>> Tuesday, January 1, 2008
I designed these toys ages ago. The first time around I made the dinosaur and the chick. I also tried making a square pig with a little curly tail. He was ok, but it was the triangle-shaped ones that I really liked. They looked very "Martha Stewart Kids" to me. I still miss that magazine. Sigh.
Anyway, I thought I kept the toys, but I was putting together proposals a couple of weeks ago for a book of baby projects from Lark Books and I turned my sewing room upside-down looking for them - with no luck. The construction was so easy - and these have stuck in my head for so long - that I decided to remake them, expand the group, and make a pattern available. So here they are! And the pattern is now available in my Etsy shop. It's a PDF pattern with full-sized pattern pieces, detailed instructions, and loads of step-by-step photos.
Here's the penguin. I love how these toys stick to simple shapes and let the colors and one embellishment suggest the type of animal. I tried the penguin first without feet, thinking that penguins are defined by their black & white-ness, not their feet. But it really needed the feet to make it work. Otherwise is was a geometry toy. Cool, but not a penguin.
I love the chick, and I love the fabric he's made from. I only have a few tiny scraps left - maybe enough for a couple of yoyos - and then it's gone. :-(
The dinosaur is the first one I came up with. I saw someone on Simply Quilts do something with prairie points and I immediately imagined this toy dino with a whole ridge of prairie points running down his back.
Jo is pretty convinced that it's a dragon, not a dinosaur, though she concedes that in green it could be either. So I decided to make her a very dragony dragon out of velvet and tissue lame. I had to fuse the tissue lame to some muslin for the tummy piece - to give it enough strength to hold some stuffing. That lame frays like crazy and it doesn't hold a crease for crap, plus it sticks to my iron if (when) I forget to use a pressing cloth - so it wasn't very fun to sew, but it was fun to see how excited Jo was when I told her it was for her. That girl really likes her glitzy, sparkly stuff. It makes me think of this post at Angry Chicken - I would swear she was writing about Jo. Besides liking things to be "very beautiful" (by which she usually means very gaudy) Jo's favorite word is also "actually." She's also very fond of "presumably" and "if I'm not mistaken." As in, "If I'm not mistaken, I think this gift is for you Mommy." Awesome. But I digress. . .
The kangaroo is the newest addition to the bunch. Jo loves tucking things into pockets so I decided to make a triangle toy with a pocket. And now we have a kangaroo. I gave her a baby joey attached on a ribbon, but I like it just as well without.
I'll be selling some of my prototypes on Etsy as soon as I have a chance to get them listed. But really - these are just too easy to make yourself. All but the kangaroo are super-easy, even for absolute beginners with no sewing experience at all. The kangaroo is easy too - she just has a few extra steps and will be easier to make once you've made one of the others.
I really enjoyed making up the pattern so there will be more to come. Next up - my poseable dolls.