When it comes to my sewing hobby, I'm all about 'flat.' Three dimensional sewing is not my thing. I'm a complete failure at garment sewing, for example. I can't even make a pair of pajama pants - I've tried, and failed.
However, when a friend showed me this collection of patterns for stuffed toys from the Funky Friends Factory, I was intrigued, and I filed it away in my brain for that occasion when I might like to make a stuffed toy for a little one.
This holiday I have a new little great nephew on the gift list and I decided to dive in.
Let's be really clear.
I do flat. Quilts are my thing. Three dimensional sewing makes me break out in hives.
BUT. . . I have to say, making this project was a good experience!
First the pattern is quite clear, with instructions (and check boxes) for each and every step.
With all the patterns to choose from, I selected the dachshund. He didn't look too complicated, and a good size for little hands.
Instead of making cardboard templates per the instructions, I decided to print the templates onto freezer paper. That worked out pretty well. When I needed more than one of a shape I could make extra copies from the downloaded pattern. When I needed two of a shape, one reversed, I just fused the freezer paper template to opposite sides of the fabric. Cutting was easy and accurate, with no tracing.
The pattern suggests to use lots of pins to secure the curvy shapes before sewing. And in some cases, like the bottoms of the feet (below), the pin-profusion worked very well.
However, as an alternative, I'm a big fan of Acorn Seam Align Glue. (I've mentioned this stuff before). It's a temporary fabric glue that is activated with heat.
Where pins secure one spot along the seam. The glue allows for the entire length of the seam to be secured, not just at pin-points.
The glue is applied in the seam allowance on one of the fabrics (below). Once the fabric edges are aligned, right sides together, I use a mini-iron to heat the glue and secure the seam little by little for sewing.
If I need a correction, the glue isn't permanent and releases easily, so I can re-apply and start over. I use this stuff on almost all my piecing these days instead of pins. Takes a little getting used to, but it's now one of my favorite sewing tools.
This is just about the last seam on this project, so you can see the fabric edge is a frayed, but that's mostly because all the tails, legs, and toes have already been sewn making for rough raw edges. However, you can also see on the right, that I'm sewing a curvy/weird seam with no pins. The glue keeps the fabrics aligned.
With the last seam and gusset sewn, the dachshund is ready for turning!
I prefer FLAT projects (have I said that already?), but I'm pleased (and pleasantly surprised) that I managed to get to this point!
Turned and waiting for stuffing, a wool applique nose, and some little hands to grab and enjoy.
I wouldn't call this an 'easy' project, but I have to say I'm looking forward to trying another Funky Friend. (And as luck would have it, my niece is expecting again!)
By the way, I'm not affiliated with either Funky Friends Factory or with Acorn products, but I am a fan of both!