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Wool Felt

King Scrappy

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We all know that scrap-busting is good for your health, and man, am I way overdue for some scrap therapy. Plus, my scrap-bins are overflowing to the point of embarrassment. Quilts might be a way more effective use of scraps, but I’ve been craving a little toy-making so I decided to make this scrappy fellow.
Before I go any further, I want to credit Missenota whose gorgeous rainbow lion popped up in my IG feed awhile back. So, if you don’t already follow her, you should! She is wonderfully talented and she has an adorable little assistant 🙂 Thank you for the inspiration, Missenota!


You know how sometimes you try something to just to see if it’s possible? Well, I have to admit that this project got a little out of control on that front. It easily took 50 hours to bring this critter to life, and I had to resort to some less than savory techniques (fray check, oh noes!) but in the end? Totally worth it, I am smitten!


The pattern is by Jodie of Vintage Ric-Rac fame, but I complicated the pattern by using quilters cotton (in addition to the recommended layers of felt) for the mane. I used a rotary cutter and an uncanny amount of sealant to prevent fraying, and to my surprise it worked like a charm! Even so, he isn’t exactly rugged. Which is just fine by me because I need a sewing room mascot. He is going to keep an eye on things in the sewing room from a safe and cozy vantage point. All hail King Scrappy!


This guy is full of memories. The gray coating wool is left over from a renaissance costume. The white + black felts and quilters cotton (Heather Ross *and* Tulapink treasures, gasp!) are from the scrap bin, too. I found the vintage mother of pearl buttons (swoon!) and some little accent buttons in my button collection (have I mentioned that my VSM addiction has had the unintentional consequence of creating a vintage button collection?). I will admit to splurging and purchasing deep teal wool for his coat. It’s perfect and I make no apologies. Everything was sewn on my featherweight and I enjoyed every single stitch.

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday. I can’t wait to see what you are all making and how you’re using your scraps this week!

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

 

Custom Plaid Hippo

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plaid hippo, by StitchifiedOne of the scariest things about opening an Etsy store is being asked to do custom orders. It is challenging to interpret someone else’s creative vision. And then there’s the whole timing thing — my creations are time intensive, and I’m terrified of getting in over my head. If there is such a thing as high-risk softie-making, custom orders are it for me. Which brings me to the story of a certain plaid hippo.

This little guy has left his mark on me. The little girl’s mom selected a beautiful large scale flannel plaid for a custom hippo. Mammoth flannel is wonderfully thick and heavy, and once it arrived I knew this was going to make an amazing softie… BUT OMG THE PLAID. The plaid freaked me out, guys. It’s beautiful, but it’s busy. So busy! I balanced it out by using creamy white accents, but then there was the issue of pattern matching.

I considered (and even got the mom’s generous okay!) not to match the plaid. I mean, the pattern is large scale, and the repeats are far apart… and we’re talking about matching plaid from the nose to tail. Curved seams! Perfect mirror images! It seemed like an impossible challenge. But the longer I stared at it, the more hesitant I became. It sat on my WIP bench for a week and my indecision tormented me. I turned a lot ideas over in my head, and decided to give pattern matching a shot.

I didn’t think my plan was going to work, so I didn’t take photos to demonstrate my technique. Figures, right? But in the end, I was more or less able to match the plaid across all the seams — and I’m so in love with him. He was totally worth the extra effort, and I think the challenge pushed me to do some of my best work to date. I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking…

plaid hippo, by Stitchified

Those eyes! The little secondary design along his back!

Custom plaid hippo, by StitchifiedAnd if only you could hold him! The combination of mammoth flannel and wool stuffing is the very definition of comfort object. He is waiting to be presented on his little girl’s birthday, but I know that they are going to be the very best of friends!
plaid hippo, by StitchifiedMoral of today’s story: High risk, high reward!  … and an obligatory butt shot! 🙂

Happy sewing!

Linking up with CrazyMomQuilts and TGIFF over at http://www.arabesque-scissors.com/.

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Most nights I sit down at my sewing machine and accomplish something. It might be a quilt block, a stuffed animal’s face, a bit of embroidery — some small bit of satisfaction that carries me through to my next stitch-fix. But the past few days? Not so much. I have been wrestling with a new prototype, and I have nothing to show for it. Well, ok, *almost* nothing.

Penguin Prototype, by Stitchified

I have clipped, resewn, redrafted and seam-ripped my way to a more acceptable version of this little guy, but I’m not there yet. And while throwing in the towel is a very appealing option, my husband is encouraging me to push a little bit harder to do right by Mr. Penguin.

And so here I am, futzing around with freezer paper templates. Over and over again until I get it right. This time in bright orange and chocolate brown — Am I the only one who prototypes in increasingly gaudy colors?

WIPMaybe I’ll spend tomorrow distracting myself with a new project. I’ve totally jumped on the La Passacaglia band wagon and have been loving every second of slow stitching. I’m planning to do a small mini for my sewing room. I have to be *the* slowest EPPer ever though, so even the mini might take me years. It blows my mind how folks manage the full quilt!

A photo posted by Jen (@stitchified) on

A photo posted by Jen (@stitchified) on

Linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday!

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SewTogetherBagI am very lucky to have a support network that contains a few female powerhouses. And this year has made me particularly grateful for each and every one of them. 

Which is why I was extra happy to stealth-make a #SewTogetherBag for my dear friend, and kindred spirit, MamaPeaches. And mail it off as a surprise just because. Bwhaha. Yep, I’m sneaky like that. 

This bag came together easily, even if it did take me a month to actually finish. It is definitely easier the second time around!. I used both my Featherweight (master top-stitcher!) and my Horizon (hooray for layer-devouring Accufeed!) which is becoming a favorite setup for bag-making projects. The exterior is an Echino print, and the interior is Essex Linen in sand. The zippers are, of course, from Zipit including an exterior brass zipper which is completely drool worthy. 

Quality testing sewtogetherbag

All zippers underwent rigorous quality control testing, and passed with high marks for “swishyness.”

And while I tried to tone down my usual rainbowgasm palette, I just *had* to hide a few splashes of color in the pocket linings. For added luxury, the needle pad is a double layer of turquoise wool felt, and the mini pin cushion is wool-stuffed. I hope she likes it! 

SewTogether InsideAnd now, in closing, a little PSA: Every quilter needs at least one of these bags. Pattern here. They are a must have for EPP and sewing retreats. Seriously. Friends don’t let quilty friends go without. Besides, secret sewing is pretty much the best! 🙂

Linking up with Finish it Up Friday at CrazyMom!

Deck the Halls!

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Sorry that it has been a little quiet around here. I hit a snag, fell behind, and am desperately trying to catch up on my holiday sewing before next week. Word of advice? Don’t forget your pinky in a closing door. Sprained (broken?) fingers don’t make for happy sewing.

Stubborn as I am, I used the “downtime” to make this little felt ornament. Did you know that you can totally hand-sew without using your pinky finger? True fact.

Hand-sewn felt ornament, by stitchified

I really need to make a tiny present for her to hold, but I don’t think that’s going to happen right now. Especially now that she is happily hanging out on the tree. But if you’re interested in making one for yourself (with or without a present!), you will find the pattern here at Gingermelon. The accessories she includes are amazingly adorable. My only trouble was deciding how to accessorize my mouse! Oh, one pro-tip… the Santa hat doesn’t work well with ornament-style mice. Not even if said Santa hat is adorably reddish-pink/strawberry in color with a white pom-pom.  Ask me how I know 😉

I also got the stockings that I made last year out of storage. It was fun them to see them again and compare them to more recent projects. However, my little one is newly displeased with her stocking and asked me to “take it apart and make it with a fuzzy top like Daddy’s.” Charming. I’m filing that request under “not happening” and “time to learn about disappointment, kiddo.” 🙂
Modern quilted stockings, by Stitchified
Quilted Stockings
On the plus side, I’m mostly healed up and going to spend every spare moment chained to my sewing machine. All my upcoming finishes will be Christmas presents that I need to keep secret awhile longer so no more updates until after Christmas. More updates next week, promise!
Linking up with Crazymom!

 

Fenwick the Fox

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My sewing machine has been in the shop for a little over a week, and I’m desperate for a sewing fix. At first I tried being proactive. You know, getting ahead on my cutting and cleaning up my fabric stash. Well, I cut all the remaining pieces for my Summer Solstice Quilt, and then I cut out enough tumblers for a totally unrelated quilt. I even put in some time on my hexagon project, but I wasn’t feeling it.

At some point in my sewing-deprived haze, I stumbled upon Gingermelon — an amazing etsy shop full of hand-sewn dolls and animals. About thirty seconds later I purchased the Fenwick the Fox pattern and had it printing. Desperate times call for desperate measures, friends.

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I won’t lie. Sewing a toy by hand took awhile, but it was the best kind of sewing — full of intention and anxious anticipation to see it all come together. I used 100% wool felt in various colors, and hunted high and low for the perfect matching embroidery thread. His eyes are 7.5mm safety eyes, secured with an extra scrap of wool on the back. I used a black and gold applique needle which I think made all the difference in my stitching. There’s just no way I could have gotten in all the nooks and crannies with a standard craft needle.

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Honestly, I had my doubts when he was sitting in a pile of pieces. There’s something really unsettling about a pile of appendages, heh. But, I am thrilled with (and pretty relieved by) how he came out.  My favorite part? His threaded joints! This was my first time using joints, and they are so much fun! The moving parts definitely introduce a whole new level of play, which is sort of a problem since he’s a little fragile. I see many more jointed toys in my future, though probably plastic or button joints for the stability. I do have a toddler, after all.

The pattern itself is top-notch. There are so many thoughtful details (the pocket on the vest!) that really make the design. On a more practical level, it is a dream to sew up and comes together easily. The pieces fit together perfectly, and the instructions/illustrations are also exceptionally clear. In fact, there was *no seam ripping* involved on this guy. Definitely a personal first.

Oh, and lastly, did I mention that he has a cute butt? Because… check it.

Fenwick 034

No doubt, this project is exactly what the doctor ordered. Except now I have to figure out how to spend the next 5 days while I wait for my machine to come back. Ugh. Soon!

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday!

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I am taking a forced break from my sewing machine. I pushed it a little too far while I was working on a wool costume cloak, and now Big Red is in the shop for a week or two. Note to future self: sewing a decorative stitch through 8 layers of coating wool + 4 layers of velvet is an unkind thing to do. Poor Big Red!

Handmade Wool Cloak

McCall'sEven if the cloak did break my machine, I still really like it. The cloak is based off of McCall’s Pattern # 4139, but I chose to make a few modifications — the hood is lined, and it closes with a clasp instead of ties (which made me revise the hood shape a little).  The cloak itself is made from heavy coating wool, and lined with dark purple velvet. No more trick or treating in the cold — this thing is warm and cozy!

I finished the edges with a rolled over hem, and added a row of decorative stitches in purple. I also added top stitching throughout the cloak for strength, and finished all the seams. Neither were called for by the pattern, but the fabrics were so nice that I wanted to go all out.

So… it’s likely that this will be the last finish for a little while. Big Red should be back in 1-2 weeks, and I hope to have the rest of my Summer Solstice Quilt cut and ready to piece then!

 

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I’ve had a best friend since I was 14 months old — my (almost) twin sister. Like me, she’s more than a little nuts. Except, unlike me, she applies her talents to help those in need; spending her days as an NP in palliative care (you can google it, I’ll wait). Yeah. So, as you can imagine, my sister has the occasional bad week. Which is amazing to me because if I had to manage the care plan for seriously sick and usually terminally ill patients, every week would be a bad one… and let’s just say that would equate to a LOT of beer.

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So, to break her understandable funk, I devised a crafty plan to make my very sensible sister a doll. A pink one. No, wait. A pink *fluffy* one! Oh, even better? One that incorporated this lustrous pepto-bismol- pink and puke-green faux fur I have had in my possession. Chalk it up to colors she is quite familiar with in her chosen profession? 😉 

Everything was going according to my plan. I found the perfect pattern — Confeti Yeti, by NimblePhish patterns. I cut my pieces. I even had him almost entirely sewn together (yes, he is he. He told me so). I named him Bizmo, after his PeptoBismol coloring. And, then, the toddler who *never* cares for my handmade toys stole him off the ironing board. Here he is pictured just moments before the kidnapping occurred. Poor guy never saw it coming.

Pre-kidnapped Bizmo

I thought if I played it cool that Bizmo would find his way to the post office the next day. But I was SO wrong. Instead he has gone every where with us for the past week, including the fabric store — where I was shamed into admitting that I had created him. Purposefully.

So Bizmo, now named “Mommy Doll,” will be staying with us “always and forever.” Which means that my gag gift totally backfired on me. Or did it?

Bizmo 013

Bizmo 021

I pulled out my camera one morning before school, and snapped up a few photos of the happiest toddler in the world. I quickly sent the photos to my sister and told her the tale of her Bizmo doll — bad week blues were cured within seconds 🙂

 

Linking up!


And Finish it Up Friday with CrazyMomQuilts!

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This week I found myself in need of a lightning quick baby present; one that didn’t require time, planning or online fabric purchases. These baby booties were the perfect solution! And minus a quick trip out for the wool felt, I had everything on hand.
I have to confess that I’m in love with the end product. These booties are so ridiculously adorable that they are almost magical.  Honestly, I dare anyone to hold these pint sized shoes and not hear their biological clock ticking. I don’t even like babies that much (mine excluded… well, most days) and I found myself being tempted!
The design was inspired by the timely arrival of cotton sherpa from Worthy Goods Textile on Etsy. I had ordered the sherpa with a softie in mind, but once it arrived I literally *had* to make something with it right away. The timing couldn’t have been better because the sherpa is perfection here. It has an amazing pile, and it.is.stupidly.soft. As a testament to its softness, after I gave the shoes to the daddy-to-be, he kept these on his desk *all* day just so he could play with them.
Now for the specifics, because you will want to make a pair of booties for your next baby shower…The pattern is from Little Mela Design on Etsy. You can find the “Baby Slipper” pattern here. Bonus points because it includes six different sizes (for reference, I made the “0-3 month” size). The instructions are exceptionally clear, with lots and lots of pictures. (As an aside, the sherpa lining made things a little bulky, but the booties still came together quickly and easily). The  ‘Sly Foxes’ are from Birch’s Camp Sur line, which I adore and definitely need to order more of ASAP. The soles are wool felt from my LQS, Quilter’s Way, in “Pumpkin” and “Copper”. They are machine appliqued with contrasting thread. And lastly, the grey heels came from a random scrap, so I’m afraid I don’t have any specifics there.
I’m happy to say that these were amazingly well received by the future father. Overall, not bad for a few hours and a couple dollars worth of fabric. 🙂