Sunday, December 10, 2017

Expanding Bunnydom: tutorials in the works!

Thank you for buying my Bunny & Carrot pattern! Your support has been awesome and Kate and I are so excited to think of all the new Bunnies that are being made all over the world. Eeee!

Because we love and appreciate you guys, look at what we've added to the wonderful world of Bunnydom - a hooded pea coat and a bag of carrots!

This will be a free tutorial . . . well, TWO free tutorials - one for the bag and the other for the coat. The photos are all taken, and the samples all completed, so the plan is to get the tutorial out here on the blog in the coming week so you'll have plenty of time to make coats for any Christmas Bunnies who are going under the Christmas Tree.

Also check out my etsy store - I've stocked it with limited quantities of Bunnies-&-Carrots, a couple of the little bags and some coats. They're all a little different, so please read the descriptions carefully (the photos will help). For instance, two of the coats have ear openings for the Bunny's ears to poke through, and two do not. Some of the Carrot playsuits are entirely fleece, and some are a combination of fleece and felt (look at the materials tags if the fabric is important to you). 

I'm typically very prompt in shipping (I pack and ship the same day I receive your payment) but I'm mindful of the holiday shipping rush and want to avoid any delays in getting your items to you. If possible, please use paypal because your payment clears instantly - with credit card/Etsy direct payment, it takes at least an additional day or two for the payment to clear and for Etsy to notify me that it's okay to ship. 

Finally, a reminder for those of you who have the 50% off discount code for the Bunny pattern - it expires on Jan 1st i.e. the last day to use it is Dec 31 2017. 

Happy sewing and shopping!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Evolution of a Stuffed Toy Part 2: Tweaking the Design

Welcome back to the stuffed toy design process! Read Part 1 here, in which we began with a conceptual picture in our head and introduced foundational shapes upon which to build a basic softie design. In Part 2 today we'll be fine-tuning that design to look increasingly like the original mental image we started with. There are so many angles from which to approach this, and very little linearity to the process, so forgive me if this post feels a little all-over-the-place, okay?  On that note, let's begin with something concrete:

1 Body Parts
(Sounds awful, I know.) 
Anyone who's designed a stuffed toy will tell you that some body parts are more challenging than others to "get right". For instance, arms - since they don't  generally vary greatly from toy to toy - are usually easy. Feet, not so much. And heads are - at least for me - arguably the hardest. 

See, the actual face aside, there's the head's shape. I like round heads, the rounder the better. It is in fact my personal belief that roundheaded toys are instantly superior to those with other-shaped noggins. Sadly, not all animals  in nature actually have spherical heads. And while we as designers and seamstresses have the artistic license to interpret animals as we wish in our projects, we want to preserve at least a modicum of realism, don't we? I know I do. Sometimes when I've made a stuffed toy, I have my kids tell me, without any hints or clues, what animal it is. If they can't, or if they think it's a cat when it's actually a pig, I feel like it's a flop, even if it's the cutest thing ever.

So: shape. Now, while there are typical 3D construction models for various body parts, there are really no shortcuts to drafting them to look the way you want, in the proportion you need them to be in relation to other body parts. When you design a stuffed animal, you're essentially committing to quite a few iterations of three-dimensional shapes, tweaking them in ways that are sometimes systematic and sometimes completely random.  As an example, I'm going to walk you through my thought process as I was creating the bunny of the Bunny & Carrot pattern.

The first body part I drafted was the head. 

These are the templates of the first draft of the bunny's head.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually didn't want a spherical head for this bunny. Kate's original Bunny had a spherical head and she asked me to "please not make this new bunny look the same". So I turned to biology - when I was in high school, we dissected rabbits, and I still have vivid memories of the shape of the skull, which conveniently inspired this version. Whoda thought that stuff you learn in school sometimes is useful after all?

So Real Life Rabbit Head Shape it was, then. See that piece with the wavy sides? Those were seam contours to vary the widths at different points of what was essentially a head gusset to give not just the head its particular 3D shape, but its neck as well. 

Now, there is no way to tell how close the first templates are to the form or size you want just by drawing amazing-looking 2D shapes on paper. The first muslin is when the action really begins. Even if you suspect it's totally off, go ahead and still make that first muslin because right away, you'll be able to see, in full 3D glory, what works and what doesn't.

Unsurprisingly, this first muslin didn't work (and I didn't even save it for photos). It turned out too fussy to have shaped the head and neck with the same gusset piece. So out went that top-of-the-head template for a second draft, and that became the muslin in the picture below. I included ears purely for positioning purposes (i.e. too far back? too far forward? angled correctly?), but because the focus was on refining the head shape, I didn't bother with the precise size of the ears.



a bit more dog than rabbit, I felt, which a more defined neck might fix, so I drafted new templates for both the side and top of the head and this was the next muslin below. 

Notice that the ears are still short, but they're double-layered now, and look more like the actual ears might be. Often we can make several muslins just to fine-tune one aspect of a stuffed animal, which of course is horribly time-consuming. To increase the efficiency of process, I like to combine several features into a single muslin if possible. For instance, this muslin above does four things:
  1. models the newest head templates in their finished form (main reason)
  2. tests the insertion of two layers of fleece into a seam (ears - angle, lift, fabric bulk)
  3. tests the angle of the head in relation to the body (neck)
  4. tests the size of the head in relation to the body (proportion)

Next is a full shot of that same muslin. In addition to the head, there are also many other aspects of the body that can be assessed :
  • size and shape of torso
  • length and thickness of arms
  • shape of arms
  • angle of arms
  • length of legs
  • shape and size of foot

and so on.

Right away it's evident that the head is too small for this body, the muzzle needs to stick out farther, the neck is too big for the head, the torso is too long, as are the arms, which need to be inserted closer to the neck, etc. 

Not being critical just to be hard on myself, people; this is the process of refining a design: I have a particular image in my head of what I want this rabbit to look like, and here are all the ways in which it does not. More importantly, by studying this muslin, I can formulate a list of changes to the next draft so that it does look more like that picture in my head.

Back to the drawing board, then. 

Here is a later muslin - the head is now closer to what I want. The ears have gone back to being one-ply because I'm focusing on reshaping the head.

Actual shape aside, there is also the issue of proportion. The head in the full-body muslin above was too small for the torso. So I enlarged the head by 10%, 15%, 20%, testing each new size with the same torso until I found a proportion I liked. Each head enlargement required scaling down its neck so that it still matched the same torso's upper opening. Here is a much later muslin of the new head-torso ratio - you can see how the neck is proportionally much smaller than the head. There are also no ears - not only was I satisfied with the ear shape at this point, the focus of this particular muslin was simply on the neck alignment between head and torso.

Let's skip over the numerous iterations that followed, in which I further tweaked the shapes of both the head and torso ad nauseam. Here are two photos showing that early muslin and the final Bunny. So many changes!

Final head

2  Grain and Stretch
The fabric plays a huge part in the final shape of the stuffed animal. Some fabric, like quilting cotton, canvas and vinyl, have no stretch and when used in stuffed animals, produce angular shapes and pronounced seams. I usually avoid such fabrics, but when I do work with them, I will draft more contoured seams and include darts to create softer and rounder final shapes.
in quilting cotton

Some fabrics have stretch in them, like fleece and knits. This stretch naturally produces rounder shapes with softer seams. I will almost always choose these fabrics when making stuffed animals - not only are they forgiving, but children love animals made with them because they are soft and cuddly.
in plush knit
L: in faux fur                                  R: in plush knit


Stretch can make the fabric behave inconsistently - it might stretch too much in one direction and not enough in another, and change the final shape of a head or a leg in ways you don't care for. Therefore, when you're drafting templates, grain alignment is also a Big Deal. Here are two photos of the same leg - the left was laid out with the greatest stretch in the vertical direction (i.e. parallel to the leg) and the right was laid out with the greatest stretch in the horizontal direction (i.e. parallel to the sole).

When drafting, therefore, we need to consider this stretch direction: in which orientation should the templates be laid out - along the grain, perpendicular to the grain or along the bias? And once we've decided on the direction, will the inherent stretch of the fabric produce a final shape that's different than what we want? If so, we will need to compensate for that by narrowing a template where the fabric will make that shape bulge, and so on.

3  Templates
All my working templates have no seam allowance. This makes it easy to trace around them to create duplicates and (where needed) in multiple sizes on which to introduce the modifications needed for each subsequent version. My working templates are also often on random paper lying around the house - magazine pages, scratch paper, advertisement flyers, etc  - whatever's handy and robust enough to stand up under scribbling, folding, multiple pin holes, taping, re-taping and anything else that falls under the category of "manipulation". 

At some point, they'll have been fine-tuned enough to trace or plot onto printer paper with seam allowances in preparation for publication. They'll still be a few iterations shy of Final, but any modifications from this stage on are minor and motivated by preference rather than function or fit. Tracing them on printer paper has an important advantage: I can scan them and print out as many copies as I need to tweak into new versions; I no longer have to manually trace them out. However, it takes time to plot and annotate templates for printing, which is why I do this only for the final stages of the draft, when I expect only minimal amendments.

Here is a shot of two sets of templates for the Carrot pattern - on the left is a version of my working templates without SA, and on the right is the first pattern-ready version with SA and annotations. 

Often, to save time, I won't create a full set of templates for each version; sometimes I've only changed the ears, or the leg, but not the torso or tail or head and it makes little sense to redraw those as well. With all the different iterations, it can be hard to keep track of which particular templates I've tweaked and which I've left as is because they were already perfect. To organize my sets of templates, I write numbers on them. All first-version templates are labeled "1". All templates I use in the second version, whether or not I've made any changes, are labeled "2", and so on. So whenever I need the most recent set of templates, I look for the pieces with the biggest number on them. 

Here's an example:

There are two belly templates in the photo above. The one on the left was used in versions 1 and 2 and then I made a change and it was no longer usable from then on. The belly template on its right is the most current version "3". The same foot template was used in versions 2 and 3. The ear template needed no change and could then be used through all three versions. If I wanted to make a sample Bunny with the most current templates (version 3), I'd pick the ones that have the largest number 3 i.e. the three templates on the right. Of these three, only one (the belly) is a truly "new" template - the other two are old(er)-version templates but still work in the newest version. 

This numbering system also helps me keep track of the changes even while preferring the latest version. There are times when I've reverted to an earlier version of a template because it actually worked better than a later one that had gone through too many changes to be relevant. I was glad to have saved them!

4 Faces

I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that the face of a stuffed animal is its entire personality. I've had the experience of standing in a store with a kid trying to pick a stuffed animal, and we'd be sifting through 1 million $12.95 pink rabbits to find "the one with the best face". In all other respects, those 1 million rabbits were identical - identical fur, identical color, identical shape, identical everything - except for their faces. I concluded that because faces give stuffed animals their souls, they are therefore also a Big Deal.

What is a good face then?

There are rules of thumb, of course. Like eye spacing and eye size, or face-to-head size ratio. Symmetry generally produces beautiful faces (although this may or may not translate to actual cuteness). Space small eyes wide apart to achieve an innocent look. Happy mouths naturally endear stuffed animals to most children. Sad mouths produce forlorn expressions but this may not necessarily be a bad thing because if done right, The Forlorn Expression is a far more powerful evoker of nurturing feelings in children - and adults - than a bland happy face. Kate's original Bunny does not have a happy face - instead, she has the kind of face that, depending on her posture, can be anything from forlorn to sassy to plaintive to fake-innocent. 

I begin creating a stuffed animal's face early in the design process. As soon as I have a semi-functioning head shape, I add the face. Often it's just the eyes and nose. I use marker dots, then black ball-headed pins and felt circles in different sizes that match the safety eyes I will eventually install. 

Here's a lineup of some of the bunny samples. See if you can spot the earlier ones -they're the ones with experimental eye sizes and quite disparate expressions. As I fine-tuned the facial feature layout, the faces - while still unique - became more consistent.

Refining the Face
Left: early sample; Right: final sample

5 Turning a design into a tutorial or pattern 
If you're creating a stuffed animal for the sheer pleasure of designing and making, this is pretty much the end of the journey. You will now have a 3D stuffed animal that looks as close as possible to a mental image that was your inspiration - hurrah!

If, however, you also want to share the instructional process, a methodical documentation of the stages of construction and adjustment might be helpful.

Here is the very rough sequence I use when creating samples for a tutorial or pattern. 

Round 1: 
I make templates and just sew. I make samples, tweak the templates and make more samples. I try different fabrics, different grain orientations, different construction sequences. At this stage, my templates have no SA to facilitate changes to shape and size. I don't record any instructions or sequences. I don't take photos. My focus is on making the best version of the stuffed toy.

Round 2: 
Once I have a satisfactory Final Version of The Stuffed Toy, I begin to record my construction method. I did this previously in list-form on paper, but I found it too static, particularly when I needed to add a diagram or details after the fact, or change the sequence. 

Here's what I now use - post-it notes.

Each post-it note = one distinct step. 

Because I'm accustomed to writing tutorials and patterns, I often see construction sequences from that angle. In this instance: 

each post-it-note = one distinct step = one instructional photo in a tutorial/pattern.

Working on one sample from start to finish, I document each step, adding diagrams, details, measurements and tips, in point form rather than prose. I stick the post-it notes on my table/ my notebook in the sequence in which I fill them, which may or may not be the final sequence in the tutorial/pattern. When the sample is completed, I will have a series of post-it notes containing instructions to make it. 

Round 3: 
I photodocument the process. I'll have cut out another sample - this is the one who will star in my tutorial, so the fabrics have high contrast, the pieces have clean edges, etc. I sew this sample, taking photos at every step, using the post-it sequence as a guide. This is the most time-consuming part of the documentation - it often takes three to four times as long to make this sample than you guys will while following my (eventual) tutorial/pattern.

Round 4:
I sit at my computer and write the instructions. I don't worry about whether two edges are 1/4" off, or if the dimensions are correct or if the sequence is perfect. The point of this round is to write so that at the end of it, l'll have a draft to edit. Then I set it aside.

Round 5: I sew more samples, enough so I become aware of a preferred sequence. This sequence may not be the same as the one in Rounds 1 and 2 because now I am sewing for the purpose of feeling natural, and not for birthing a provisional method.

Round 6: Now I read my draft from Round 4. I rearrange the sequence if necessary and check measurements and templates to ensure that edges align and match. I trace out final templates with SA, scan them into a document and print them out as if I were an actual pattern user. I use them to make more samples, and to verify yardage. I edit and re-edit subsequent versions of the draft to reflect all the changes in this round.

Round 7: I make a final sample based on my own instructions from start to finish. This is when I often realize I need more photos, or that some photos in the draft were annotated wrongly or could've been more clearly explained. It's also when I finalize all the measurements and inadvertently discover that leg doesn't quite fit the foot as I'd thought, and I need to re-test and re-draw certain templates. 

And here we wrap up! I hope this has been an interesting look at what goes on behind the scenes when I'm designing a stuffed toy. Looking forward, I am excited to share the next couple of posts with you because they are tutorials for accessories for the Bunny!  See you back here soon!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Evolution of a Stuffed Toy Part 1: Foundation

Let's talk about process today. Sewing, drafting, designing, writing, whatever - the process excites me as much as (if not more than) the product. Certainly there's nothing quite like the triumph of a finished product but far, far more engaging and satisfying is the process and  - hidden within it - method that takes one from beginning to end along pathways of one's own making. It's not unlike a mystery or a puzzle: initially, it's an overwhelming mess of stimuli - fabric, darts, gathers, buckles, straps, eyes and ears and noses - and the knowledge that one sift through it all to find a starting point, that First Step after which momentum can take over, the What becomes Hows, the Hows reinforce the Whys and everything finds order in the ride to the finish line. Yes, it might be intimidating, but creating often is - until you find your method.

And method, friends, is a glorious thing.

What does that look like in the stuffed toy design process, though?

I can't speak for everyone else's but I'll share mine. I'm going to pretend that this is a class and you want to learn how to design and draft a stuffed toy from scratch. If you remember my Make A Bag series from long ago, this might feel a little bit like it, except that we'll be deconstructing heads and bodies instead of gussets and straps. So no tutorials on how to sew a leg, or install safety eyes or attach an arm to a torso with or without a button tether. Those are techniques for sewing; we're more interested today in drafting i.e. taking a design in your head and turning it into a finished project. 

Generally, every stuffed toy begins as a concept or an idea, possibly even a motivation to hack something in a store, a catalogue, a friend's house. From that vague beginning stems the visualization of an end product, however rudimentary or fully-realized that might be. Without an end product in mind, the journey never progresses beyond that first inkling, and instead ends there, where so many other Good Intentions go to die. With an end product in mind, however, there can be Stages In-Between - that method I love so much.

Hence this post. *gleefully rubs hands together*

Let's start at the beginning, then, with that concept. We're designing a bunny, and it's a Puffy Bunny, not a Flat Bunny. Those are Kate's terms, incidentally - and you can read about Puffy and Flat Bunnies here. The point is we want a bunny that sits upright, not one that lies on its belly.

Next, we think about shapes. Stuffed animals come in all shapes but there are some standard base shapes from which many animals can be adapted. My sewing pattern Menagerie is an example of how a single base shape can be turned into many different animals by adding characteristic features.

Here follow some sketches I made and photographed with my icky phone camera.

At the bottom of the stuffed toy hierarchy are flat, 2D stuffed animals. These are essentially pillows with identical front and back pieces sewn together and  then stuffed. In Bunnydom, these might look like the diagrams below: single heads or heads integrated with bodies. Appendages may be part of the main amebic outline or inserted into the outline seam. Babies' first nursery lovies - designed to be clutched 24/7 rather than posed for pretend play - are often shaped like these; this design is non-bulky and huggable like a favorite pillow.

Another example: my Fairytale Dolls were based on this flat, 2D design.

Slightly higher on the stuffed toy hierarchy are the 3D spinoffs of classic 2D geometrical shapes: circles become spheres, triangles become pyramids, rectangles become cubes and blimps and rectangular prismsCombining shapes gives you even more options - for instance, a circle and a rectangle become a cylinder, and so on. These simple 3D stuffed animals tend to be abstract and stylized rather than realistic, but they're easy to design and draft. .

To create more realistic stuffed animals, we need to branch out from classic geometrical shapes. This next sketch shows a simple technique for turning a 2D draft into a 3D one by adding a base or bottom. Here's a 2D bunny from the earlier sketch, whose head and body are made by sewing identical front and back pieces together around their entire outline. If we leave their bottom end open and stitch that around a separate base, the finished product can stand (or sit) upright without needing to be leaned against something.

Adding appendages increases the sophistication of the design but it's optional - here and here are two projects which are literally just front+back+base:

Now we know how to turn a flat toy into a one that stands on its own with some measure of stability. Booyah. Sadly, its shape is still far from exciting. So . . . are you ready for some seam-shaping? 

(Pffft. Of course you are.)

Just like garments, you can customize the contours of stuffed toys by shaping their seams. Let's illustrate that. Here's our 2D Bunny again. Even with a base, its front and back planes are uninterestingly flat and uncontoured.

Let's split those front and back pieces down the middle to create a seam.

Now redraw the head portion of that center seam so that it bulges out. Cut out four (2 pairs) of these new shapes, and sew each pair together along their new contoured center seam. Incidentally, instead of a seam, you can use darts to achieve an equivalent shaping effect.

The result is a stuffed animal whose head has graduated from a flat circle to a sphere. If you also add a base, both the head and body portions will now be fully 3D. 

Kate's now-famous Bunny was drafted like this.

Now we're gaining momentum - and options - and we're ready to take our design up a notch. All along, we've been working with the integrated head-body design. There are advantages and disadvantages to this construction:

One advantage is simplicity. It's a lot easier to work with a head and body that are already connected through the neck because that's one less seam to have to sew. This design is especially preferred by beginning seamstresses because it avoids the bottleneck fabric maneuvering required to secure that neck seam. Instead, simply with suitable seam-shaping in the neck region, it is possible to get a decent head-neck-shoulder proportion that approximates the shapely effect of a neck seam. 

One disadvantage of this is support. Softies without an actual neck seam almost always end up with a poorly-stuffed neck region. This is because the seam-less neck area is a natural fold point; even if you'd stuffed it well at the end of the sewing process, the natural head movement about the neck causes the stuffing to migrate out of the neck over time. If the fabric is stretchy, this might not be visibly apparent apart from a floppy head, but in fabrics like cotton, you might begin to notice actual unsightly neck wrinkles. 

Another disadvantage is the head and body share the same seam pattern because the seam is continuous from the top of the head through the bottom of the body. This implies design limitations. For instance, if you wanted a smooth belly without a central front body seam, you'd essentially also be committing to a flat face without contours.

That said, the simplicity of an integrated head-and-body is often a big enough pro as to outweigh any design-restriction cons, and it remains a very popular design for stuffed animals.

If, however, you're feeling adventurous, consider a separate head and body, joined together at the neck seam. Not only will the final product be sturdier and more realistically contoured, you can also mix-and-match your seam design in the head and torso and thus vary the shape of the body from pillow-flat to lampshade to pyramidal,

to asymmetrical

to . . . well, the sky's the limit, really.

And here is where I will leave you today. To see these concepts in action, take a closer look at the stuffed toys in your house (if your kids are anything like mine, you'll have plenty to look at!) See if you can categorize them using some of the foundational principles in this post  - 2D flat, 2D flat with a base, integrated head-and-body, connected head-and-body, contoured seams etc. Sometimes just being aware of how things are constructed and having a framework with which to analyze them are a sufficient first step to designing similar things on your own. Very few of us truly create out of nothing; even pure unadulterated imagination uses principles and method for a roadmap toward become a physically-realized outcome.

Check back soon for the next post in which we'll talk about tweaking and refining our design!

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: 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!