My second book, Stuffed Animals: From Concept to Construction, was released four months ago. Today I have a little recap of some of the activity that has surrounded the book since it's release.
This is the two-minute trailer video. I hope you enjoy it! We also shot four 30-second vignettes featuring some of my favorite projects from the book: the elephant, the ram, the kangaroo, and the dinosaur.
Stuffed Animals is a comprehensive guide to soft toy design. It's got 16 projects and 52 lessons that teach you how to design your own stuffed animals, from very simple flat toys to complex softies with joints, darts, and gussets.
My goal was for this book to become a reference that sewists and designers would turn to again and again for many years as they work on their own creative projects. I'm so happy with how this book as been received. It went into a second printing just two months after it's release! Thank you so much to everyone who has left a review on Amazon. It's got 25 five star reviews!
And there's been quite a bit of wonderful coverage on blogs, too. They're linked up on this handy links page, but I wanted to share with you a little of Jill Hamor's review that went up on Wednesday because it really touched me. I love Jill's work and have so much respect for her skills as a doll and toy maker. I read the first paragraph of her review while in my car waiting to pick up my daughter and my eyes filled with tears. She totally got it:
"Almost 10 years ago, as I started to experiment with sewing dolls and stuffed toys, I often wondered – how do people learn how to do this?
I mean, you can go to school to learn how to design clothes or simply
take a class or two at a local fabric shop to get a grasp on the basics.
There are also plenty of books, blogs, online courses and tutorials on
designing and sewing garments and quilts. And sure, there are books
and patterns for sewing dolls and toys – but my question was how do people learn to design stuffed toys? Where is there a book or a course for that?"
Right! It was with this question in mind that I wrote Stuffed Animals.
I also want to show you a small sampling of the projects people are making from the patterns in the book. Here are a few elephants, fishes, and rams. These patterns demonstrate how to design an underbody gusset, an outline toy, and a head gusset.
Elephant by Cintia of My Poppet; Elephants by Renee Ettia; Elephant by Rona Keith
Ram by Jenna Dancy; Hornless Ram by Elisa Kolle; Ram by Courtney Darling
Make a fun toy while picking up new techniques along the way. Instead of just following sewing instructions, learn the "why" behind how patterns are made! If you've made a project from the book feel free to share it on my Facebook page. I've got a great community there and we would love to see what you're up to!
All of the templates in this book are full-sized (except for the dinosaur which is at 90% because he was just too big to fit), and you can also download them for free and print them out from the publisher's website right here (even the dinosaur is full-sized there!). I think that having downloadable templates makes it really easy to get started sewing. Yay!
I will be teaching a Design Your Own Stuffed Animal class at Gather Here in Cambridge, MA, on Saturday, October 20, 2013. I'd love for you to join me if you're interested in drafting an original softie pattern!
Thank you so much and happy softie sewing!