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Fun of the Fair – book tour and giveaway

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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. 

Fun of the Fair Monkeys made by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

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.
Fun of the Fair Monkeys made by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

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.

Fun of the Fair Monkeys made by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

I’ve even made them some shorts so that they’re a bit more decent!

Fun of the Fair Monkeys made by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

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 the front of the car!!!!!!

*GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED: the winner is Arianna – congratulations!!!*


S x

Today’s sky ● blue skies with a few whispy clouds

32 Comments

  1. September 30, 2014 / 4:40 pm

    These are so cute! Great job on the monkies!! I had a plethora of stuffies as a child, can't say I can narrow any down as favorites, but I loved all my teddy bears! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. September 30, 2014 / 4:46 pm

    I love them! They are fantastic, Sonia ๐Ÿ™‚ I had many soft toys (no dolls) and special ones really. The funniest/weirdest was a big Nookie Bear puppet! Thanks for the chance to win. If I do, everyone will be getting monkeys fro Christmas hahaha! XX

  3. September 30, 2014 / 6:43 pm

    What a lovely job you've made of these Sonia. I wouldn't be able to keep them secret till C….. Your young ones will love them. x

  4. September 30, 2014 / 8:11 pm

    These monkeys are so sweet! You've done a fantastic job.
    My Mom made me a rag doll with an amazing wardrobe of dresses,pinafores, bloomers and nighties when I was 7. It was the most wonderful Christmas gift, a few years later my dog chewed it up:(

  5. amanda wallis
    September 30, 2014 / 10:05 pm

    My favourites were a cabbage patch doll, carebear and strawberry shortcake doll.

  6. October 1, 2014 / 7:58 am

    Very cute! I'm sure your littlies will love them. I didn't have any dolls but succumbed to peer pressure when I was 10 and asked for a Sindy doll.

  7. October 1, 2014 / 9:45 am

    your monkeys look brilliant, I can't believe it's your first attempt at making toys! I had a walrus called Wally, he's not very big, about the size of my (adult hand) and he went everywhere with me. He's a very well travelled walrus and has been to countless holiday destinations, and down the toilet a few times!

  8. October 1, 2014 / 10:00 am

    Your monkeys are adorable!! I had a rag doll that I loved when I was little. I would love to make that pony on the cover!

  9. October 1, 2014 / 12:33 pm

    This sounds like a great books to make toys I really like the Lion! I think I didn't have a favorite toy, I change favorite toys weekly lol. I remember a boy doll that last more time as my favorite then the others so I guess that was my favorite favorite lol

  10. October 1, 2014 / 1:03 pm

    My favorite toy way Abner, our cat. My sister and I loved dressing him up, and he tolerated it. I would love a copy of this book.
    cork@pa.rr.com

  11. October 1, 2014 / 6:02 pm

    I have a 3 yr old and a 1 yr old. They would LOVE some momma made toys! I also live very close to a Children's Hospital, I can see some friends and I getting together to make some cute toys for the children there. Thank you for the giveaway.

  12. October 1, 2014 / 8:59 pm

    Aww what a sweet memory of your stuffed dog! Mine was a golden, shaggy panda. I still have him tucked in a special box full of my "treasures". ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the chance at this book, would love to sew with it! Your monkeys are adorable too!

  13. October 2, 2014 / 1:25 am

    Your monkey's are Adorable! Good job! I think the Smiles are perfect..give 'em an air of Orneriness! lol Love the book too!

    I had a Teddy Bear that was bout 1/2 as big as me, when I was in 2nd grade….was my Favorite for years!

  14. Pauline Perry
    October 2, 2014 / 7:22 am

    My favourite toys as a child were a doll that my mum won by guessing the number of stitches it took to knit the outfit that the doll was wearing – hat, dress, coat, shoes, undies too. My dad made a dolls cot for me which my dolly slept in, and I gave that cot to my first daughter and she has given it to her first daughter. I love that. I have 5 grandchildren and have just started making soft toys and I am really enjoying it.
    Pauline

    perry94022 at hotmail dot com

  15. October 2, 2014 / 7:29 am

    My youngest grandson would love these. I would love to win this book and make him some animals.

  16. Anonymous
    October 2, 2014 / 8:32 am

    I received a teddy bear when I was born, which I still have. He was definitely my favourite!

  17. October 2, 2014 / 4:37 pm

    I love the monkeys!
    My favourite childhood toy was a hand knitted mouse with a red waistcoat!

  18. October 2, 2014 / 6:00 pm

    My favorite was a Teddy named Harry which I got on my first birthday. All my other stuffed animals stayed animals, but he joined in with the dolls in getting tucked in and dressed up. I still have him and my youngest plays with him, even though he's not so "hairy" any more. ๐Ÿ™‚ sarah@forrussia.org

  19. Leslie Bower
    October 2, 2014 / 8:10 pm

    My favorite stuffed animal was a very well loved tan puppy named "Puddles". He had long floppy ears and closed felt eyes so he always looked like he was sleeping. My now Mother-in-law and Father-in-law gave him to me when I was a little girl. Thank you for the chance to win.

  20. October 3, 2014 / 3:35 am

    I had a benji toy that I adored. He once got a haircut too … ๐Ÿ˜‰