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Corduroy

A Round of Fabulous Custom Orders

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Do my customers have good taste, or what? These were so fun to bring to life. I’m so grateful for your support, thank you!

Custom Unicorn, by Stitchified Custom cloth doll, by Stitchified Custom elephant, by Stitchfied

 

Introducing Nexus Moon

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I’m still on a blogging-hiatus, but I just couldn’t resist playing along with the other makers in the 6 Weeks of Softies contest. If you haven’t checked it out, you should! There is such an amazing showcase of talent going on over there. Thank you to the organizers and sponsors for putting together a great lineup!

My entry was made with a very special girl or boy in mind, but more on that later. Meet Nexus Moon — She is a one of kind unicorn who loves dance parties, reading books under the covers, and cuddle time.

Nexus Moon, by Stitchified

She was made in a silky royal purple corduroy accented by a plush white velour blaze and under-body. Her hooves are made from soft genuine leather and slightly weighted. Her horn was painstakingly crafted from sparkly fabric (seriously, you should see the pile of reject horns that failed to turn correctly). Her mane is an all natural bulky weight wool yarn in variegated purple. Her seams are triple sewn so that she is truly adventure-ready. And, like all my toys, Nexus Moon is stuffed with 100% clean carded wool and filled with “hugs” from the preschooler in residence.

Nexus Moon, by Stitchified

Nexus Moon was adapted from Jill Hamor’s “Vintage Horse” pattern.  In addition to the sparkly unicorn horn, I’ve also modified her hooves, muzzle, legs and mane.

Nexus Moon, by Stitchified

I’ve also included a few details and embellishments for maximum play-ability. She is sporting a removable bridle made from sparkly silver ribbon and iridescent purple flowers. She can be dressed up or down thanks to her fully reversible saddle…  One side features crystal gemstones in a sea of “morning glory” peppered cotton. Un-snap the saddle to turn it over, and presto, her saddle becomes a coordinating floral print from Rashida Coleman’s Koi Collection.

6WeeksOfSofties 017

Regular readers know that I adore sharing my softies with children, but Nexus Moon has an extra special job ahead of her:  She is being boxed up and donated to a soft toy drive to benefit children in foster care, sponsored by Sew Mama Sew. I couldn’t be more thrilled to share her with a child who needs a little more magic in his/her life. I know Nexus Moon has fabulous adventures ahead of her; and I can’t wait for her to meet her new best friend!

Nexus Moon, by Stitchified

 

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You may be familiar with the now classic “sleeping baby dragon pattern” by Naomi @ NimblePhish. You can find sewists selling dragons made from the pattern in the $100 range all over the place on Etsy and Facebook. I love the pattern, and hope to make it one day for an adult recipient since the appendages are all sewn by hand (using a ladder stitch or button joints). The resulting dragons are gorgeous, but I would fear for their safety if they ever met up with my two year old.

So, you can imagine my excitement when I heard that NimblePhish was introducing a new toddler-friendly dragon, “Doughnut.” Unlike his older brother, Doughnut is entirely machine sewn in a single structure (except the wings). I picked up the pattern in a heart beat, and pulled out some dark purple cotton velour that I had been holding on to. About twenty-seconds in to pattern cutting I realized that cotton velour is a delicate beast, so I applied fusible fleece to each piece (for the record, that step takes forever!). Then I added a few splashes of corduroy in lime green and orange for contrasting details. Finally, I ended up with a beautiful pile of pieces.
And then came a sewing extravaganza, which actually took place a few weeks ago before our home renovation projects. The sewing went smoothly once I got his feet sewn on in the right direction, but I would certainly consider this little guy an intermediate level pattern. There are some tricky seams, and generally very little detail or explanation. But, that said, anyone with modest sewing experience (or a lot of drive!) could make their way through this one.
Even though I finished his “skin” awhile ago I wasn’t able to stuff him until now, thanks to the arrival of new eyes from 6060 and a new batch of wool stuffing. Unfortunately, while I was stuffing him I realized that something was funky. As you can see, he is a little slimmer and a little taller than the pattern picture. My best guess is that I misinterpreted the cross-grain/length-wise symbols on the pattern pieces, and ended up putting the stretch in the wrong direction. Easy enough to do since I was also compensating for the nap direction. But still, argh. Add in the fact that he is/was intended to be a special birthday present for an amazing friend’s son next week? Double argh.
I debated sending him to the Island of Misfit Toys, but thought better of it (for now!). I’ve been assured that he is presentable, just different than planned. 
 
Even so, I decided to add a little more personality and charm where and if I could (read: I lay awake for hours trying to figure out ways to redeem him) So, I fashioned a snap-on diaper for him, and made a cut-out for his tail. I also added sleepy eye-lids, which are a feature in NimbleBit’s other patterns. And lastly, I added a little bling to his under-wings in the form of dark purple silk. I had to hand-baste the wings before machine sewing, top-stitching was a @%&$@$ challenge, and the silk didn’t photograph well, *but* it feels lovely. I think little hands will love it. But for my sanity’s sake, I’m never ever sandwiching (real) silk and cotton velour together again. I promise you that much.
But for now, he is done, though I might decide to pin his ears down. I am probably going to vacillate between exiling him to the Island of Misfit Toys and giving him as a gift about a dozen times between now and next week.  It stinks when you work on something and it doesn’t come out how you expected. Especially when it’s a gift for someone special. I’m hoping that he’ll grow on me if I just step-away. Step away! 🙂

A Wombat for Grammy

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It’s been a very rainy week, and I didn’t dare bring this guy outside for pictures. So I setup an  impromptu quilt-backdrop, and squeezed in a photo shoot just before we headed out for Grammy’s 50th Birthday Bash.

Like Poppet, this guy is made out of contrasting corduroy fabrics – a paisley print and a solid leaf green, both from Kaufmann’s 21 wale corduroy collection. His nose and claws are black wool felt, and he is also stuffed with wool for the best squish.

Oh, and he originally started out with three eyelashes on each eye. I’d blame the toddler, but it was actually me who got overly zealous when stuffing. Whoops!

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My step-mother is turning FIFTY this weekend. We’ll be celebrating in style with an all day party, but I wasn’t sure what to do gift-wise. So I asked. And you know what her birthday request was? A wombat to call her very own. Yep, she’s cool.

So, I’m stuffing (and stuffing… and stuffing) this evening. Her head is taking shape nicely.  BabyBee is, of course, helping me. Every teeny-tiny bit of stuffing in the wombat has been subjected to a full on hug-assault. Let it also be known that Baby Bee has strict quality control standards. Wool stuffing might be prone to minor imperfections, but she’s made sure to remove any “suspicious” tufts (read, “too curly” or “too yellow”). Only the best for Grammy.

And in between all her helper-duties, BabyBee is hosting a lovely tea party for her friends.

Life is definitely good. Very good.

Poppet the wooly wombat

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I adore wombats. It’s a fondness that started with the book Sometimes I Like to Curl up in a Ball — a wonderfully sweet story, made even better by the fact that it was our very first baby book. I received it early in my pregnancy, but definitely a pivotal moment for me. Needless to say, it’s been a very special book for BabyBee and I since the day she was born.

At any rate, when I saw the “Wodger Wombat” pattern at Funky Friends Factory it was just a matter of time before he was mine. I even cut into my Chiocopee Corduroy for this one. To say I was intensely picky about how this one came out would be an understatement. Since being “finished” she has endured more than a little plastic surgery, but more on that in a second. Even so, I am finally satisfied with her, and have named her “Poppet.”

The wombat pattern has quite a few pieces (at least compared to the Hippo), and comes together in a really cool way. And the corduroy was also a pleasure to sew with. In fact, everything seemed to be coming together perfectly until I stuffed her. Something about her eyes just wasn’t quite right. They almost look uneven, except that they aren’t (I took out a ruler and everything!). And her nose was crooked. See for yourself…

Pre-face lift photos, not pretty!

So, I took out all the stuffing, and gave her a bit of an eye lift. To do that, I looped a strand of embroidery thread through the backings on the safety eyes, and tightened. I also restitched her nose, lining it up along the curve of her muzzle (as opposed to centering it over the seams). Those two changes made a pretty big difference. When I restuffed her I was very happy to come out with this:

As you can see, pulling in her eyes contoured her nose nicely, and puffed out her cheeks. I think she has a much sweeter expression as a result.

If I ever make a second wombat, I’ll be a little more generous with the darts. The instructions suggest 1/8inch seam lines for the darts, but I’m programmed to use scant seam allowances from my quilting.  Next time I would be sure to use a generous 1/8 inch allowance on the darts, and definitely not a scant 1/8 inch. Whoops.

The other huge lesson learned? Wool stuffing. I’m a complete convert. It is squishy, but retains it’s shape well  too. And my hands enjoyed a really nice moisturizing session (well sessions) thanks to the residual lanolin in the wool. Now I just need to find a way to get a huge five or ten pound box delivered!

I think this will be my last stuffed animal for a little while, I’m ready to dive back into some quilting. Straight lines, here I come! 🙂