Project 5 ~ A Bunny, Footpads & Shoes: (Stuffed Animals – From Concept To Construction ~ part 6)

The Project – Bunny

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In the 5th project of Abby’s book – ‘Stuffed Animals from consent to construction’I learnt about creating footpads and shoes.  I also got to make a dress for the bunny which was fun diversion from making softies.  There is also a pattern for a top and pants for Miss Bunny, but I chose to just make her a pretty little dress 🙂

Like most elements of designing, there are a few ways to do things.  Which way a designer choose can depend the desired end result, the fabrics they are using or just a personal preference for a particular technique.  But no matter what technique is used the over-all end result is the same … extra dimension to the leg.

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Lesson for this project …

  • Inserting Big Parts in a Seam:  Miss Bunnies body size is small, so fitting all her arms and legs inside while the body is stitched together would be a bit difficult.  Abby shows you a technique for getting everything stitched into the seams when there just isn’t enough room to comfortably cram everything inside.
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  • Footpads and Shoes: This is of course the biggest lesson in this chapter.  Abby shows you the process she used to draft the footpad and shoe for Miss Bunny as well as some tips and techniques for putting together these small and fiddly parts.
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  • Whiskers: One of the most endearing feature of many animals can be things like whiskers.  These can sometimes be a bit tricky to add to soft toys, especially if they are being designed for play.  In this lesson Abby shares different materials that make good whiskers as well as techniques on securely attaching them and tips on how to make them sit nicely.

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  • Dressing and Accessorizing Your Softie: Children love dressing their toys, so creating a wardrobe for your softies can give them more appeal as well as be a fun diversion from design the toys themselves, and as Abby mentions in this lesson … 

… The very simplest outfit can be made by cutting a neck slit in a long rectangle of felt and sliding it over the softies head.  Tie a ribbon around the waist and you have a little tunic. … 

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  • In this chapter, we also looked at the idea of adding labels to your softies and  going beyond the basic concept of creating a ‘soft toy’ by making use of the head to create other products like a lovey, hobbyhorse or faux taxidermy.   Labels are something I have always put on the things I make, but I had not thought of these other ideas, especially faux taxidermy which is quite popular at the moment.  I’m discovering that creating a new patten from scratch can be quite a time consuming thing; having some patterns like these in your repertoire is a great way to expand your patterns more quickly.

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Footpads for Bronnie the Dinosaur …

I did a bit of general re-modelling of the pattern for my little dinosaur, but my main focus was the legs and footpads.  

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I’ve lengthened her legs — maybe a little too much, they don’t look too bad on their own, but she is now looking a bit too much like an Star Wars AT-AT walker 😉  Unlike the head gusset, I’ve kept the footpads a basic oval shape — sometimes basic works best, but I have added a bit of shaping to the lower part of the leg.

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I also experimented with the under-body gusset by extending the front right up to the chin and the back along the length of the tail.  The front has potential, but I’m still not happy with the tail and the back section of my little dino in general — I’m still getting some strange square lumpy bits 😦  I may need to totally re-think this area.

What’s Next?

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Because Christmas is just around the corner, I have decided Bunny will be the last project for this year.  As I looked forward to the next few projects in the book I realised they all revolve around incorporating ‘movement’ into a design. ‘Puppy’ has a head that is turned, ‘Lion’ is in an action pose, ‘Cat’ is sitting and ‘Camel’ has moving legs.  I’m really looking forward to learning these advanced techniques next year and adding some more adorable softies to my collection. 

I will continue to work on Bronnie over the coming months, experimenting with different elements to see how they change her until I’m happy.  So keep an eye out for here next year.

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If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy the others in this series.

Until next time …

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