So lately I’ve been busy with a variety of projects, which I haven’t posted about yet because I made some of them for a swap, and I don't want to spoil the surprise. But I've been dying to post about them (hopefully my package will arrive soon)!
After I finished my swap project and got it sent off, I had a couple of other little things in mind that I wanted to work on. One of them is related to my increasing obsession with the idea of making cute stuffed animals, so I’ve been researching books on the topic, and one of them that I recently took out of the library was a brief volume titled Soft Animals A to Z
. It has some of the more thorough patterns that I’ve looked at, so I copied a few of them off and started working on a little elephant this weekend, using some scrap flannel I had around. I was originally going to make it all pink, but I had some soft floral print as well, and decided to use it for the insides of his ears, as well as his tusks, tail, and footpads. I am so glad
I decided to do this.
This was a great project for me to work on at this stage in my sewing skills, because it gave me some practice working with very small seam allowances, as well as with turning and stuffing small bits and pieces. It also was small enough that I was able to finish it in a weekend. So Saturday night after I finished potting the herb plants I bought while out with onthinice
, I laid out the pieces and started working on the little elephant. It only took a few hours to get him nearly finished, and by midnight I was almost ready to turn his body inside out and start stuffing.
I found the pattern fairly easy to follow, and didn't have much trouble putting things together, based on the helpful diagrams, well-labeled pattern pieces which are referred to clearly with all capped names in the text, and the combined clarity and brevity of the instructions. I didn't follow it exactly. It called for a different type of material, like microsuede or felt, but I decided flannel would be just fine. I like the way it turned out, and how soft it is. The only thing I might do differently is that I think the pale color I chose might get dingy too quickly, especially if given to a child. Still, I really like the way it turned out.
The pattern called for me to cut 1.5 inch cardboard or plastic circles to push into the bottoms of his feet for stability, but I decided this would only frustrate me, as I was not able to get his footpads sewn on quite uniformly enough for this to work without some adjustment. I don't think it's really too noticeable, but they are not quite round, and not quite all the same as each other. So instead of struggling with that, I poured two tablespoons of poly pellets into the bottom of each leg, then used a chopstick to stuff polyfill down into the legs.
I am extremely proud of this elephant. It is one of my greatest sewing accomplishments to date. My boyfriend pronounced it a “totally great” elephant, and when I went out to dinner with my coworker friend tonight I took the elephant along in the car to show off, and even she agreed that it was a “very cute” little elephant.
To explain the title of this post, last night after I completed the elephant, I was holding it on my lap looking at it, and my boyfriend was lying on the other couch with the dog curled up against him. “Hey, I’ll trade you,” he said. I handed him the elephant and called the dog over. He looked at the elephant, then tucked it under his arm where the dog had been.
The dog began staring at the toy elephant, which was sitting where she had been, enjoying the affection and attention she had been. My boyfriend noticed this and pointed it out to me. He moved the elephant a little bit, and the dog perked up and pricked her ears forward. This is the same thing she does when she thinks a mouse is around. She jumped down and stared up at the elephant, which he then handed to me. She immediately resumed the spot the elephant had been occupying.
I found this completely hilarious, so I began fussing over the elephant and petting it, and telling it how it was good and maybe it needed a treat. The dog watched bitterly from her perch in my boyfriend’s arms. “Honey, that’s cruel,” he accused, in a way that suggested he found it as humorous as I did. So I stood up with the elephant and walked over to put it on the table. The dog got up and followed me suspiciously.
Then this morning when I was getting ready to leave the house, I picked up the elephant to put it in a bag, and the dog kept a watchful eye on it the entire time.
Good dog. She won’t be allowing any elephant shenanigans in this house!