Sunday, 27 January 2013

Juliette, the giraffe (and a little surprise!)

Big news!!! (an introduction to the next tutorial)

When I started M&P the intention was to keep a record of not only my feeble DIY attempts, but projects I found online that seemed simple enough so that someone like me - with no craft background - could do them. This blog was meant to be a distraction, a therapy exercise to help me release the stress of my work...

I could not imagine 6 months ago that there would be so many handmade tutorials I was capable of doing. And that over 10 thousand people every month would read about them! I have to say that Bloglovin' and Pinterest helped a lot, but still... Today I look at a cute item and I find hard to rest until I have a go at making it.  

I guess the more you make, the more you want to keep making. And it didn't take long until I realised that there was a DIY best friend, some say a "must have", that I was lacking. Well, now I can say I feel complete lol... I got myself a sewing machine!

This is the big news that I mentioned before... I kept most of M&P posts down to what could be done without one up until now, but today I feel the sky is the limit. There is only a little obstacle ahead to be overcome: I've never used a sewing machine before in my entire life! (believe it or not...) But so far, it feels like second nature...

Now it's time for the tutorial:

Below is my first project with it... Juliette (Mr. Hunter named her). Only recently I realised how amazing felt is. Great material to work with! And since I saw this cute toy giraffe picture on Pinterest I thought to myself "I can definitely make one". But different from the felt robots I had showed how to make here before, I felt that for this one I needed a sewing machine...

Photo Credit: Zaira Brilhante, with iPhone 4S

Materials: 
- 2 x 6" squares of felt
- Scrap bits of felt for the details
- Embroidery thread for the eye, mouth and tail
- Optional: a ribbon for the tag detail (I find it cute).

How to:
1. Download this template (please, if you want to make it available on your website, link to this page)
2. Cut two pieces of felt using the template above.
3. The making of it is straight forward. The only things you need to be aware of are:

a) It's much easier to add the details (the circles, eyes & mouth before you join the front and back).
b) Remember to work on the reverse side as you will turn it inside out once you sew the front/back together.
c) For the ears and the back hair, what I did was to cut two rectangles and only shape them after I had sewed together the back and front. I haven't got pictures of it, but I hope the scheme on the right gives you an idea... Once you turn your sewed piece inside out, the ears and back hair will be facing the right way.

4. I stuffed Juliette and finished it off by hand, adding the tail & the little pink label last.

I know this tutorial could be more visual. I will probably update it when I make Juliette a sister or a brother! But in the mean time, please drop me a line if you need a hand. :)

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