Category Softie

winter ‘sewcial’ sewing retreat

This past weekend I had the pleasure of getting away for a sewing retreat and oh man, it felt good – I actually got to start and finish things in the same day! (Read about past retreats here, here and here) That just never seems to happen anymore. I also got to spend some time with some lovely ladies, eat some delicious food, and paint my toenails. It’s the little things.

The first project I completed was for Jude’s yearly felt ornament. Last year was bacon (2010, 2009). This year, a pirate pickle. Apparently I like food ornaments. Don’t judge my execution of the colonial knot. Still learning here!

Christmas Pirate Pickle

Here is his backside, complete with 2012, with his friend bacon. Pickles and bacon. . . nope, still not pregnant.

Pirate Pickle 2012

Then I whipped up another Shell Stitch Beanie (with a pink flower) because after the winner of my giveaway received her first first shell stitch beanie for the little girl she is expecting, she asked if I would sell her one for her older daughter so they could match. I’m a bit of a sucker for matching siblings so I consented. It’s a great easy pattern with beautiful results, don’t you think?

Toddler Shell Stitch Hat

Following our ‘something you want (new pedal bike from craigslist!!), something you need (bedroom side table with lego/train top), something to wear (undies and socks), something to read (complete collection of curious George)’ Christmas gifts, I decided to add to the undies and socks that Jude was receiving from us this year. He’s been so into painting and cooking with me and his clothes always end up a mess. I decided to make him an apron that he could put on himself. At the nearby quilting store I found Michael Miller’s multi-color patchwork in plaid laminate. Finally, I did a little searching around and found an apron I liked, drew up a sketch and sewed it up! Sometimes sewing without a pattern is incredibly liberating. Not bad, eh?

Little Boy Art/Cooking Apron

I also found some fabrics to make some new pillows for our living room. I really wanted an eclectic mix of geometric fabrics and I think I got it! Anna Maria Horner Field Study in Coordinates Saffron, echo by Lotta Jansdotter in choma goldenrod, a grey chevron I already had, and a fabric I forgot to  write down the name of before I cut off the selvage. Oops!

New Pillows

Here they are in their new homes! I love those orange pom poms.

New Pillows!

I actually have plans for a different pillow for this chair in the long term, but for now . . .

New Pillows!

and finally… I got to make cording for the first time to line the exterior of this pillow. I’m so happy with the results!

New Pillows

There are a few other projects I was working on that are in process, so you will get to see them later! Great weekend ladies, can’t wait to do it again!


Softie Alphabet

Here is a project I have been eyeballing for quite some time now. Alphabet softie letters. I was a little obsessed with them for awhile but thought that Jude would just eat them. I think we’re finally past that stage, so that, in conjunction with Christmas and a friend’s son’s birthday finally enticed me to take action and make these little softie letters. So I made two sets of the alphabet:

Fabric Alphabet

I had a little fun with the letters:

Fabric Alphabet

I also had a lot of fun picking out the little scraps to make the letters from. I tried to create a rainbow of colors but I lack some of the colors needs. Somehow I have a multitude of blues and greens and not very much purple and pink. I still like the way it turned out.

Fabric Alphabet

One set scrambled:

Softie Alphabet Scramble

I also made two little drawstring bag to store the little letters in.

Fabric Alphabet Drawstring Bag

A fun, albeit time consuming, little project to use up some of those scraps! I think Jude will really like this little stocking stuffer!

Felt Mr. Potato Head

I saw this post on a felt Mr. Potato Head and knew that I just had to make it. I really haven’t had a whole lot of experience with felt softies, especially sewing them by machine, so I was excited about making this a learning experience! I hand sketched out all of the pieces on paper before cutting them out of the felt so there’s no pattern for this but the shapes are pretty easy to draw.

I think he turned out pretty stinking cute. Or should I say ‘she’?

I took the advice to make the back pocket pleated and thought that it worked out pretty well.

Pretty fun little project and I definitely learned a lot about working with felt. I choose not to glue any of the pieces on (like the stripes on the hats or the eye color) since I was giving this to a one year old and I didn’t want anything to be easy to pull off! Everything was sewn on. No choking hazards please!

I think if I were to make this again I would sew the potato form right sides together and flip it so that the seams were on the inside. I think that may help remove the dimple that formed at the bottom – hand sewing it shut with an invisible stitch would probably take care of that. That’s the only part that looks a little more messy to me than I would like. I actually like the seams on all of the face pieces. A pretty great idea over all and possibly the beginning of a felt addiction for me. It’s so nice not to have to worry about fraying!

A bit of sewing. . .

Ah yes, the quilt. The top of it is all sewn together and I’m pretty happy with the way it’s turning out – although you can tell from the picture that it needs some love from the iron. To finish off the quilt, there’s a particular sewing machine foot that you need to do the stippling. It’s called a free motion foot. And I bought one on discount on etsy . . . and then my cat decided the foot was his new favorite toy and I can’t find it anymore. Ugh. The cat seems to love losing things for me. It could be under the piano, refrigerator, any of the rugs, the stove. . . who knows. I hope it turns up soon or I’m going to have to resort to begging my sewing friends to let me borrow theirs (if they have one). . .

I finally finished up the bibs this weekend too. They are such a quick sew, I don’t know what was taking me so long (oh wait, I remember, I was busy)! They’re from a free pattern found here. There are a bazillion free bib patterns out there and I think I want to try this one out next. . . You can’t have too many bibs, right?

And keeping up with my baby items that are really more useless than useful, I made another softie (with two more in the works that I can’t wait to share!). It’s another free pattern from Wee Wonderfuls. If you make this pattern, make sure you stuff the legs fuller than I did. I thought I had it full enough but the head is a bit top heavy and now my kitty looks like he’s going to pounce instead of standing up straight! I am still debating on adding a nose, mouth, whiskers, etc. . . I really kinda like him the way he is!

I’m also working on making a pattern for the ever popular Boppy. It seems silly for anyone to pay what they’re asking for it when I could easily whip one up on my own. Really, it’s just a u-shaped pillow with a slipcover. If my first attempt goes well, I’ll post the pattern and the picture! I’m sure someone out there could use a free pattern that mimics the Boppy, right?

Yellow Softie Monster

I was bored last night while Jason was out watching the super bowl, and although I was still feeling woozy on the couch, I decided to take the excess time to begin on the softies collection I have envisioned for Jude. (I know, I’m making him toys before anything practical? Right. I am.) I saw this photo awhile back and knew I had to try to replicate that little monster. He needs a name. Anyone have any suggestions?

As you can see, Malachi claimed him as his new friend. Oh the rude awakening for that poor cat in a couple of months! Anyways, once ‘yellow monster’ has a name, I’ll post a line drawing pdf of him so that you guys can replicate him too (is anyone interested?). He could take on all sorts of variations. I think he’d be a lot of fun with some big felt eyes and maybe a necktie. I just sewed on some buttons and stitched him up a little mouth. Nice and simple. I like him because he’s reminiscent of a bat, and if you know anything about Austin, we love our bats down here.

Now, on to some sock monkeys, various food item softies, and maybe a few other monsters. :) (Have I mentioned I have a soft spot in my heart for weird softies?) Maybe someday I will work on something that is a little more of a necessity!

Zou Elefante and Meet the Finches

So on our drive from Austin to Dallas for T-Day, I started working on some Christmas presents that didn’t require the sewing machine.

One thing you should know. I am in love with softies. Especially softies that are intentionally a little cartoon creepy (like carrots, monsters or cupcakes), but that’s not what this one is. This one is pure cuteness. It was also my first softie to make with felt (if you don’t count the birdies I made for Malachi). I learned how to blanket stitch and whip stitch on felt in the process of this softie. The Shishi Girl offers up this free 2D softie pattern on her blog. I decided not to use buttons for the eyes since this stuffie is going to a baby that could chew and choke on the button if it came loose. Maybe eventually I will try to make a 3D softie!

The other fun thing that happened is that we took Malachi with us to Dallas. He loved the car ride and had a good time getting acquainted with my parent’s house. The most amusing part of it? Introducing him to the fish and the birds. He now has an unhealthy obsession with these tiny finches. :)

Sewing, sewing, sewing.

So a couple nights ago, I made some toys for my cat. I know, he sounds spoiled (and he is sometimes) but I only have ONE toy that is truly a cat toy (not a foil ball) in my whole house. So I made these. I sprinkled in some cat nip as I was stuffing them for some added interest. It is hilarious to watch him play with these. He hoards them all, then throws them and chases them. Last night he just sat there holding one (of the four birds) and licking it’s head. Too hilarious. You can see in the pictures below that the birds are already well loved.

And then my other big accomplishment for the night was finishing up this purse (the Sew Everything Workshop Hobo Bag) for my coworker Amanda! I really like the way it turned out. The big graphic flower was perfect in the corner of the bag!