No, this isn’t going to be an autobiographical post, but it’s about a small business of which I’ve recently become aware, and to my delight, I’ve become a brand ambassador.
A Sewing Life sells patterns and kits for a range of stuffed animal characters, which are both sweet and loveable. Each of the characters has a fun story written about them, which can be read to small people and which brings them to life and enhances their character.
The first pattern I made, which was a gift from the business, was James Fox. The animals are designed for pure wool felt and the colours are suggested. James Fox was supposed to be made from chestnut coloured wool, but I didn’t have any so used some burgundy wool instead. I rather like it.
I love the fact that these animals are jointed. It makes sitting them up and posing their arms so easy. The pattern specifies buttons, which I used for the arms, then I remembered that I had some teddy bear joints in my stash and decided to use them for the legs. I actually wish I hadn’t. The wood isn’t roughened on one side which means it slips against the felt and as a result my fox is rather floppy in the hip department.
I used a combination of eucalyptus fibre and tiny felt crumbs and pieces for the stuffing. I collect every scrap of felt when I’m making something so I can feed it into the animal.
It’s a nice activity to do outside on a pretty day.
It was nice to use a couple of my teeny Sheoak buttons for the eyes. We grow the trees at our holiday place, so the eyes are home grown and home made. I finished my fox and took him into the bush for photographs. When I later looked at the photographs I realised I wasn’t happy with his head and I realised that I had only tacked it on. I’m not sure if you can see it’s rather poorly attached.
As soon as I realised, I did an “off with his head” style activity and resewed it. Much better!
Although now I’m not happy with the join at the bottom front! I haven’t yet made the clothes for James as Mark has claimed him and doesn’t want him dressed. I shall be doing this by stealth!
A Sewing Life has a free miniature bear pattern giveaway when you subscribe to her newsletter It’s the Mathilda bear pattern.
it’s an adorable little bear and can be made from small scraps of felt. I made these at our holiday place with whatever I had on hand. I have that huge mess of embroidery floss which was donated to my stash by a friend and I’m slowly untangling and rewinding it. However, I love to go there when I have small, random pieces of embroidery to do.
I have designated these bears as pocket friends and popped them in my pocket when I climbed a scaffold. Not sure whether they really gave me any comfort, but I can pretend!
I also made a bear from a felted jumper and gave it a bow tie and a bunch of flowers which I needle felted on.
I keep trying to master the French glove stitch for the edges. Every now and then I think it looks ok, and then it doesn’t! Maybe I need to use matching thread…
I made a pair for a couple of little boys who were relocating to Melbourne. Their mother gave the bears to them on the plane and they were thrilled. I didn’t take a separate photo of the gifted bears, but before they left on their adventure they attended a picnic with the other bears (they are the two on the left).
I have two miniature tea sets and one is a Stieff with little bears depicted, which I thought appropriate. The chickens were made by my mother. I have decided that the collective noun for teddy bears should be “picnic”!
Mark bought me the Prudence Piglet pattern for Valentine’s Day. I didn’t have sufficient pink wool felt in my stash so ordered some more from Queensland. Next time I will encourage him to buy the kit as the postage from the UK is much faster than from the eastern states. I’m still waiting for my felt, so all I can do is show you the photo from the website.
How cute are the Liberty overalls?
The instructions for the patterns are comprehensive and clear. If you haven’t made a felt toy before I can recommend these. They are beautifully drafted and really good fun to make (and have). I think any small child would be delighted to have one to carry around.