Monday, November 30, 2015

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).

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