It was a lovely surprise a couple of weeks ago when I had an email from Stitch, Craft Create asking if I would like to take part in Melanie McNeice’s book tour. I have to say, I was a little hesitant to start with because, to be honest, making soft toys kind of scares me. I’ve attempted a couple but have always ended up with funny shaped heads/scary facial features! However, Melanie is an expert soft-toy maker having written loads of books (and designed fabric too!) so I figured that if anyone could get me over my fear it would be her!
The front cover of Fun of the Fair is so appealing. I let Little Girl look through the book and after that, there was no going back – seals! elephants! lions (oh I love the lion!)! monkeys and the pony that stars on the front cover.
I went for the monkey as this was picked as one of the favourites and I thought it would be liked by all of the Smalls so set to making three (yes, three!) monkeys!!!! A monkey can easily be made out of a Fat Quarter of fabric – although some careful placement is needed if using directional fabric. I got my felt from here as they had a lovely range of colours and my delivery arrived within a day.
The pattern directions are very clear and walk you through how to make the toy really well. The only thing I found a little frustrating at first was having to read through the pattern to find out what I was meant to be cutting out of fabric/felt/fusible webbing, so I wrote this on the pattern pieces as I cut them out. As a toy-making newbie, a couple of things I found that helped me were;
- Starting sewing the curves in the middle and working towards the outside lines.
- Use pins to position buttons/nostrils etc before sewing the facial features in place.
Overall, I had lots of fun making these! I think I even managed to do an alright job of doing the faces, although a couple of the monkeys have got a slightly lopsided smile.
I’ve even made them some shorts so that they’re a bit more decent!
I have been given a hardcopy of Fun of the Fair to giveaway, so if you would like to have a go at making yourself, or some Smalls a gorgeous soft toy, then please leave me a comment telling me about your favourite toy from when you were a kid! Mine was a giant dungaree-wearing dog which was probably as big as I was when I was about 7…..my Dad bought him home seat-belted in
*GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED: the winner is Arianna – congratulations!!!*
Today’s sky ● blue skies with a few whispy clouds