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monster stuffie supplies, wool felt, buttons, zippers

This started out as a project to make monster stuffies. The boy and I had done some sketches several months ago, so I pulled those out and made patterns. The girl and I pulled out colors and colors of wool and rayon felt, the jar of buttons, snaps, zippers and other odds and ends. The original idea called for using a functioning zipper for the mouth which would create a belly pocket. This took a little thinking but it wasn’t all that hard. I had hoped this would be easy enough for the kids to do a lot of the work. The wool felt is pretty thick to sew through so they did parts of it but some of it was just too hard. We stuffed the bodies lightly with poly pellets and wool stuffing.

We each made one stuffie and it turned out that we each chose a different one of the three patterns I had made. The girl stayed true to the original monster theme but the boy’s morphed into a caricature of Spider-Man and mine turned zoomorphic and became an owl. For some reason we have had a lot of owl “sightings” lately—Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (an excellent movie by the way), a non-fiction book about owls from the library, the kids have been hooting at the neighborhood owls, and when we went to get the girl her first backpack, she chose one with a cute forest scene, complete with . . . owls.

Happy Monster:
monster stuffie character wool felt button eyes and zipper mouth

Intense Superhero:
Spider-Man inspired zipper pocket stuffie

Silly Owl:
wool felt hand sewn owl stuffie with zipper pocket belly

This was a fun project and I think we’ll make more of these to give away as gifts. I’d particularly like to find some patterned wool to turn into felt to use on these stuffies.

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fashion dolls shirred top hand sewn dress

The girl chose this fabric out of my scrap bin for a new dress for her Liv fashion doll, Alexia. I decided to try shirring the top since I’ve never done shirring before. I couldn’t find the elastic thread anywhere so I ended up couching a line of zigzag over cord elastic. That worked out okay but it’s a little heavy at doll size. I also used the black elastic cord for the doubled shoulder straps which makes it easy to put the dress on the doll.

Next to Alexia is Roger (named by the boy), who is sadly still wearing the polyester duds he came with. The manufacturer didn’t even give him shoes, poor guy. I think sandals are in order for both dolls.

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We’ve had rather a lot of rainy days this spring. Yesterday it was dry enough that the kids got outside and went crazy for a few hours. I think there were 6-7 kids running between our house and the next door neighbor’s. Today back to rain.

Liv doll Barbie Blythe hand sewn handmade dress

I made this sunny dress and matching hair scrunchie out of some scraps for the girl’s Liv doll, Alexia. I didn’t have a pattern and I didn’t make one either. I just sort of cut and pinned as I went along. Which is great in that it went together fast and relatively painlessly for such small work but not so great in that I would have to do the same amount of work to duplicate it. But I rarely do the same thing twice so it probably doesn’t matter much.

I used the ultra thin clear velcro that I found at the hardware store. It says that it is not recommended for fabrics but I ignored that of course. It did stick to the fabric enough to make it easy to work with and it was quite easy to sew through. I just cleaned a bit of adhesive off the needle when I was done. The closure is neat, easy to open and close and barely noticeable. Now she just needs some sandals and a sunny day!

micro thin clear velcro closure on handmade doll dress

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Look what came in the mail! All the way from England!

sushi cat custom poster

A one-of-a-kind picture of our cats Duke and Lila romping with the famous Sushi Cat, from the adorable arcade style game by Armor Games. The reaction from the kids was pretty funny.

“Aww, it’s Sushi Cat.”
“Wait, who’s that?”
“Hey, it’s Duke and Lila.”
“But . . . how?!”

JimP, the video game artist who created Sushi Cat, admired the felt Sushi Cats I made for the kids at Christmas so I sent him one of his own. He created this adorable poster incorporating stylized portraits of our cats as a thank you.

Thank you, JimP!

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Rosalina is a character from Super Mario Galaxy, a game for the Wii, which builds on the story of the long running Nintendo video game characters—plumber brothers, Mario and Luigi. She is the benevolent caretaker of baby stars called lumas. I previously made a few lumas out of felt for the kids.

The girl recently requested a Rosalina dress for her Groovy Girl doll, Sarah. Since she plays with Sarah quite a lot, I decided it was worth doing. I had several fabric choices in my stash and could have gone with a dressier velvet that wasn’t quite the right shade of blue or a satin that would have looked good but would have been very difficult to work with on such a small scale. I decided to use an outgrown tee shirt in the right color for ease of sewing and dressing the doll. Since I’ve made a few other dresses for this doll, it wasn’t too hard to draft a pattern that suggests the general look of Rosalina’s dress. I used a thinner white cotton knit for the trim, using the inherent trait of knit fabric to roll over in my favor. It’s a bit rough but I spent about as much time as I’m willing to spend on a doll dress. Done is better than perfect.

Groovy girl soft fabric doll dressed as Rosalina from Super Mario Galaxy hand sewn handmade Rosalina dress Super Mario Galaxy

The star brooch and the crown are made from Sculpey molded over a paper skeleton, baked and brushed with silver paint and decorated with plastic jewels. I had intended to make those accessories out of fabric as well but I couldn’t find anything remotely suitable. Hopefully the paper skeleton inside the polymer clay accessories will give them some chance of survival.

hand made Sculpey polymer clay crown and brooch for Rosalina Super Mario Galaxy

Not that I’m particularly a fan myself, but I suppose this could be considered fan art. Or fan craft. Or something like that.

And yes, Sarah has big feet. Maybe I should have made the dress a little longer.

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leather doll shoes made by hand Liv fashion doll Barbie Blythe

I make shoes. With no cobblering tools or training other than what I’ve been able to find in a few obscure books. That probably qualifies me as insane right there. In the past I have made several pairs of shoes for myself on homemade lasts, and lots of baby shoes. Now I’ve made doll shoes. Actually these aren’t the first doll shoes but these are the first that are actually made of leather and made with fairly traditional shoemaking techniques. I won’t bore you with the details. Alexia, is my daughter’s Liv fashion doll. Along with her rather garish outfit, she arrived with plastic boots. So although I have yet to make her any new clothes, I suddenly decided to make her new shoes today. Her feet are about an inch long, I don’t know exactly because I didn’t measure anything. These were a very simple pair of slip-ons made of thin suede and leather scraps leftover from baby shoes and a tiny scrap of floral cotton for the insole. I actually did not do any sewing, I used fusible web to construct these. My intention was to sew after but it doesn’t seem necessary. We’ll see how they hold up.

slip on leather doll shoes handmade

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. . . especially in wool felt. The kids have fallen into ridiculously giggling mushy love with a cute little video game called Sushi Cat. They’ve been playing it on Rich’s iPhone. The game is very simple, sort of like pinball or pachinko. You drop the cat from the top of the screen and he eats any sushi in his way as he rolls and bounces to the bottom. I was already contemplating making the kids a Sushi Cat stuffie when I came across these sushi shaped erasers in the dollar aisle. Who knew? That sealed the deal and I sat up late one night stitching to get a pair of these done. You never see the cat’s tail in the game so I had to make that up myself. I decided it needed to be bouncy and springy!

handmade hand sewn wool felt sushi cat sushi erasers

I’m still hoping that their interest in things Japanese lately will eventually lead to eating more Japanese foods besides Ramen noodles.

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wool felt ball eyeball toy

I admit that I shamelessly copied this oogly eyeball from a picture on the internet. Unfortunately I cannot find the original source now to give credit but I see it’s not as unique as I first thought. I did make my own pattern and chose my own colors and my version is likely smaller than the picture that I looked at but it’s pretty much identical. I rarely if ever do that. Mostly because I’m not good at copying when I want to and moreso because I always have my own ideas on what and how I want to do things. The boy had wanted to make some monster stuffies and knowing how popular those are I thought we’d look around on the internet for images that we liked and then combine our favorite features into our own monster stuffie pattern. Along the way we saw these fabric eye balls that were just perfect the way they were. So we made wool felt eyeballs. This was the first and unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of the second which the boy did most of the sewing on because he wrapped it up and gave it away about as fast we got it finished. Made with wool and rayon felt and a little embroidery, and filled with wool stuffing and poly pellets. I still want to make the monsters but these were more fun than I would have guessed. Sewing a sphere is never an easy proposition but felt makes it fairly painless.

pouch style baby carrier for doll

Here’s the girl carrying a baby doll in a pouch style baby carrier that I made for her cousin. Don’t worry, I made the girl one too. Now I’ve made so many baby pouches I could practically cut one out without a pattern and that’s exactly what I did here. But the style that came to mind as particularly appropriate for a doll carrier, was inspired by a real pouch style baby carrier idea from my friend Jen. I traced the finished pouch so that I’d have the pattern for keeps. I may post the pattern here after I try it out on a few more kids and different sized baby dolls/stuffies. I’m also going to “stick a pin” here to remind myself to tell you a little trick I thought up regarding handmade presents.

groovy girl doll and handknit doll sweater

Just last week my neighbor shared with me several bags of yarn she’d received from someone else. The girl had seized on a small ball of pink and white novelty yarn which I decided to turn into a sweater for her favorite doll. (Don’t ask about the “dress” she has on.) My first top-down raglan sweater, ha ha. Maybe I’ll feel better about starting on a person-sized sweater now. I accidentally left the little sweater out and the girl saw it. I thought the surprise was ruined because of course she asked who it was for. But I answered with the name of her doll. The girl replied very seriously that she would wrap it up so that said doll would not see it before Christmas!

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These projects barely qualify but since I haven’t done much else with a needle and thread lately you get to see them. Please excuse my lack of grammatically compete sentences. Strange mood tonight.

Water bottle holder. Yummy coffee/cocoa swirly fabric from Robert Kaufman. Self-lined with thermal-reflective fabric enclosed. Normally used to make potholders but should insulate cold as well as warm drinks. We’ll see how it performs.

water bottle holder with thermal lining

Mario Galaxy luma stars. At the request of the boy and his copycat sister. Green, his current favorite color and dark pink, her perennial favorite color. Highlights and eyes sewn on by hand, outline sewn by machine on felt. The boy named his Starfy and the girl named hers Perla but subsequently calls hers Starfy as well. The inspiration is thanks to “Uncle” Chad who brought his Wii game with him when he came to visit. (The jury is still out on whether or not we should press charges.)

hand sewn handmade felt luma stars from Mario Galaxy

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The girl put on a fashion show with some of her favorite stuffies the other day. The boy provided music, commentary and urged me to take pictures. I complied of course.


The new looks for fashionable stuffies everywhere, available by appointment only.


The girl did most of this herself, using her own hair things, dress-up stuff and doll blankets, etc. The littlest bear is dressed in a cutoff baby sock, I did that.

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And this is where random meets charming. Or something like that.

handmade sou'wester hat on bobble head doll

Cute huh? So here’s the story. Because you know I didn’t do this project completely for the fun of it. It’s Clam Festival weekend here in Yarmouth and a friend of mine was somehow involved in obtaining the prizes for one of the clam shucking events. So she ordered these cute bobble head trophies. The style reminds me of Precious Moments or Joan Walsh Anglund. I don’t know who’s idea it was to put sou’wester hats on them but I got the call to make it happen.

bobble head trophy with hand sewn yellow fisherman hat

Making the pattern took some doing. I had hoped to find a pattern online that I could shrink down but I could find no such animal so I ended up looking at pictures of sou’wester hats (thanks to google images) and drafting the pattern myself. I also couldn’t find the fabric I wanted to use but this yellow nylon served fairly well. Luckily I’ve discovered the use of freezer paper which served as both a pattern for cutting and a guide for stitching around. I ended up making four of these little fisherman rain hats, so we have an extra one which happened to fit one of the dolls. I suppose now she needs a rain slicker to go with it. Sigh.

I think I’ll size this pattern up and make a sunhat or two for the kids in canvas or twill. It ended up being a fairly easy construction.

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The boy was lent a “learning buddy” by his teacher this year. A hedgehog by the name of Prickles helped the boy with various tasks at school and made visits home on the weekends. They were fast friends and Prickles made an appearance in many of the boy’s drawings and stories. As the end of the school year drew near the boy was sad that he would have to leave his buddy behind. But he was consoled by the fact that he would always have “Prickles” in his heart, and that next year the little hedgehog would be helping some other little boy or girl in his old classroom.


On the last Friday of school, the boy came bounding off the bus, announcing with great excitement that Prickles had come home to stay. There were grand plans of a home for the hedgehog with tunnels and slides, cozy holes, lots of toys and a running wheel. The next day at the transfer station (read dump) the boy and I picked through the trash-to-treasures pile looking for any oddments that might make an appropriate home for a stuffie hedgehog. I was secretly hoping not to find anything when suddenly I spied this round wonder with a handle sticking out. I told the boy it would make a fine amusement ride for Prickles and some of his other animal friends. The boy was delighted and completely unaware of my ulterior motive for allowing this strange contraption to enter our house.


The clear lid lifts off to add or remove objects. When the handle is spun the inner basket whirls with surprising speed. Just about any of the little people and animals that would fit in the basket hopped in for a dizzying test spin.

And what is this carnival ride for stuffies in reality? I’ll admit I’m not sure. I initially thought it was a hefty salad spinner but it is way overbuilt if so. My guess is that it’s a countertop washing machine for clothes. I plan to use it for spinning the remaining water out of washed fiber or yarn. ;)

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We like to watch the squirrels—playing outside, in a favorite movie UP, in a funny book, Scaredy Squirrel. The boy asked me to knit a squirrel for him. I was already aware of this cute pattern, Ultimate Squirrel, by Bri of RomanSock who designs the most adorable crocheted animals. They are realistic in a cute way. Since I have enjoyed reading her blog I thought it only fitting to buy her pattern. (Plug: Bri has a new book out, available on Amazon, called Super-Super Cute Crochet, filled with unusual animals.)

I used handspun brown wool approved of by the boy, two round black buttons dug out of the button jar by the boy, and one of my secret make-stuff supplies—those plastic covered wire twisties that keep all plastic toys in a stranglehold inside their plastic-windowed boxes. I’m not usually a fan of plastic but in this case, I like these weird things. (My mother covets them too.) They are far sturdier than craft pipe cleaners or the ordinary bread bag wire twisties. I did have a few problems with the pattern, probably mostly due to the fact that I am apparently incapable of counting higher than 4. There could have been more direction on the stuffing and sewing but I would probably have done it my own way anyway so not a problem for me. The hardest part was the brushing technique since all I had to use was the giant wool carders! I’m sure a dog brush would work much better.

brushed crochet squirrel amigurumi and knit and crocheted acorns

The boy checked on my progress daily and was delighted with the final outcome. Here is his very own crocheted squirrel with some acorns I made months ago, fittingly inspired by another RomanSock pattern, a much larger acorn bag. My acorns are a combination of knit and crochet using some very early hand dyed and spun yarns. And yes, I will be making this pattern again, little sister is not pleased that she did not get a squirrel too. I may make her a chipmunk just for variety.

brushed crochet squirrel using RomanSock's pattern for Ultimate Squirrel

Nom, nom, nom, nom.

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The girl has had this doll stroller or “rolly stroller” as she calls it for quite a while but has only recently started using it. Unfortunately the fabric cover did not survive long and developed a tear I could not mend nicely. Since I’d already had to repair an errant strap I decided it was time to just make a new cover. Okay, I admit I never liked how the pastel bears fabric clashed with the aqua stroller frame. Some Michael Miller daisies, brown grosgrain ribbon and an odd hot pink remnant to the rescue!

torn doll stroller cover

I used the old cover as a pattern but used two layers of cotton with flannel in between for a sturdier cover. Elastic encased in grosgrain ribbon rather than the typical buckle for the seatbelt is easy to use. I added a pocket that hangs down the back for the girl’s water bottle or other belongings. I meant to edge the little matching blanket with some nice vintage baby ric rac but I was already topstitching before I remembered so that didn’t happen. Oh well.

back pocket for doll stroller cover

handmade hand sewn doll stroller cover with matching doll blanket


I think the babies like their updated ride quite a lot.

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just a few stitches by hand.

The boy requested a hooded coat for his little frog and one for his sister’s little cat. I let them pick out colors from the pile of felt (okay, not the good wool felt, I wasn’t going to sew fast and dirty with that stuff). The boy helped make and sew on the yellow covered button for the frog’s green coat. I thought they turned out quite cute, no pattern making involved, just sewed the top hood seam, then cut a little at a time until it fit. I was afraid this might lead to a request to outfit the rest of the animals but so far so good.

felt coats sewn for small stuffies


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