|Judo inspired Ninja|
|Sky Blue Ninja|
This pattern was bought as an individual pattern from the website which I had e-mailed to me as a pdf. I first made ninjas back in the summer for my nephew and his Dad. My nephew is learning Judo so I had a lot of fun using the blue of his training suit and making an orange belt with the correct amount of yellow tabs. I then made his Dad one in blue and white as he is a Coventry City supporter. I enjoyed making these so much that I decided to make them for our cousins for Christmas. I have written before about making the "same but different" for sisters. For the sisters I made one pink and purple and one claret and blue as one of them is a big Villa supporter. Thankfully I do not follow football otherwise I would be in trouble with one or even both. The ninjas are really fun and they do not have over complicated features. The patterns are very easy to follow and the most difficult aspect is getting the arms to look the same. I have a constant battle with pairs of things as one always seem to look different. In the original pattern the bands are added in sections, this makes sense if you are trying to line up cotton, although having chosen to use felt I decided to just hand sew the felt strips on after the toy was constructed. This is easy with felt as the stitches are hidden by the texture of the fabric. The main difference in the Christmas ninjas is that I decided to use beads instead of felt for the eyes. The beads I used were 7mm and I was pleased with the result. I would opt for felt still for a younger child in the future. They are lovely to put together and as long as you take your time to straighten up the bands then it would be a good project for a beginner.
|Christmas "Sister Ninjas"|
The first toy I ever made was a caterpillar for my little girl from "Sewn Toy Tales" by Melly and Me. It is a fantastic pattern mixing hand sewn yo-yos and machine sewn leg sections. The yo-yos and leg sections are held together with 5mm cotton tape. I adore this design as it allows the body to move in a really fluid way, it is also great for popping them on things. The book itself is excellent with a comprehensive stitch guide and some fantastic advice on fabric selection. The face details and antenna give a lovely personality and character. There are 15 yo yo's in the caterpillar which are all made of different coloured cotton fabrics. In my Christmas caterpillars I used some soft brushed cotton for the body pieces. I made one with green body sections and brown, red and orange yo-yo's and the second with a purple body, pink, purple and turquoise yo-yo's. I found just enough of my brown mushroom fabric to make the antenna and nose for the green one, which made me incredibly happy as this fabric was left over from the recipients parent's wedding present that I also made. One of the things I learned doing the first caterpillar is that you do not need all the fabrics to match, you just each each fabric to match one other, which is a tip I use a lot! This is a great way to use up your fabric stash.
This is another toy designed by Melly and Me, it comes from her latest book "Sew Fantasy Toys". I fell in love with this design straight away. I love how bold and bright and fun the pattern is. I have a soft spot for super heroes anyway so I was excited to make one. I used fleece as I love the finish and it made him nice and soft. The pattern is well explained and illustrated with the most difficult part being the piecing in the bottom. Because I was using fleece and not cotton I hand stitched the features on instead of using the machine. This is simply because I think the fleece hides the hand stitching well. I also decided to sew on the mask. I liked the idea of it coming off but as the recipient has a one year old brother I decided that an elasticated mask was not the best idea. The pattern overall was more difficult than the ninja and caterpillars. The way the feet are sewn and matched reminded me of the oyster-catchers I made last year. This gives a nice match on the foot seams. I still struggle with getting the arms and feet the same size and shape.
This pattern also came from "Sew Fantasy Toys". The construction of the mermaid is a lot more like the ninja than the superhero. Again I used fleece to make it nice and soft and fun. I chose to change the hair style and colour. Instead of using ric rac bunches I used the two buns that were used in the fairy pattern. I was a little worried that this was the Star Wars hype taking over and it would look a little like Princess Leia, but I think I got away with it. Like most toys I make the mermaid got her personality when I added the eyes and mouth. I know that if I made lots of these they would all have different expressions and personalities which makes it such an individual gift. I love the finishing touches like the starfish in the hair and the fact that the designs are not overly complicated.