Tinny Tinies – Elefriends

Inspiration comes when you least expect it.  I was clearing out the kitchen cupboards (worst job in the world when you’re doing it, but always so satisfying once it’s done) and I came across some old paper napkins from my son’s first birthday.  They had a pattern of individual jungle animals on them and it struck me how cute the elephant was. Just right for a new Tinny Tinies collection!

I was keen to get started, so needless to say the kitchen cupboards were left less than dazzling and I ended up making a mess elsewhere instead, pulling out bits of fabric that might be suitable for the job.

I started as usual by sketching a pattern onto paper and cutting it out, allowing for a seam, then pinned the paper pattern onto the fabric and cut out the basic shape.

The pattern

I wanted the ears to be in a contrasting fabric so I decided to do lots of elephants in one go, cutting out the body shape and the ears in the same colour with the intention of mixing and matching later on.

Selection process

After what turned out to be a somewhat lengthy selection process pf pairing up the ears and bodies I was ready to start.  First I machine stitched around the main body, leaving the bottom edge open for turning and stuffing.  I also machine stitched around the curve of the ears, leaving the straight edge open for turning.

Main body stitched, turned and stuffed and eyes sewn on

I stitched on the eyes before stuffing and stitching the elephant closed.  That way any knots could stay inside the body of the elephant.  I used the tiniest beads I could find.

Beady eyes

At some point before stitching the elephant closed it was necessary to give him a little tail.    I found the best way of doing this was simply by tying a knot in some embroidery thread, threading it through from the inside out using a needle and then tying a knot at the end of the elephant’s tail, snipping off the excess.

Tail made of thread and knots

The rest was done by hand, whip stitch all the way.  The ears were the last to go on, making the little fellow feel like a proper little elephant at last.

One completed Elefriend

The whole herd

Being a Tinny Tiny, each and every one of these little elephants was entitled to a bed.  I decided to go one step further this time and make a sleeping bag instead of a blanket.

Sleeping bag

What do you think my little Elefriend? A nice, snug fit?  Zzzzzzz.

Trying out the sleeping bag

Finally into the minty Altoids tin, with sleeping bag and pillow.  Ready for the next sleepover or camping trip.

Will you take me with you?

 

 

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Cushions

Hooray!  I’ve reached the stage where my cushions are selling so I thought I’d better get a post up about them quickly, more to have a record of what I’ve made rather than how I made them.

I have to say I do love a nice cushion. A huge comfort at the end of a long day, particularly when accompanied with a nice hot cup of tea and, dare I say it, a generous slice of something sweet.

The beauty of sewing things yourself is that choice becomes infinite. It gives you a chance to adorn your home with whichever colours, patterns or prints you desire.  Of course, it made perfect sense to make a few cushions.  What better use for that lovely fabric that I could hardly bear to cut?!

I wanted to make cushions with removable covers – for two reasons.  Firstly, for the more obvious reason of being able to wash the covers and secondly, for ease of posting if I were to sell one in my Etsy shop.

There are many different ways of making a cushion cover – opening at the side, opening at the centre, with zip, without zip, envelope style, with buttons, velcro, with piping or other edging or without…the list is endless.  I had recently discovered the buttonhole foot on my machine – an amazing little piece of equipment!- so finally decided on envelope style with centre opening and wooden buttons to fasten.

I don’t have any photos of how I actually made the cushions but will take some when I make my next lot and put them up on a later post.  Here are some pictures of the ones I have made so far.

 

 

Getting out there

Just had a really successful sale at Bartie’s Boutique in Worthing.  It would seem that some people are out there buying for Christmas already!  Lovely venue, great atmosphere and best of all an in-house cafe so tea was on tap.

Cushions, bagged nick nacks and Elefriends were the items in demand.  The only trouble is my Etsy shop now needs restocking and I have another craft fair at Broadwater Manor School  on 17th November*.  Better get sewing again!

* The start time for this event has been changed.  The fair will now run from 12.00 pm until 4.00 pm.

Toys

I’m finding myself being drawn to making toys again so thought I’d put up pics of some of the little fellows I’ve made in the past.  A mixture of knitted, crocheted and sewn, they pop up around the house now and again.

My Nana taught me how to knit and crochet when I was a child.  I didn’t keep it up beyond my teens but was inspired to rekindle my relationship with wool whilst on honeymoon in Iceland.  So I bought a crochet hook and with the help of You Tube managed to make a frog and a Santa.  Then I was indeed hooked, made a few more animals and extended it to knitting, this time with the help of a lovely book by Laura Long.

I don’t do much knitting or crochet at the moment – the sewing machine seems to have taken over – but maybe I’ll pick up those needles again during the winter months.