We have a new little one just arrived in our extended family and I wanted to make her something special. Hot on the success of my patchwork Santa, I turned to my Tilda books for inspiration. This time it was the a little elephant in the Tilda Studio book that caught my eye. Her books never fail to entice me into making something as they are so beautifully presented.
The little pieced elephant is super cute and I thought it would be the perfect gift. As I have just got some of this delicious Essex linen in the sewing room, I decided to try it out. It is actually really wonderful fabric for sewing with as it doesn't have too much stretch in it. I chose the pale aqua colour as it is more 'babyish' than some of the darker colours and set to work tracing and cutting the pattern. I made the head first and then I made it again! The first attempt was sewn with just regular machine stitch, but when I came to stuff it, the stitching looked a little strained and not tough enough. I remade it using one of the utility stitches on my machine which is 3 stitches each time, so I guess effectively 3 times as strong. This time it was heaps better and I was really pleased with the results. I sewed the rest of the project using this stitch and if I were making more soft toys, I would definitely use this stitch and probably it would be better for bag making too. Plus, I always feel pleased when I use something different on my machine - I think they have so much stuff on them now that hardly gets used, so this, I felt was progress.
Working on a project like this is fun too because you get to route around in your button box and stash of trimmings to find interesting things to use. I found this little ribbon flower which must have come off something else and it fitted perfectly by her floppy ear. The body was straightforward to make and I am not sure I exactly did it Tilda's way, but once it was all together it seemed sturdy enough.
I loved Tilda's suggestion of the embroidered toe nails and did this with great relish...red of course! Then it was time to think about how this cutie should be dressed. There were two options in the book - a dress and dungarees, and I settled on the dungarees, but girlie style. I used some Moda Regent Street Lawn fabric with a ditsy floral on and combined it with some polka dot to make a rather patchwork effect. I used some adorable tiny buttons to finish it off.
I then thought about how to personalise it for the new baby - what does every girl elephant need - a bag.... of course
I have to say that I do think this is super cute and is a fab gift for a new little one. It was so much fun to make and my confidence in tackling this sort of project is really growing. Now I just can't wait to visit and see the baby.
Happy Easter folks!