Weekend Project: Mr Woodland Fox

Despite my previous observations on the time it takes to hand sew felt toys, I really love sewing them, especially ones from Ginger Melons beautiful designs. My most recent pattern purchase has been the woodland creatures and I was very excited to give Mr Woodland Fox a go!

THE PROJECT

Making Mr Fox was a little quicker to make due to machine sewing the body. It also called for Fray Check for the eyes and being me, I hadn’t read the pattern when I first got it and was a 1.5 round trip away from getting any… so what is a girl to do? Improvise with.. superglue!! Well, it worked for the most part, although some parts were veeeery hard to punch the needle through! ( I have since added fray check to my inventory).

Making a mess in the making... and doesn't the face from the back look creepy!?!!

Making a mess in the making… and doesn’t the face from the back look creepy!?!!

There is a little bit of machine sewing which sliiiiighly makes things faster. It is probably because this is my fourth or fifth Ginger Melon pattern, but the progress of this one felt more streamlined and more enjoyable since I was not stressing about time or understanding what I am to do.

The bits and pieces of Mr Fox.

The bits and pieces of Mr Fox all in a row.

THE OUTCOME

Okaaaaaay, so I think Mr Fox is the CUTEST THING EVER! I really love his angled head and I think the colours I chose really offset each other well. I really love him! I think when I get the chance I will do a batch sew up of some more – what’s the group name for foxes?

I shall have a skulk of foxes! 😀

Gah! Cuteness overload!

Gah! Cuteness overload!

What animal do you love to make?

~ Emily

Sewing Time Experiment: Gretel Felt Doll

It is in my nature to underestimate the time it takes to do things, hence our family tradition of always being late ಠ_ಠ (I am working on improving that!) So when I sit down to create, I always think I will be done much sooner than it ends up being in reality.

THE PROJECT

Given this, I decided to find out how much time I actually spend on a project, to give me some hard data to work with. I had downloaded Ginger Melon’s Hansel & Gretel pattern over Christmas, got the timer on my iphone ready and started cutting and sewing!

GingerMelon Gretel doll

I took the time to make sure her stitches were neat and I am really happy with how nearly she turned out.

THE OUTCOME

So, just to get to body complete (from cutting out pieces to attaching all body parts) it took me a total of

….drum roll please….

FIVE HOURS and FORTY THREE MINUTES

WHAT THE WHA??!?!? Holy crapola Batman, that is sooooooooo long!!! Admittedly it was a new pattern, although the technique is similar to several others I have made, and I spent the time to make sure she was finished properly, but that is waaaaaaaay longer than expected!

Breakdown
Cutting felt: 38 mins
Sewing head and features: 1hr 48mins
Sewing arms and legs: 2hrs 2mins
Putting body together: 1hr 15mins

Unfortunately I didn’t manage to keep up the timer for the clothing, but I estimate in total Gretel has taken me at least 4.5 hours for the clothing, so a grand total of 10 hours to make her come to life.

All the finer details of her pretty dress

All the finer details of her pretty dress

NOTE TO SELF

1. Cost effectiveness: just to pay my time at $10 per hour would make her cost over $100, not to mention costs of the materials or any profit!

2. I did really enjoy creating her and seeing her finish come up so evenly. I will attempt Hansel when I have some more skin coloured felt, but I think handsewing these dolls will be for fun only :/

Gretski all done and dressed up

Gretski all done and dressed up

Very interesting findings and a lot of food for thought came for making of Miss Gretel, got a lot to think about in the direction I want to head with my softie creations.

Have you had a project that took longer than you expected?

Holiday Day Project Challenge: Foxy Girl

With the madness of the Christmas period finally over, I ended up spending some very hot summer days in my craft room being distracted and generally very unproductive. It’s annoying to have the time to create only to end up with nothing to show for it but an increasing alarm for the well being of the residents of Midsummer County with it’s exceptionally high murder rate.

So in an effort to motivate myself I set a challenge to complete a sewing project from start to finish in one day. I had plenty of felt and a few Ginger Melon patterns I had bought in the holiday sales so I chose the Peak-A-Boo Fox pattern and got started.

PROJECT PROGRESS

It wasn’t as smooth sailing as I had hoped, especially given the temperature, my very unergonomic chair and my cat Ash’s contribution, hence my resorting to some left over Christmas bubbly for comfort and encouragement. 😀

Helpful assistance by Ash followed up by a more bubbly assistant to get this project finished

Helpful assistance by Ash followed up by a more bubbly assistance to get this project finished!

THE OUTCOME

Ta-dah! Here she is!

What a foxie little lady!

What a foxy little lady!

NOTE TO SELF

There are a few things I learnt from this experienment

1. Hand sewing takes FOR-EV-ERRRRRRR. I plan to do a tally of how many hours it takes on my next project to get an idea if its viable for selling.

2. I love felt because it doesn’t fray, but I am still having issues with the white breaking apart and bleeding fibers into other areas.

3. I need to be better at storing my creations away from rogue stuffing/cat fur/fibers. I left this one on my desk, then chucked it in with other dolls and it has lots of tiny fibers on it. It’s a fairly small doll but I still notice it, especially when doing the photos. Grrr.

So that’s it = CHALLENGE COMPLETE! If you would like to try this pattern, you can pick it up from Ginger Melon’s Etsy shop.

Have you started on any projects over the holidays?

Hand Sewing Learning: Gingermelon Patterns

After trying my hand at Noialand’s felt patterns, I also stumbled across Gingermelon’s lovely handsewn creations on Etsy. With so many patterns of cute bears, kittens, dolls and clothes that could be made out of felt, I had a hard time choosing where to start! (And yes, I did end up making a chart to see which purchases would be most beneficial in my learning – so lame!!)

THE PROJECT

I ended up in choosing the mohair teddy bear pattern without first checking if my local Spotlight store actually sold mohair – as predicted, no such luck. So instead I decided to use my newly ordered felt which feels much more firm and solid than the last lot I purchased.

The pattern pdf is much more basic than the Noialand one I previously used – it is all hand drawn and written out, but it very clear and easy to follow and much more printer friendly! The initial pattern for the mohair bear had the arms being sewn inside out and OMG, trying to reverse those tiny little arms was almost the death of me!! After the first go doing the Aqua Bear, I decided that the mohair must give more than my thicker felt, so I just stitched around the outside for the Blue Kitten which made it a much less stressful experience!

Those bust-my-chops arms! And wonky eyes :/ Still I think they look pretty sweet

Those bust-my-chops arms! And wonky eyes :/ Still I think they look pretty sweet

These little guys are so sweet and with the new felt I am finding the finish much more clean and professional looking which is excellent. I ordered the colours with some other projects in mind, so if I plan to make more of these, I may have to work out the palette and order some more specifically. But that is probably a way off yet – I already have heaps of felt to get through!

Hey there little guy!

Hey there little guy!

NOTE TO SELF

1. THE WONKY HEAD! I am still not getting it somehow, and they are bobbling all about the place!

2. As mentioned, turning those little arms inside out – too fiddly by half! It is much easier to stitch the outside, but I wouldn’t mind trying this pattern on a bigger scale with a sewing machine perhaps.

3. Take the time and get it straight! On my first go with the Aqua Bear I obviously was too excited and put those eyes on wonky 😛 The Blue Kitten was an improvement, but will have to keep an eye on that (boom-tish! “eye” on… geddit?!.. oh never mind…)

4. My new 20-35% wool and 80-65% rayon felt is sooooo much better, it makes all the difference in how the final product comes together. You can buy it at Benzie Design on Etsy.

These patterns are simple but they look great, I plan on investing in some more so I have a few projects I can go to where I can just enjoy the process of sewing without having to ‘create’ too much. If you want to create your own tiny teddies, there is plenty to choose from in Gingermelon’s Etsy shop!

How are your favourite pattern makers? I would love to find more patterns to try!

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