I’m currently working on refining this owl pattern. Still a bit of tweaking to be done, but I’m getting there. I first made this owl over a year ago and though I’ve made a few versions since then, I’m still happiest with the first one. It was wool and had half moon eyes and a long pointy nose. Something about the first in a set – it is nearly always the one I’m happiest with.
Moving on in the book swap, I have a brand new copy of Stitch ‘N Bitch by Debbie Stoller that I’d like to swap with someone. As I think I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a knitter. Mom gave me this one. Never opened it. If you’d like it and have a craft book to swap, send me an email.
I thought I’d post a few shots from my sketch book today and talk a little about the process of making my toys. Here are some of the sketches that have become toys recently.
and the camel.
These sketches are the beginnings of each toy. From there I figure out how to construct it in 3-D and make little notes next to the sketch (you can see some of these next to Humpty). Then I take out freezer paper and draw the pieces and cut them out. I iron them onto fabric, sew them up, and hope for the best. More often then not I have to redraw each part several times, especially the gussets and the foot pads and the most complex parts. I almost always sew with the freezer paper still stuck to the fabric, unless it is not possible because of the positioning of the pattern piece. And I try to label the pattern pieces well because there is a tendency for all those tiny freezer paper pieces to get mixed up with the scraps and get thrown out.
While I’m working I just throw all the scraps on the floor. Just like in the kitchen, I make a big pile of trash and throw it all away at the end. My iron, my work table and my sewing machine are in three different parts of our bedroom so I have to get up and walk around a lot. I think this is probably a good thing. And I also take a lot of breaks. When I get tired I go downstairs and prepare part of dinner, like marinate the steak or something, and then I come back and I have more energy to fiddle with the tedious parts of sewing again.
And, of course, I have to work efficiently because a baby is always about to wake up. I don’t sew or work on crafts at all while my children are awake. They don’t any T.V. and they always need me for something. I can’t concentrate. But when they do go to sleep, I’m working right away. I think it is safe to say that I engineer my entire day around being able to sew for an hour or two. I think the fact that I only have an hour or two is actually what makes me productive. Before I had children, when I was teaching, I had the summers off and even though I had every crafty intention, I would often end of lounging around and not accomplishing much. Having a strict time limit is really helpful for my productivity.