Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Cometh

3 June 2014.
Look out for it!

There are a couple of ikatbag projects in it. With templates. Like that House In The Hallway on the top right corner. And LOOOOOOK are those flat bunnies and that round chick in the middle! Eeeeee! Adorbs.

Stay tuned for more news and the book tour and review and book launch party and such. Or pre-order your copy now on 

Thursday, March 27, 2014


This is Smoosh.

I made him as a reward to myself in the middle of all the garment-sewing and drafting that have been going on recently. Too much clothes-sewing is bad for one's health, is my mantra. Winter is hard. I often feel like there's nothing to do other than sew. And I hate feeling like I am obliged to do something simply because there are no better alternatives. I've decided that people who live in Minnesota are ridiculously stoic. Never mind that we are in constant danger of frostbite or being fashion disasters in the name of "staying warm". We are not supposed to complain about the weather (because the only logical response would be something like, "Well, go live somewhere else, then.") And since I voluntarily chose to live here over sunny, tropical Singapore, I have even less reason than anyone else to be disgruntled. So, masochistic tendencies notwithstanding, I suck it up and try to survive till summer. And in the meantime, I drown my sorrows in the pool, the treadmill, my barrel of Vitamin D pills, and the wretched, overworked sewing machine. 

But I digress.
We were talking about Smoosh. 

Smoosh is a hedgehog.

As bunnies are to Kate, and bears to Jenna, so hedgehogs are to Emily.

I don't have a lot to say about Smoosh except that he was fun to make.

And that if I were a baby, I'd be motivated to gnaw on his little round nose.

And repeatedly poke his belly.

And smoosh him.

Yes, like that.

No plans to turn this into a tutorial or pattern or whatever. The templates are somewhere in the house, but I don't know where. All I remember is that I drew them on random advertisement flyers I found in the recycling bin. Winter does that to my brain.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bunny House

This is a simple cardboard house we made for our litter of baby bunnies
We made eight baby bunnies, so we designed the house with eight rooms, one for each bunny. 

And we opted for an open concept, i.e. without exterior walls, for easier play. We also made the roof removable, in case the girls decided they might want to wallpaper the interior walls later. Or paint them.

The house was constructed from flat cardboard sheets, rather than from a box. 
We made 4 slotted two-storey walls, one slotted middle floor, one ground floor (same size as the middle floor, but without slots), and a roof.

Then we assembled it by slotting, and then gluing in place.

I used single-wall corrugated cardboard, because that's what I had large flat sheets of. Which needed support. So I added these props.

We wanted ceiling lights in the upper floor, so we poked holes and taped a string of IKEA's Strala lights into them.

Then the slanty sides of the roof were glued on, and the entire roof balanced on the top of the four walls.

Later, the girls decorated some tea lights with fancy paper, and glue-dotted them to the walls of the lower storey, for light sconces. Those little square holes in the walls were to allow us to switch the tea lights on and off from behind each wall.

Since then, the girls have made some cardboard furniture, but otherwise, the bunnies just snuggle in cloth napkins and washcloths on the floor.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bunny Clothes and Tote

Ridiculously easy project for kids today.

We're making miniscule bunny totes.

You'll need a rectangle of felt and some trim (or ribbon).

Fold rectangle in half, with the folded edge at the bottom. Lay trim along one edge and stitch through all three layers = trim+2 layers of felt.

Bring trim over to the backside of the other edge of the felt and stitch that down. Or stitch it on the same side so that there is a front and back to the tote.

Repeat all around the rainbow.

This next project is a bit too fiddly for children to make. It involves elastic and stretching. But you can sew these skirts and hats all in a row like bunting and give the kids a pair of scissors to cut them apart. I did this with Kate and she was thrilled.

Cut rectangles of fleece and lengths of 1/4" elastic that will stretch around the waists of the bunnies. The rectangles should be longer than the elastic.

Zig-zag stitch the elastic to the WS of the fleece, along one long edge. Pull the elastic to match the length of the fleece rectangle as you sew. When done, that edge should retract as shown. Make the other edge fancy - it will be the hem of the skirt.

Then, with RS together, stitch the short ends of the skirt together. And turn RS out. 

The hats are made from wide pizza-slice-shaped pieces of fleece, folded in half with their RS together, and sewn along their straight edges to make a cone.

Dress the bunnies. We call these our Wee Willie Winkie hats and PJ skirts.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bunny Food

We're making carrots today. 

If you need it, there is a carrot template you can download along with the bunny bed in this earlier post.
Otherwise, just eyeball a shape that's like a pizza slice and cut that out of orange wool or wool-blend felt.  

You'll also need a needle and orange thread, a little rectangle of green felt, pinked along one edge, and a bit of stuffing.

Whipstitch the long edges of the carrot together.

Don't cut the thread off when you reach the opening. Stuff the carrot and stitch the opening closed. Don't cut the thread off now, either!

Roll the rectangle of green felt and impale it on your needle, close to the edge that isn't pinked.

and stitch that to the top of the carrot.

Finished carrot.

Give to bunny for QC.

Make more.

Package attractively so as to appeal to small children.

Feed bunnies.

But - you know - being babies, the food is likely to end up on the floor, anyway.

And they'll squeak at you to come pick it up.