Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Seahorse Family Stuffies Pattern Is Available

** update: This pattern is now available as a free download! **

Yay!  I can't believe how fast I finished up the pattern and all the web changes I needed to make.  The PDF includes the pattern pieces and instructions for both an adult and a baby seahorse.  They are super cute, if I say so myself.

You can check out the seahorses made by my awesome testers in the Futuregirl Seahorse Stuffies Flickr group.  Thank you so much Korallin, Diane, and Sara!

I should have mentioned in my last post that Andrew is the genius behind the seahorse photos.  He's the one that knows how to light things, knows how to position things, and knows how his camera works ... you know, everything.  I've learned a ton from him since I started this blog.  We always have so much fun setting up the elaborate photo shoots together.  He's the best and I'm so lucky he's mine!

Last night after I posted, I tied my copy of Crochet Me closed.  I'm totally serious.  I didn't just do it for the blog.  I haven't even opened it once - not once.  I think if I hadn't tied it closed, I would have been crocheting today instead of finishing up the pattern.  Now I'm so excited to get started on swatching!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Teasing You With Baby Seahorses

** update: pattern on free downloads page **

I'm *this close* to finishing the pattern and instructions for the my seahorse stuffies.  I know I shouldn't say anything before it's ready, because I'm totally jinxing myself, but I'm sure it'll be up soon!

I'm including the pattern and instructions for both adult *and* baby seahorses.  The adult pattern looks just like Sasha and the baby pattern is what I used to make the two little cuties pictured here.

The only thing holding me back is that I just got my copy of Crochet Me in the mail and I'm fighting the urge to start swatching for the Icelandic Cowl.  I've decided that I'm going to use every bit of my will power and not open the book until I have the seahorses finished and posted.

I'm not sure if I'll be able to resist ...

Here's a little behind-the-scenes shot from today.  It's pretty ridiculous how much I love setting these things up. Oh, I just realized I need to add 'photoshop out the strings' on my list of things to do ... I better get to work! :)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Tutorial: Choosing A Stitch For Hand Sewing

Now that I have two tutorials on hand sewing felt, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about the benefits and disadvantages of both.  Each works well and brings a distinct look to your hand sewn item.  It's worth it to think about what sort of effect you are going for to help you choose the right stitch.

Whip Stitch        tutorial    project featured above

I like to use whip stitch to sew together felt stuffies when I want the stitching to melt into the stuffie.  Usually, I use thread that matches the felt when I use whip stitch.  Occasionally, I will use a contrasting thread color with whip stitch to get a more primitive, hand made vibe going.  In the case of my rose pincushion, I tried to create a woodcut feel with whip stitching.

Benefits : Whip stitch is great for sewing together stuffies when you want the seams to meet up flatly to create a shape.  This is especially good for round shapes, like heads or bodies.  Whip stitch is also pretty simple and forgiving of mistakes, especially when you use a matching thread color.

Drawbacks : Whip stitch doesn't always come out as straight or evenly spaced as you might hope because the thread goes diagonally through the felt on the inside bit of the stitch.  This can also cause your felt pieces to come out uneven near the end of your work, unless you are careful about "felt creep."

Blanket Stitch        tutorial    project featured above

I use blanket stitch when I want a decorative edging on my hand sewn item.  It's especially interesting when done in a contrasting thread color as an edging for a patch, like my travel stickers, or along the seams of a 2-D stuffie.  Blanket stitching is easy, once you get started, and I think it looks very professional and bold.

Benefits : When using blanket stitch to sew the seams of a stuffie, there won't be any "felt creep" because the needle goes straight through the felt from front to back.  Because blanket stitch creates a thread outline along the edges of your piece, it can mask uneven edges and wonky cutting.  Blanket stitch seems to be easier to use to create evenly spaced stitching than whip stitch.

Drawbacks : When using blanket stitch to sew together stuffies, it becomes a ridged seam that is equal to the depth of your stitch.  This creates ridges in 3-D stuffies that might look weird and distort the stuffie's shape.

If you have any thoughts, lessons-learned, or blog posts about hand sewing that you'd like to share, please leave a comment.  Lots of people come to my site after searching for "hand sewing" so people (including me!) really want to know your tips and tricks.