April 3, 2011

Lamb Sweater & Three Dinos!

In February my stepsister Alicia welcomed baby boy #2, Josh!

To extend my own personal welcome, and to congratulate Max on becoming a big brother, I crafted two special gifts for the boys.

For Josh, I made a baby kimono wrap in two shades of charcoal. I used the pattern from Susan Visch, available on Ravelry. I used this pattern once before to create a purple wrap for my friend Kristin's daughter, Annie. The pattern is a little tricky at first because it's not written with stitch counts but rather in metric measurements. However, once I downloaded an iphone conversion app, it was easy going.
In order to gussy up the gray sweater I added a felt lamb applique. All of the pieces are felt handsewn onto the sweater. I stuffed the head and body a little to give some added dimension, embroidered the eyes and mouth, and needle-felted the little pink cheeks.

For 3-year-old Max, I wanted to make a stuffed dinosaur. Since I've been sewing so many small softies lately, I also decided to try my hand at creating a pattern. Not so easy, I found.
So far I've ended up with three dinosaurs in the quest to perfect my pattern. 

The dinosaurs are about 7" - 8" high

Dino #1: This was my first attempt at a pattern. I wanted to make a green dino, but only had green felt in thick wool felt. This felt is from Hobby Lobby, and while it worked great for my fish mobile, it was not so great for handsewn toys. It may be thick but it's not that dense, and it didn't hold hand stitches very well. The result was a bit sloppy looking. However, it was a nice project to work on while traveling from Sanibel Island to Orlando early last month.

Dino #2:  For my second attempt, I changed the position of the head gusset to see if a different head shape would be better. I also bought some dense, thin wool felt in a more vibrant green, and I decided to sew this one on my sewing machine. While I'm not sure I like the head shape more, I definitely liked the rest of the look better. Also, I chose to needle-felt the eyes on this one, and to embroider a mouth.

Dino #3: I decided to make one more attempt at altering the pattern to see if move-able legs would work better and to try a fabric other than felt. Using some polka-dot cotton, I changed the pattern to have jointed legs, and I found a third position for the head gusset (also had to add a belly gusset so that the legs would be far enough apart - I figured this out at the very end and had to handsew the belly gusset to the body; which was tedious). I used safety eyes for the leg joints, which ultimately worked well, but were difficult to work with in such a small space. I like the look of the move-able legs, but realized that move-able legs on a dinosaur don't work so well when the large dino tail doesn't move (it's not like he can sit down or anything).

After all that, which dinosaur did I decide to give to Max?

Dino #2, with a removable bone necklace!

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