D.I.Y. Project #1 – Toy Mouse finished!!

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Everyone Welcome Thaddeus the Mouse to the world!

Now this is…a rough approximation of what this toy should look like. The ones that Abby Glassberg makes are so so so much cuter but Thaddeus has a certain charm.

Things I Wish I Had Gotten –

Invisible Thread – I thought the black thread showing would give it a neat look and it probably would if I was more careful with my stitching. The effect of the exposed thread gives it the homemade look I was going for but makes it look amateurish and honestly a little creepy. But Thaddeus does make the kiddo happy, at least that is what I take from him attempting to put the whole of his head into his mouth. It also pairs nicely with his lion and I told him about the Androcles and the Lion (fable link here).

Craft Glue – Whip-stitch for the feet and arms makes it very safe but it bunches the body underneath and ruins some of the effects.

And finally – a sewing machine. I like sewing by the hand-sewing on the larger parts is really just a way for my laziness to prevent me from making the stitches close and much better.

Next project to come!

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D.I.Y. Project #1 – Update

Quick Update –

Yesterday I found myself with a little bit of free time (shocker) so I tried to make hay while the sun shone.

The NerdFriend took me to Gather Here on Sunday so I could get supplies, some of which I already had. If you live in or around
For Mr. Mouse, who I am thinking of naming Thaddeus, I am using a combination of fabric and wool felt. The pretty grey wool felt will make up the face, arms and feet of the mouse. The alphabet fabric will be the body and the red patterned fabric the nose and tail.  Boston and are interested in any kind of sewing, crochet, or knitting you ought to Gather Here. Fantastic store, wonderful people.

For the eyes I am just going to use black thread so there are no buttons for the kiddo to eat.

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I’ve sewn together the body and started on the head. After that I will have to stitch the head together and stuff.

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Thankfully Abby’s pattern comes with instructions so I don’t have to stop and research every five minutes. However if you are brand new to sewing there are some great online resources to help.

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For Step by Step Tutorials The Sewing Loft has some great beginner ones to build up confidence before taking on a project on your own.

Sewing.Org also has great guidelines and some project ideas.

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And of course, if you are close to Boston, Gather Here has amazing classes.

Update Complete!

D.I.Y. Project #1 – Toys!

I love playing with my six month old. He is just at the right age that anything funny I do it met with a cacophony of laughter that can be sometimes alarming. Now, however, I find myself waiting for him to get up from his naps so I can make noises while walking his Zebra (named Zeebs) around to make him laugh.

I am also not proud to admit then when I have a hard time sleeping I cruise diapers.com endlessly looking for (educational, I swear!) toys so we can have more friends at playtime.

While I’m absolutely going to go for the leap frog dog when he is slightly older I want him to have some super plush friends for the laughter-filled afternoons.

I’m working with patterns that I bought from Etsy’s own Abby Glassenberg (and I would highly recommend checking out her blog While She Naps and of course, the Etsy store).

The goal is eventually to make an entire stuffed animal zoo broken down into four sections. The first and my favorite is the “Woods” theme. This will encompass several of my favorite animals (mice, foxes, owls) and I’m already sketching out backgrounds for the play set I am intending to make. The next is a general safari theme (lions and tigers and…hippos, oh my!) which may get pushed up on the list as my son has already developed a deep attachment to his zebra to whom he can have separation anxiety if parted from for any period of time. After that is under the sea (lots and lots of turtles) and then finally the barnyard theme which I’ve put off to the last because I do not look forward to all of those safety stitches on the cows!

This weeks project however is much simpler. Make a toy mouse.

I have some knowledge of sewing already which should make this an easier project but there are several changes.

1) Time – I am hand sewing all of these. You read that right, completely appliqué.  While the patterns are beautiful they are also detailed and intense which requires small parts getting patched on and the smaller the part, the more time and precision it takes.

2) Dedication – I am a student in computer science and a full time mom. Some days my son has his zebra and they venture into their own Calvin and Hobbes-esque universe leaving me free to move them from room to room as I complete chores and homework. Other days he clings to me like there is no one else in the universe. I love those days, especially when it’s just the three of us in a cuddle fort while listening to Of Monsters and Men  but those are the days where little with pointy things gets done.

3) Frustration – The stitch was right the first time I did it, but it didn’t stick! or the eye shifted, or the thread is showing. With this my biggest concern is safety. Can he swallow this? Will this fall off? For those reasons the thread I use is always durable, the stuffing safe and the toys free of buttons or other hard ceramics. While this is, for me, of the highest priority, it does mean on occasion getting frustrated with that eye that you just cannot embroider no matter how hard you try.

But since I do have some experience with this the deadline for this mouse will be Friday August 16th.

So Goal, Set, Match. Time to put my needle where my mouth is.