Sunday, February 15, 2009
i made an assortment of felt vegetables for my niece for christmas. i'd never sewn any stuffed things from felt before, but that's how i craft (apparently) -- do something new, get the hang of it, then promptly become bored of it. :)
(i should say, i'm catching up on posts from before the holidays -- because i didn't want to spoil the surprise for the various gifts i made, and also because i've been swamped since then.)
i originally planned to design all the felt food myself, but i was short on time in december, and am finally starting to learn from past experience. so, i searched for and found some really cute patterns on etsy from seller umecrafts. and then i splurged and bought the set of every kind of vegetable she offers. i was really happy with the patterns -- for the most part, the instructions were clear (every so often, a step was less than obvious, probably because i'm new to this), and she used really interesting techniques to create the various shapes. so, by (for once) not trying to recreate the wheel, i ended up learning a lot, and as a bonus, got my project done in less time with less frustration. (though, i did have to get over the sense that i was somehow cheating...)
i wanted to use wool felt, and after some research, i ordered from prairiepointjunction.com because they had a really big selection. after ordering, i discovered from their FAQ that the felt isn't terribly colorfast, and i was concerned, since i was making this for a baby, and babies chew on everything. i contacted prairie point junction, and they were very helpful, putting me in touch with the manufacturer. in the end, the answer was that the dyes are the same as what is used for clothing -- so, probably not the best thing for a baby to eat, but not really dangerous either (note: i'm paraphrasing here; if you're concerned, don't take my word for it...). the colorfastness of the felt varied tremendously from color to color, and in surprising ways. (one purple shade bled like crazy, the other not at all. same with the greens. odd...) oh, i was also pleased that prairie point junction offered embroidery floss for purchase that was preselected to match each color of felt they offered. that saved me having to make a trip to the local craft store after my order arrived (key during a the busy month of december).
so, all that was about locating the patterns and supplies, but nothing so far about the process. i guess that's because after i had everything (including the freezer paper for transferring the patterns -- who knew, they don't just sell that in every grocery store anymore?), they really just fell into place. easy, pretty fun to make, and turned out really cute... the hardest part was choosing which veggies to make, knowing i wouldn't have time to make them all. i still plan to make more for my little one... but now that i've already figured it out, i'm in less of a hurry to do more. they're worth the time, though, so this will reach the top of my queue sometime soon...
do you have other sources for felt or patterns for felt crafts? i'd love to hear about it in the comments.