Thursday, 23 May 2013

Agatha the hippo

I am so pleased to welcome Margaret Harrold, from the incredible Heath Barns, with this wonderful creation: Agatha, the hippo. I will let her tell you about the great story behind the project and her insights on the making of it. Enjoy!

What to do with those lovely bundles of material?
by Margaret Harrold, guest blogger

Everyone is selling tempting bundles of material now and here is a blast from the past that uses them in a fun way.

In 1980, when my granddaughter Jennifer was born I made a hippo for her from a Simplicity pattern. Her sister Hannah is now pregnant and asked if her baby (due in July) could have one. I had to say I was sorry but I didn’t keep the pattern and am not talented enough to guess and try again after 33 years!! Then, to my disbelief, while thumbing through a Simplicity pattern book for other ideas I found this:

The very pattern that I had used all those years ago! It made me feel rather old that I was working from “Archives” but here it was and so off I went and bought two bundles of material and have ended up with a 21st century hippo… Here she is! I have called her Agatha as while I was doing the gathering stitches on all the circles I was watching an Agatha Christie murder mystery on the television!

So, was she easy to do? A little time consuming, but really not too much of a challenge to anyone who can use a sewing machine:

1) The head, feet and tail were straightforward sewing and stuffing.
2) The body is made up of large circles of material (perfect size for those bundles of material) gathered around the edges and then smaller circles of padding placed centrally.
3) As the gathering is pulled in you are left with the padded circles you see above.

Finally, a half inch cut is made in the centre and half inch wide elastic threaded through all the circles and sewn securely onto both head and tail. The legs are than also attached the same width of elastic and placed two circles from front and back. I hand stitched the facial felt to make it safer and the mouth is embroidered in chain stitch. Agatha is flexible, stretchy and a fun gift for any child.

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I hope you have loved this post as much as I did. :) If you want to get Agatha's pattern, you can find it on Simplicity's website via this link.
And don't forget to check Heath Barns and to follow Margaret on Pinterest


  1. Agatha is beautiful! I just found your blog and have been looking at all the wonderful things you do a wonderful job!

  2. Hi, I'm Terry. I made this monkey for my Grandson 3 years ago. It looks just like the one on the pattern. I'm getting ready to make another one soon.

  3. Obviously I have loved this post very much as much as you did. Thanks for sharing your creative work.
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  4. Outstanding post.I love your blog for these wonderful writing.Thanks a lot

  5. Zaira you are really so creative.I just love your article.always enjoy to reading your post.Thanks a lot

  6. Certainly the kids will love this so much.It's really so coll.thanks for sharing your nice ideas with us