When I first heard about the designer challenge, I jumped on it as fast as I could. I love jumping out of the box, and designing plushies offers so much opportunity to do so, but I knew that if I was going to stand up with these talented ladies, I was going to really bring my "A" game. I had to not just think outside of the box, I had to push my comfort zone completely and I believe I have with this new design. I had to give these critters a chance to dance!
This is Madame DePoppet the Marionette, my first marionette pattern, She is a lanky 16" tall and is made from both minky and quilter's cotton. Her pattern also includes an easy tutorial on building the puppeteering set up.
As my children were testing out my first trials it quickly became clear to me that kid' s plus toys on strings equal a big tangled mess and not very easy to cuddle with. This is when my husband came to the rescue and helped me figure out how to give her strings without being tied down.
Madame DePoppet will be available at the NimblePhish Craftsy shop Tuesday after 2pm (Pacific).
Be sure to enter to win your very own copy by entering the giveaway below!
I've had my nose to the grindstone lately and I think it's time to come up for air, even if it's just a short breath.
I am quite proud of all my hard work and the newest patterns to join the NimblePhish family.
It started with Chip, then Cassandra surprised me.
What also surprised me was how much fun I had making their little clothes. I'm not much for clothing design, it just doesn't resonate with me the way softies do. This time was different and I see a lot of cute little clothing sets in the future for these two.
To start download and print out the pattern template. Then gather your supplies. You will need:
7"x12" piece of fleece (fold in half across the 12" length)
2 Funky Buttons
and you will need your sewing machine.
Start by tracing your pattern onto the wrong side of the fleece.
Sew around the whole body, there is a 1/4" seam allowance included (use it or you will end up with uni-leg).
Make sure you leave the top of the head open.
Cut along the tracing line after you sew. I like to do this when ever I have small pieces to sew, it gives me more surface area to control when maneuvering those little curves.
Turn your little buddy right side out and begin stuffing. Do NOT stuff the arms and legs. The little dashed lines are the stuffing stopping markers. If you need a little extra reminder use a safety or straight pin to separate the spaces.
With your embroidery needle and strong thread, close the top of the head with a running stitch pulled tight and double knotted.
Make a little pom-pom with your yarn scraps and secure to the top of the head, where your (now closed) opening is. I don't have a special stitch to do this, honestly I just loop around like I would a button until it feels good and stuck. Trim the ends and fluff it out.
Next add you button* eyes, use your embroidery floss here to add some fun contrast and color. Don't try to make it perfect, this guy is meant to look a little rough around the edges so have fun with it.
For his mouth I use a modified Fern Stitch. It isn't a perfect stitch at all, I like to just play with it. A line of X's would look cool too.
Give all your straggling threads a trim and you are done!
I hope you have as much fun as I did. This is a great project for kids to do and makes a amazing sugar free Halloween treat that you can make with the scraps you already have.
Thanks for letting me share with you!
Check out my other patterns at NimblePhish's Etsy Shop!
* If you are making this for little ones (under 3) do not use buttons, I recommend felt rounds made to look like buttons or embroidering the eyes.
Oh I am having more fun playing with these guys then any mom should admit too. My boy's and even my daughter are all giggle and grrrrs when they see them.
I now have a serious hankering for candy corn and pumpkins!
These 3 guys will be up in my shop today as a pre-order 3 pack for only $15!!!
Coming tomorrow a fun mini voodoo doll pattern and tutorial, just in time for Friday the 13th, bwahahahahahaaaa!!!!!
For the next 3 months, starting on Monday the July 22nd and ending on October 21rst, I will be releasing a new pattern every week.
I will have previews for each pattern the Wednesday before they are released and if you act soon you will be able to buy a "Pattern of the Week" subscription. This gives you all 15 patterns for only half the price, plus other awesome goodies. Check it out over at my Etsy shop!
My good friends and neighbors are back from their vacation in France, my sweet little Lil is back from a week at summer camp and I am back home from a weekend with family and friends in my very hot home town. I woke up this morning to the crisp coastal air with a renewed sense of passion for life and all the aspects that come with it. I was lucky enough to find a passion in sewing, especially in soft toy making and I am more determined then ever to share that passion. I am hoping this new video tutorial series that I will be introducing tomorrow will help inspire all of you to try something new and take some control of your children's playtime.
I was playing around with new fabrics when this little monster was born.
As a parent I try to be as aware as possible. I like knowing where our food comes from, what I can't grow I like to get a local farmers markets. I also try to repurpose or make most of out clothing, if not just for the economics of it I like knowing that I had a major hand in what they put on and in their body. I know many of you are the same way, but it wasn't to long ago that I found myself falling short with the very things that help shape their little minds, toys. My house was littered with cheap plastic toys that would fall apart after one use, often made from mysterious materials from far away and rarely had any positive nurturing aspects. It was sometime in 2010 when I made my first cloth doll and I was hooked.
I've made my fair share of "boo-boos", but I've learned so much along the way and I want to share that knowledge and the joy of knowing that you created your child's first best friend. Today and everyday will the best days ever, even on the bad ones, making something with a smile can turn it completely around.
This is "Blu" he is a favorite around this house, he has a way to always put a smile on even the grumpiest of faces.
I've been doing some house cleaning lately and I realized that I have far to many sweet little toys sitting un-played with in my studio. I decided to put a few of them up for adoption in my Etsy shop. Siobhan, Seamus, Booger and Hopper are there now, waiting for their new home, with penny shipping for domestic orders.
The newest arrival to the NimblePhish pattern family is this sweet little lamb:
Her pattern will come with 3 other friends and will be releasing tomorrow 7/11.
Welcome to the first of my new weekly "Tutorial and Tips" series. I'm still pretty inexperienced with blogging, but I want to be able to share more about myself and what I have learned on my self taught creative path.
I realized very quickly that hand embroidering eyes was not my strong point, it took (and still takes) me forever to get the perfect eye. I decided to plastic eyes and it was a great fit, but something wasn't quite right, they lacked that little extra bit of personality. The sleepy eyelid was the solution and it took quite a bit of trial and error to get it just right, but we'll skip that part and show you what I do now.
This is Norbert, he's my Lil's best buddy and I am charged with fixing him while she's at camp. Her little brother decided he was in a destructive mood and peeled off his eyelids.
Next to Norbert is an Elmer's "Craft Bond, Extra Strength" glue stick. You need to use this or the "Extreme" glue stick because they will create a strong wash resistant bond, normal glue will just wash away. I also prefer a stick to a liquid glue because it has very little to any mess.
I like to use my thumb to measure the eyelid, just cut around it does not need to be perfect.
Check the sizing before you add the glue, as you can this eyelid is a little to big. Trim away the extra, but make sure you don't trim to much. It's better to have a little to much then not enough.
Get that glue on to the back of the eyelid.
Place on your creatures eye.
Smooth the eyelid out over the curve of the eye, be sure you get it all the way back so the fabric connects. If you have sewn on or button eyes you can tuck it behind. While the glue is still new move the eyelid around until it get an expression you like.
There you have it some personality packed sleepy eyelids!
I hope you found this helpful. Come back for more tips and tricks, along with some peeks inside the creative chaos I call home.
I have a handful up right now, the rest are coming this afternoon. Expect new directions for the non-jointed designs, kits and more as the day progresses...oh and did I mention they are all on sale :) All patterns are $2 off and I'm working on bundle discounts.
Happy May Day Everyone!
The shop is taking a small rest as I piece together all the new and mend the old and find myself again. The past several months have moved so quickly, much like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, I am lost. What was up is down, what was down is up and the space between is still spinning, but it is time I find my feet.
I am taking these few weeks to mend past mistakes and explore new possibilities. The shop will be coming back, but changed (for the better, I hope) and I will be here, everyday, to share my adventures and explorations with you.
This pair have not yet been named, I'm going to let their mommy-to-be do that. As sad as I will be to see them fly off to their new home I am grateful that I had the opportunity to bring them into the world.
After the all the tension surrounding the last few weeks I was in dire need of a major dose of beauty and family and good things all around. This weekend was exactly that, I wish I could have taken pictures of all the amazing sights my eyes feasted on, but I will tell you, sunset across the Pacific on a cloudless day and the greens of spring rolling across California's farm land are truly breathtaking sights. My eyes and heart soaked up so much beauty, I feel renewed and awake again, it is a good place to be.
I do promise some pictures of my new creations in the next post, with my inspiration renewed I expect many great things ahead.
It has been 100 days of change here at the NimblePhish home, as wonderful as they are drastic. The titles that defined who we are as a family for the last 10 years are now gone. Though there were moments when I doubted, this puzzle has finally beginning to come together and show exactly how incredibly blessed we have been through this transition. I can't express in words how grateful and humble I feel today.
We move into the new house in just two weeks and I am eager to begin making it a home.