Some quick links:
1 This post tells you what's inside Menagerie, how to use it, and what sort of skills and materials you will need for the projects.
2 This post has a free download sheet of hand stitches that are used in the projects of Menagerie, and which are useful for sewing soft toy in general.
3 This post introduces you to some of the tools that I have found useful when sewing soft toys and dolls, including a home-made funnel for channeling poly beads into small and deep spaces.
4 This post contains FAQs and background about Menagerie.
5 This post documents the thoughts and sewing experience of my stupendous pattern tester Grandma G (thank you, Amazing One!) as she ploughed through Menagerie and test-sewed the kangaroo and joey. Lots of photos!
Some quick facts about the pattern:
1 The file is about 13 MB. Make sure your device is able to both download the file and store it before opening the file.
2 This is a pdf pattern. I repeat: this is a pdf pattern. This means that it is not a paper pattern. It will not be delivered to you in your postbox by the mailman or the UPS guy. It will come to you via a link in an email. You will need to download it yourself, open it and print it (if you want). You will need a program that reads pdf patterns in order to open it. Adobe is an example. Preview on the iMac is another example. Microsoft Word is a non-example. WatsApp (or Twitter or Facebook) is another non-example.
3 The templates (there are 14 pages of them) have NO SEAM ALLOWANCES. This is to enable you to enlarge and shrink them more easily to make animals of different sizes. It is also to enable you to easily assemble the integrated tails and modify the base template to do different things and make different animals. Some people will prefer having SA included in the templates. To that, I say, "Tough." I also say, "Learn to lay out without included SA because once you get used to it, you will experience a liberation like no other and you will never look back; among other things, it allows you to accurately mark sewing points and lines and match up edges. But if you still prefer, you can turn the SA-less templates into SA-included ones by cutting them out with a 1/4" border (my kids call it "bubble cutting") around the relevant edges, before laying them out on the fabric."
4 When you print out the template pages, make sure to set your printer to print at 100%. This is what my printer menu looks like when I command it to print a page - it chooses 91% because it thinks it's clever.
I override it and set it to 100%. Notice that the image is now bigger. Also notice the square in the top right hand corner of the image - this is a 1" callibration square. If your page is printed at 100%, that square will measure 1". Your printer menu will not look the same as mine if your printer is different, but they can all be set to print at 100%.
Now, it is not a terrible thing if you forget this print-at-100% step. The templates will all print out proportionally smaller and you'll still get a cute stuffed animal at the end of your sewing adventure, albeit a slightly mini version. However, some parts of your animal's anatomy are measured independently from the template sizing. See red ovals:
If you are using shrunken templates, these other pieces might be a tad large and would need to be cut proportionally smaller, too. Moral of the story: don't let your printer tell you what to do; show it who's boss and make it print the right size.
5 Menagerie costs US$24. Originally, I wanted to price it at US$50,000 to reflect the amount of work that went to it, but talked myself out of it. You're welcome for the 99.952% discount.
Email me or leave comments if you have any questions, or if you have problems with the download, okay? We're going to be at some lake (i.e. no internet connection) for the Independence Day hols, but I'll be back at my computer after the weekend to help you all out.
Alright, enough talk. Go here to buy the pattern, and thank you for all your support and interest! I hope you enjoy sewing the animals of Menagerie and learning to create your own. Go forth and fill the earth!