This is a story about a sweater, two boys, and a pillow.
The last time I told a story about a sweater, it was a disaster. If you need to feel better about yourself and your crafting abilities, check out that other sweater story here.
Unlike that pitiful sweater story, this is a happy story.
A sweet friend of my husband’s and mine gave our first born a handsome sweater. It was nautical, cotton, and little, so it was love at first sight.
I loved that sweater. My first wore it (and rocked it).
And my second little guy wore it (and rocked it).
Totally owning that sweater.
But then, as all little boys do, they grew. And soon, that gorgeous sweater was a belly sweater/crop top. As much as I think my guys’ little bellies are cute, I knew it was time to retire the sweater.Now usually, when an article of clothing becomes too small for my guys, I pass it on to the next lucky mom and boy, but not this sweater. I held on to that sweater for months. I just could not part with it. Nope, that lovely lobster sweater was staying with me.
Long story short, that little lobster sweater is not a pillow
It’s cute, but not as cute as my boys wearing it, but that’s okay.
So the next time, a sweater or shirt is too precious to pass on, make it a pillow.
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Easter is around the corner. It will be L’s first. Since she won’t be eating any chocolate bunnies this year, a bunny lovie was in order. My search brought me to these adorable bunnies on Etsy. I love that each one is uniquely handmade. After I added one to my cart, I started to toy around with the idea of making one myself. There is something to be said about a lovey made by your momma. The more I thought about it the more I wanted to give it a try. I’m not a seamstress. Like any self taught sewer, I learned by watching my grandma and YouTube videos. My skills have improved over the years through many failed and unfinished projects. I felt pretty confident and if it didn’t end well I can always fall back on the bunny in my cart.
I whipped up a sketch of my dream bunny. Notice I kept the shapes simple for easy sewing. Then I enlarged each body part on separate sheets of paper and cut out my patterns. I didn’t calculate the exact scale though this would make a good proportions or similar figures lesson. I just went with proportions that looked good to me. I created a PDF of the template I used in case you want to give this project a try.
I found some soft flannel, minky, fleece and felt scraps in my stash. I also dug out some leftover piping, embroidery floss, ribbon and yarn to use as accessories. As for the stuffing, I upcycled an old pillow. I like to air out old stuffing in the sun for a few hours. This will fluff, refresh and sterilize (not my first time upcycling old pillows, can’t you tell?).
After deciding which fabric would be used for each body part, I used blue taylor’s chalk to trace the pattern onto the wrong side of the fabrics. To make the cutting process quicker, I folded my fabrics so I can cut two pieces at once. The ears were a bit tricky. Since the shapes of the left and right ear are mirror images, after I traced one ear I flipped over the pattern to trace the other. I almost forgot to do this and would have ended up with two right ears. Keeping the fabric pinned, I cut out each body part. I usually like to cut ¼ inch outside of the chalk line for seam allowance and use the blue line as sewing guidance.
Now onto the sewing. The inner ear felt pieces had to be sewn on top of each outer ear piece first. After that, I sewed the ears and limbs, leaving an opening at the bottom of each piece. I carefully turned each piece inside out and inserted stuffing. I left the ears relatively flat so they won’t be too heavy to “stand up”. Originally I used minky for the limbs since it’s super soft and has interesting texture. After stuffing them, I realized a bunny with tiny bumps on its arms and legs would look weird/slightly creepy so I made the switch to flannel to match the ears.
Next, I sewed the upper and lower body together creating front and back pieces. I added piping in between to fancy her up. For the face, I chalked an outline then used embroidery thread and a tiny piece of felt to go over the features. I also hand stitched on a little heart and border on the lower body to give her a little style.
I eye balled the placement of the ears, limbs and whiskers, flipped them towards the inside then pinned into place. Then I laid the other body piece right side down and pinned the edges together leaving an opening on the side. Everything was going so smoothly up till this point. I even thought to myself “Wow, this bunny takes less than hour. Maybe I’ll make another!” Then I started to sew the body together…There were some thick patches that caused thread feeding/tension issues. Things started to bunch up, thread was breaking, and I was re-threading the bobbin every five seconds. I started to get flash backs of other sewing projects that went horribly wrong and exchanged a few choice words with my sewing machine. After quite a few tension adjustments and test runs I was finally able to sew around the body. Phew…I think next time (maybe?) a walking foot or thinner cotton fabric will help avoid the headache in this step.
The only thing left to do was to add stuffing. I wanted the body of the bunny to look plush so I packed in the filling. Then I sewed opening closed with a running stitch. Notice the lighting difference in the photos below. After the sewing ordeal, I decided to walk away from it and finish the next morning.
Of course, a bunny lovie wouldn’t be complete without accessories. I added a yarn pom pom tail and a bow to finish the look.
So a bunny lovie for my lovey that cost zero dollars yet priceless in a way. I hope L likes it.
What have you made for your lovies? Do you have any sewing tips for me?