One thing about being childless that there wasn't room to comment about is that I have time to make so many things and of course that includes soft toys that I give as gifts for little folks that come into my life so I thought I'd share some pictures of toys I've recently made as gifts for friends and their little ones, or soon-to-be little ones!
I made this doll for Brendan, the son of my dear friend Lisa. He's a real cutie and Lisa was very happy when I presented this to her son; I think Brendan liked it too, though he was barely two years old when I gave it to him...
I've made rag dolls since I was a little girl, pretty much since my maternal grandmother taught me to sew by hand. I was never a Barbie fan so I always made my own rag dolls and sewed all their clothes. After my grandmother taught me to knit, I would knit a sweater or a scarf for my dolls. As you can see, I knitted a wool sweater for this doll and if you look closely you might be able to see the "zipper fly" I stitched on his little jeans!
This is a bear made for a co-worker whose wife was expecting but they were waiting for "the big day" to find out if it would be a boy or girl. Teddy bears are usually a good gift in cases like this so I made this bear from a cashmere sweater that I found at a thrift shop. It had a few small holes so I didn't feel too badly about cutting it up...
I had taken an old toy pattern to a copy shop so I could scale the size down from 18" to at least half that size because the shape of the pattern was great but too big for my purposes and the original pattern asked for woven fabrics or fake furs. Using sweater knits instead of woven fabrics changed the dimensions in a nice way - the heads and tummies get very round and of course they are certainly more cuddly when made from a soft knit. Since this was a baby shower gift I also did a little rubber stamping for a unique gift bag...
rubber stamp of child face, alphabet stamps and some color pencil for rosy cheeks; text reads "It's a Baby"
The mother has mentioned to me quite frequently how much she loves this little bear and her new daughter also loves it!
I recently attended another baby shower for a couple who was waiting for "the big day" to learn if the baby would be a boy or girl. I decided to make a bunny this time using the same pattern - it was a basic body shape with different ears to make a bear, dog, cat or bunny. I used more sweaters found at thrift shops - the oatmeal color was a lambswool sweater that was accidentally washed and dried and shrank to child size. This type of sweater can be found quite frequently at thrift shops so they are great to cut up for projects like this.
I embroider all the faces on my soft toys since I think thread is better than using paints or buttons for eyes and I embroidered whiskers too. The mother-to-be was so happy with this gift and her shower was also a craft party where you got to decorate little onesies and baby t-shirts with fabric paints for her baby, which turned out to be a boy, named Nathaniel. It seems Nathaniel and one of his cousins had a great time playing with this bunny last week!
It's been great to make these one-of-kind gifts for friends and then hear about the little ones playing with them and enjoying them. I hope to be able to sell some of my dolls again in the future and I'm planning on opening a shop for all my creations at etsy. It might not be until next year but be on the lookout for the day I announce open shop!
* WOW! have you seen how many participants there are in this blog-fest??? I am so excited to be a part of it - thanks to Tinniegirl for hosting this amazing event and for inviting me to join!