Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Bunny & Carrot Pattern!

Hello friends! I am very excited to announce that you can now buy the Bunny & Carrot sewing pattern! Eeeeeeee!

This is a pdf sewing pattern to make a Bunny

and its Carrot playsuit.

First, a quick nuts-and-bolts overview:

Q: How big are the Bunny and Carrot?

Q:  Is this made on the sewing machine or by hand?
A: The projects in this pattern are intended to be made with a sewing machine.

Q: What sort of skill level is this pattern suitable for?
A: This is the recommendation from my pattern testers is: a seamstress of intermediate sewing level or even an advanced beginner should be comfortable with it (also adventurous beginners who like a challenge). Here is a list of skills you will need. 

Q: Are there photos or is it just text instructions?
A: In the pattern are of 41 instructional pages containing about 100 full-color photos and detailed text instructions. Here is a sample page:

Q: Will I need to enlarge the templates?
A: There are 7 pages of full-size templates - no enlargement needed. Because of its size, the Carrot template will be printed out as partial templates and will require some simple assembly with glue or tape.

Q: What fabrics should I use?
A: Fleece is ideal for both the Bunny and Carrot. Here is the master materials list. 

Below are more pages detailing recommended fabrics for the Bunny, offering other options should you choose to diversify from fleece. 

Here are photos of Bunnies in some of these recommended fabrics:
Pink Luxe Fleece

Grey Blizzard/Anti-pill Fleece

Grey fur

White plush knit

White fur

Quilting cotton

Q: Where can I buy these fabrics?
A: Fleece is available at most fabric stores, as are the notions required for this project. For your convenience, I've also put 6 starter materials kits in the shopThese kits contain some of the materials to make one white Bunny and one Carrot. The kits are $24 each (plus shipping and handling) and each kit contains
  • 1/4 yd x 60" white fleece for the Bunny
  • 1/4 yd  x 15" light pink plush knit for the Bunny
  • 1/2 yd x 60" orange fleece for the Carrot
  • 1/4 yd x 15" of each of three shades of green fleece for the Carrot

  • 6" hook-and-loop tape for the Carrot
  • 2/3 cup of poly pellets
  • 1 pair 6mm safety eyes

These are other materials you will need for the project but which are NOT included in the kit:
  • Sewing thread
  • Polyfill stuffing
  • Embroidery floss
  • Knit fabric scrap for the pellet bag (if you don't have knit fabric, cotton is fine, too, or cut up an old Tshirt)
  • Medium-weight sew-in interfacing for the Carrot (3/4 yard x 20" wide)

Q: What is the cost of the Bunny & Carrot Pattern?
A: It is USD$16.

If you love bunnies but don't (or don't want to) sew, I will also have three bunny-and-carrot sets in the shop soon! Some are samples from the pattern design process, and some I made just because sewing bunnies is ridiculously addictive and I can't seem to stop.

I am grateful for my six testers - Cecile, Barbara, Heather, Melissa, Donna and Louise, and my proof reader Grandma G. They were wonderful to work with, and I loved seeing their creativity in their bunnies and carrots! They represent a wide spectrum of sewing experiences, backgrounds and personalities and their feedback was instrumental in the evolution of that first alpha draft into the version you guys will be using to make your own Bunnies and Carrots. Thanks, you guys! I'll be sending you a copy of the final version of the pattern this week!

To the readers who responded to my call for alpha-testers but whom I was unable to include in the testing team, I will send you the 50% discount code this week, too, so wait till you receive my email to buy your pattern, okay?

To my readers who hail from EU countries: the best way to buy a pdf pattern is probably via my etsy store. I've heard that the paypal-E-junkie interface may be funky for EU transactions, possibly because of the VATMOSS thing. At the end of this post are instructions on how to buy my patterns via etsy.

And finally, thank you, all my lovely readers, for your enthusiasm and tenacity! This pattern is the result of your interest in (and requests for) an ikatbag bunny pattern and I hope you enjoy making many bunnies and creating many happy memories with your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and young friends. Kate and I are thrilled to finally share this pattern with you. 

Looking ahead, I thought you might be interested in seeing the evolution of a stuffed toy design, from concept to finished product. It's not that different from drafting garments, except that it's 3-D and fit issues look very different in a toy than a dress or skirt! In the coming days, look out for a couple of follow-up posts on the Bunny and Carrot pattern and designing soft toys in general. I'm excited to share the method to my madness! 

Q: So how do we buy the Bunny & Carrot Pattern?

A: Buyers from countries in the EU: email me directly (my email address is in the sidebar of my blog) and I will set up a reserved listing for you in my etsy store. You can pay by paypal or credit card and I will email you the pattern file as an attachment once the payment has been processed. It's fast and easy.

All other buyers: go here to buy the Bunny & Carrot Pattern. 

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Cardboard Houses

This is Post #2 in a trilogy of cardboard posts! Post #1 is here, in which I talk about how I usually leave my cardboard projects in their natural brown state but wish I didn't.

Today's project is a cardboard house. Not a 3D dollhouse like this or this, or even - less traditionally - this

but a facade of a house.

Actually, I made three houses. And by "made", I really mean "drew with Sharpie on a big flat piece of cardboard." The big flat pieces of cardboard were in themselves an adventure to procure. I have several go-to stores including IKEA and Costco where I hunt for cardboard, and at which the success rate is usually very high, but it does require time and effort, not to mention some tricky driving after because one's rear view mirror shows, rather than the road, the gargantuan cardboard pieces hogging the back of the car instead. Still, it's so worth it - there is nothing quite like the thrill of a cardboard hunt. 

But we were talking about houses. 

This was house #1: The Residential Mansion. 

House #2: The Restaurant/Cafe

House #3: the Peranakan Shophouse from Singapore circa early 1900s.

When the details were all drawn in, I filled them in with acrylic paint.

Just two accent colors - green and white, the signature colors of the company which commissioned this work,

and no more than accents, because these houses were display boards to showcase multicolored holiday cards, and we wanted those to stand out.

Here they are, lined up against my garage door.

This is the stand-up support mechanism. 

Here's how a flat facade turns into a display board.

Strips of cardboard - pair up a single layer with a double-layered stack,

with the single-layered piece a little taller than the double-layered stack,

and glue that along the windowsill.

Now you can rest a photo or a card on it,

and it won't slip off.

The house display boards and ledges were packed separately, and the ledges then attached at the destination. Here are some in-action shots with card samples from a previous year.

Not many of us have space in our homes for a display board of this size, but imagine this on a smaller scale, perhaps for just one or two photos - a single window, a pair of double doors, even a cardboard easel for one. Unlimited possibilities with just a Sharpie and (if you're so inclined) some paint.