felt eyes, button star, pre-packaged miniature decorative light string (held on with a few stitches here and there), fleece tree skirt (just quickly made from trimmings from the bacon stuffies I made earlier in the weekend) with little packages sewn on (store bought packages, those ones you get to hang on mini trees).

SUPER easy to make and SUPER cute.

Next up is for a secret santa style swap over at the FJL forum (that's what the regretsy forum became when regretsy closed up shop).

Pusheen style kitty made from a felted cashmere sweater.  The same sweater I used to make the spoon for the dish and spoon stuffie set I made last year for a gift for my spouse's niece (I need a nickname for the lone golden sproglet niece, I'm leaning toward The Princess or Her Royal Majesty aka HRM since that's about how she is treated. . .not to be confused with The Bratling, the eldest of all the nieces/nephews, his nickname started as a diss but is now a term of endearment with me though his nickname is reserved for use only in my household, I don't call him it directly unless he's actively being a crazed brat, which happens often).

Pusheen kitty joins some socks (my swap partner wanted a bunch of different socks so that's what I got her but they weren't that exciting so I didn't take a pic), some candy (again, boring so I didn't take a pic), and THIS:

Cat toy sized versions of my bacon and egg plushies (sans eyes because I'm too lazy to put eyes on something a cat is just going to destroy).  I used scraps from my bacon and egg production.  I truly did just use random scraps (free hand trimmed the bacon but didn't make exact fat strips, just free handed those then scooted them around as I sewed them down).  The egg does have a stuffed yolk (with catnip in it) and catnip in the white.  Catnip all through the bacon, too.  I think they'll be well received by my swap partner's feline overlords.

AND. . .I got pics for the bacon and egg tutorial so I'll have that up (hopefully in a bit but at least by the end of the week. . .it's not fancy at all but it does explain how I make them).

Ok, I have more posts so let me just get to them.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Fabric.com is a RIP OFF

I just have to get this out of my system right now.

fabric.com is a huge stinking rip off.

Oh, they have sales and lowish prices and free shipping (all the time) if you spend $35 (which is so freaking easy, am I right?).

BUT. . .you have to buy full yards to get the best price.  And that's a NEW policy.

I got their fun black friday sale email so I went to go sniff around the sale stuff.  Thought I'd grab up some half yards of some fun stuff on my wish list.

But wait, when I select half yard it's not just half the price of the sale.  It wasn't even half of the REGULAR price.  "Ok," I thought, "it's because it's a sale.  Let's check a regular priced item and see what's what."  Same damn thing there.  Full (non sale) price was $9.48/yard.  For a half yard it was $7 (and change).  


THAT'S JUST NUTS.  Who on earth is going to agree to pay THAT much more for less.

Oh, fabric.com, I used to enjoy going on little spending splurges with you.  Yes, I learned to avoid buying panels from you because you have some poor cutting quality with panels (but good customer service trying to correct it but even the corrected panel was still cut into. . .*sigh*).

I guess I always knew I shouldn't be buying stuff there.  It's better to go to smaller stores and all that but I'm cheap and if I could score a deal I was all about it.  Those days are now over.

So, all those smaller shops out there, I'm ready to do some shopping.  Whatcha got in the way of sales/deals this holiday season?

(for the record, I was hoping to score some Highlands cat prints and I was willing to buy one of the shades in a full yard because I knew I could use it but I wanted other prints and I know I won't use a full yard of any of them.  Oh, well.  Their loss, some smaller shops gain!)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Sewing for Charity: Softies for Mirabel and Fluff Project (updates!)

I've kicked it into high gear to make sure I have something to send to Spoonflower for their Softies for Mirabel drive.

Here's what I have so far:

Sweet and sour pickles!

It's a free pattern courtesy of While She Naps' Abby Glassenberg.  HERE.

The original pattern was for felt with french knot bumps and felt eyes.  I mixed it up a bit with textured fleece/minky (got it in the remnant bin and it made 13 total pickles and there is a bit still left over--my first test pickle is not shown here but it turned out great so it's part of the donation pile)

I also subbed out small safety eyes and then did embroidered mouths.

Half dozen for Softies for Mirabel and half dozen for Fluff Project.  The extra will go to Mirabel (yes, I was tempted to keep it but these are so easy to make I could make more for me any time I want so no need to keep the tester since it turned out perfect).

More pics because I can (the color is a minty green despite what these pics show--I still have horrible lighting in my kitchen and I'm too lazy to make a light box and all that shit).

Holding it in my hand to show the size.  It's small but even with the small size was not hard to sew at all.  The pattern is three pieces (to get the good shape) which had me worried it would be a pain to sew (more dimensional stuff can be a pain in the ass and when I want to assembly sew for charity sometimes I prefer patterns of least resistance).  I was also concerned the eyes wouldn't fit but they did.

TIP:  Put the eyes on after you sew the pickle but before you stuff.  That's not normally how you put on safety eyes but since this sucker is small, the stems of the eyes would get in the way.  And you won't have to fight with them getting too close to the edge.  That's a super pain in the ass when you're making something and the safety eyes are already on and when you're trying to do the seam the eye is all in the way.  No, just no.  Put the mouth on after you stuff but before you close (so you can best hide the knots).

Pickles aren't the only thing I'm up to.

(I'd like to note that since I made 6 pickles for Fluff Project, technically I've met my five stuffed toys for December goal AND met my yearly goal, too. . .but I still want to make some other stuff for Fluff if possible and I've already started on something else for Fluff).

I've also been cranking out stuff JUST for Softies for Mirabel.

I got all that done this weekend.  The crabs (also an Abby Glassenberg free pattern. . .I think I forgot to link it before so HERE it is--I make mine with quilting cotton not fleece but that's my only change--I just don't like fleece for small fussy pieces since it stretches a lot and annoys me).

The snail is one I've done for Fluff Project before, so the TWELVE here are all for Mirabel.  I'm going to googly eye them all since I love that look.  Now I just need to close the crabs (then they are DONE) and finish up the snails (close the bodies, put on eyes and mouth, and attach shell to body).

"Mom, hurry up and leave the room, I want to nose around in that scrap bin and see what I can find to eat!"

Yes, Murray likes to dine at the scrap bin buffet.  Butt.  I have to dump it every time I sew (or make sure there isn't anything desirable like long pieces of thread or crinkly plastic or paper or cardboard. . .you get the idea. . .in there).  I can only leave a few fabric pieces (not bits, they have to be larger pieces, I like to save them to test my machine when I have to change thread) in there since that's the only thing he seems to not care about, though he'll still get up on the table and rummage about.  I think he's part raccoon.  OH and I have to cover everything too, especially if there are little bits cut out.  If they don't actively cart them off, they'll push them off the table and play with them (meaning they get lost) or just generally get into shit.  Cats, gotta love them.  (or just not have them because you're never going to win with them.  Never.)