Browsing Tag

Softie

0 In Sewing

How Potty Humor and Spoonflower Took Over My Winter

The contest guru at Spoonflower doesn’t know this yet, but she/he created a softie maniac. It started with their “Mythological Creature” plushie contest. The challenge was to design a cut and sew pattern for a plush toy based on a mythological creature (as the title suggests).

Inspired by my young children who think it’s hilarious to debate if unicorns fart rainbows – I thought wouldn’t it be fun (for my children) if my unicorn had a secret pocket near it’s bottom that would hold a little rainbow. I fantasized about winning and getting to say “It took me four years and a farting unicorn to win a Spoonflower contest.” (yes, I’ve been entering the weekly Spoonflower contest regularly for the past 4 years and never broke into the top 10) Knowing me, I came up with this idea at around 2am. When I’m exhausted, every idea is awesome. It was going to be fantastic. My kids would think it was funny and I’d be cool for about 5 minutes, for sure. That’s a guaranteed win, right?

Well, to make a very long story less long, here is what happened:

I did it! I created a cut and sew pattern for a unicorn with a rainbow fart tucked into a little pocket. Here was my very amateur first attempt at a cut-and-sew softie pattern:

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However, since I’m on a budget, I did not purchase a yard of the printed design to test, instead I recreated the design using what I had on hand – at first it was a horribly awful Crayola Marker drawing on muslin.

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Then I used the muslin to create another with some white “Soft N’ Fluffy” fabric, felt, black stretch knit, turquoise feather trim, and some plastic eyeballs. How Potty Humor and Spoonflower Took Over My Winter_html_2cd6f150

The result? Huge hit. My kids loved it. My youngest Adam enjoyed carrying it around and would ask family members “Are you having a bad day?? Well, farting unicorn is here to save the day! Pull her finger!” Then my little boy would take the rainbow out of the unicorn’s pocket and hand it to the person in need of cheering up. His intentions were so sweet and the unicorns “magic” worked! Everybody he asked to pull the unicorns “finger” had a good laugh.

What I learned was through this process was –

  1. I’m not too old for potty humor
  2. The unicorn was a hit
  3. I love making softies
  4. Most important – my unicorn would have lost her character as a cut-and-sew pattern printed on fabric. The heart of the unicorn, the character and her special connection were achieved through the handwork, the textures, the embroidery, the hours spent on the details….

I never entered the Spoonflower contest with the cut-and-sew pattern. Instead I began a softie-making craze that has brought me so much joy over the past couple of months.

Here are some photos and notes from my softie-making journey:

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2 In Sewing

The Gassy Unicorn who Became an Angelic Pegasus.

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I’m a wee bit embarrassed that my first blog post ever involves potty humor, but it’s relevant to understand just how far I’ve come in softie making in the past several weeks. I’ve written in detail about my farting unicorn adventure here, which I hope you will read, but since this post is about my Pegasus and the SewMamaSew contest, I’ll move on to that story instead.

To say that my first unicorn stirred up a new-found obsession with soft toy making would be an understatement. So I was incredibly thrilled when the SewMamaSew Blog announced their handmade softies contest. While the prizes were totally awesome (really, totally) I was mostly interested in following the posts over the next six weeks so that I could get a crash course in softie making! I didn’t know ANYTHING about how to do it “right”. But after watching my first creature come to life with fabric and thread I knew I was hooked! I wanted to learn everything.

And so, I began. Prototype after prototype. Sewing until the wee hours of the morning, picking seams, redrawing, recutting, restitching. Over and over and over again. I was sewing in the car lines, sewing in waiting rooms, I even sat through talks at the Virginia Homeschoolers Conference while trying to perfect my unicorn. Every time I thought I had it just perfect, I learned a new technique (thanks to the SewMamaSew Blog) and just had to try it out.

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Thirteen prototypes, hundreds of hours and five pounds of polyfil later….I think I’ve done it. My first softie pattern is finished and I am tired but proud and ready to share her/him with others.

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My Pegasus is 22″. He is made with white ribbed Minky, hand embroidered chest hair, sculpted and embroidered face, embroidered “feathers” and the wings are soft and cuddly, inspired by techniques to make trapunto quilts. His flower corsage is made with hand rolled felt roses, floss dandelions and faux suede fussy cut daisies. His booties are handmade with faux suede and grey fleece and embroidery floss. A gallery with more photos can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/57926869@N02/sets/72157651740177212/

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Here is the whole lot of prototypes all together:

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In the process of creating this Pegasus, I think I’ve come up with a few of my own techniques that I’m especially excited to share on this blog in the coming weeks. One is how to make fleece manes into tight kinky curls that stay in place, without extra sewing!

I’ve actually drafted a pattern for the horse base that I used as my Pegasus! It’s getting tested now, once I make sure it’s just perfect I’ll have that in my Etsy shop. I’ve also got extensions coming to turn him into a dragon, unicorn and Pegasus. I really have to thank Abby Glassenberg for her wonderful e-book about pattern making and the great advice she shares on her WhileSheNaps Blog. while researching everything from the CPSIA rules to selling on Etsy, I always found Google directing me to her blog.

If you are interested in my pattern, feel free to drop me a note and I’ll let you know after it’s been thoroughly tested and ready to go. Here is a sneak peak:

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