Nick the alpaca

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I do not actually know how I found the alpaca pattern, but it sure was an exciting find! Shishi Girl has the pattern up for free download. Although I have a ton of projects that I need to be working on, this one flew to the top of the list. It was perfect for my friend’s birthday. I met her during my bioarchaeology field school in Peru in 2007 and not only did we eat alpacas (a taste for me, no more!) but she has one as a pet. (If you are curious, it reminded me of steak flavor but with pork chop texture.)

felt_toy_alpaca4

Itwas my very first attempt at a “Softie”. But considering my large project for my niece Kaia (who incidentally was born on 1/30, yay!), I need to practice. People my age would set softies up on a shelf but little miss Kaia might find it appropriate to chew and squish and who knows what else with them so they need to be made very well.
felt_toy_alpaca1felt_toy_alpaca6

The pattern was very easy to follow. In fact, there are only 3 parts to it – a side (cut twice), the top of the head, and the belly. I was in such a hurry to churn this out and see how it worked that I didn’t wait to buy a fabric marker (I must have given the one I had back to the person I borrowed it from). I didn’t think it would be a problem to mark it in ink, but sure enough, there is a small spot on the face, of all places, that you can see it. Darn.

For it being my very first stuffed toy, I am pretty gosh darn proud how it turned out. I was careful with my measurements and so there’s really no weird pokey places where I was off on the seam allowance from one piece to the next. I stitched it together by hand, and you can see some of the stitching but I don’t think that it bothers me. I think it adds to the hand-sewn look.

I really didn’t know how she did the bridle so I studied the image and decided to just try it. Something like that would leave a big knot so I used a teeny tiny crochet needle and poked it through from the opposite side of the head, in the stitch line. Then I grabbed the knot and carefully pulled it into the toy and worked the crochet needle back out. It seemed to have worked pretty well. Then I just looped it around the nose, poked it through to the other side and up and over the head and back into the alpaca. I made a knot and again worked it back into the animal with the crochet needle. Then I tied the reins around it, like in the picture.

felt_toy_alpaca2felt_toy_alpaca7

The saddle was not included in the pattern, though the picture shows one. I just cut a piece of paper out and kept shaping it (folded in half) until I had the look I want and then cut the felt out with it. I beaded the blue felt first and then attached it to the black. Then I sewed it on to the body, hiding the knots underneath.

felt_toy_alpaca3

The drawback to this for me was that perhaps I went too little for my first toy. I had a really hard time reversing to right side out with the ears and tail. I also had a hard time stuffing the ears. Although I should mention that I decided to leave the needle in when I reversed it (and I did clip the seam allowance all the way around). I started with the tail on one side and went up to the chest and knotted. Then I repeated for the other side and continued up to the head pieces going to the stuffing gap and back around to the finish the head and knotted. Then I sewed from the tail up the back to the stuffing gap and rather than knotting it like I know I would have done years ago, I left it there. This allowed me to stretch the gap open a little further, but not have such a wide spot to sew from the right side. My stitches were ugly, but I knew I was hiding it with a saddle. But the worse part about it, that you may have noticed, is that he is a little crooked. Once I started sewing the saddle on, it pulled it to one side and I couldn’t stretch it enough to even it out. And his head is just a little bit off (we call it the Taco-Neck syndrome;).

felt_toy_alpaca5

I do have to say that I totally enjoyed it though, and cannot wait to do another! When I went out to pick up more supplies, I also grabbed some fat quarters, so I can’t wait to try it out with fabric and a sewing machine (that I currently do not have, poo). In fact, Shishi Girl offers a sting ray pattern – Kaia’s playset will be killer!

 

See more posts related to:

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Looking for more cases of the Crafties?
Stitch Club: Pattullo 2

Stitch Club: Pattullo 2

As part of TextileArtist.org’s Stitch Club, I followed Mandy Pattullo’s workshop to create a textile collage bird.

read more
Hexie Dreams 11

Hexie Dreams 11

I’ve added 141 more hexies to my Hexie Dreams fussy-cut English paper piecing quilt, putting me well over the original goal.

read more
Stitch Club: McVetis

Stitch Club: McVetis

As part of TextileArtist.org’s Stitch Club, I created an abstract motherboard using techniques from Richard McVetis.

read more
#52tagshannemade 52

#52tagshannemade 52

I am participating in Anne Brooke’s #52tagshannemade #sew4thesoul slow stitch challenge for 2021. Week 52’s theme is making a little tree.

read more
#52tagshannemade 51

#52tagshannemade 51

I am participating in Anne Brooke’s #52tagshannemade #sew4thesoul slow stitch challenge for 2021. Week 51-s theme was to create a wreath.

read more
#52tagshannemade 50

#52tagshannemade 50

I am participating in Anne Brooke’s #52tagshannemade #sew4thesoul slow stitch challenge for 2021. Week 50’s theme was to add some circles.

read more
#52tagshannemade 49

#52tagshannemade 49

I am participating in Anne Brooke’s #52tagshannemade #sew4thesoul slow stitch challenge for 2021. Week 49’s theme was to catch a memory, though I went a bit off pitch.

read more
#52tagshannemade 48

#52tagshannemade 48

I am participating in Anne Brooke’s #52tagshannemade #sew4thesoul slow stitch challenge for 2021. Week 48’s was to use a sheaf stitch as a fill.

read more
#52tagshannemade 47

#52tagshannemade 47

I am participating in Anne Brooke’s #52tagshannemade #sew4thesoul slow stitch challenge for 2021. Week 47’s theme was to create a little birdie.

read more
#52tagshannemade 46

#52tagshannemade 46

I am participating in Anne Brooke’s #52tagshannemade #sew4thesoul slow stitch challenge for 2021. Week 46’s theme was to wrap some objects with threads.

read more
#52tagshannemade 45

#52tagshannemade 45

I am participating in Anne Brooke’s #52tagshannemade #sew4thesoul slow stitch challenge for 2021. Week 45’s theme was to create fireworks!

read more
#52tagshannemade 44

#52tagshannemade 44

I am participating in Anne Brooke’s #52tagshannemade #sew4thesoul slow stitch challenge for 2021. Week 44’s theme was to use cross stitching.

read more
#52tagshannemade 43

#52tagshannemade 43

I am participating in Anne Brooke’s #52tagshannemade #sew4thesoul slow stitch challenge for 2021. Week 43’s theme is to add a bit of tassel fringe, but I decided to focus just on the tassel itself.

read more
Hexie Dreams 10

Hexie Dreams 10

My fussy-cut Hexie Dreams quilt is coming along, now with about 670 hexies ready to go!

read more
Stamp + Embroidery pin

Stamp + Embroidery pin

As I mentioned before, my friend kindly took the time to stamp some fabric swatches I sent her. I wanted to experiment with this idea before investing any money in stamping myself. Though, with her repertoire of stamps, I might just request a partnership:D As a thank...

read more
#52tagshannemade 42

#52tagshannemade 42

I am participating in Anne Brooke’s #52tagshannemade #sew4thesoul slow stitch challenge for 2021. Week 42’s theme is putting tags on tags.

read more
#52tagshannemade 41

#52tagshannemade 41

I am participating in Anne Brooke’s #52tagshannemade #sew4thesoul slow stitch challenge for 2021. Week 41’s theme is a stitching theme, using “beautiful bullions”.

read more
#52tagshannemade 40

#52tagshannemade 40

I am participating in Anne Brooke’s #52tagshannemade #sew4thesoul slow stitch challenge for 2021. Week 40’s theme is “something yummy”, which I didn’t strictly follow this time.

read more
Hexie Dreams 9

Hexie Dreams 9

Fifty-seven more hexies to add to my Hexie Dreams fussy-cut paper peicing quilt, adding up to just over 600!

read more
Hexie Dreams 8

Hexie Dreams 8

Fifty-four more hexies to add to my Hexie Dreams fussy-cut paper peicing quilt!

read more