Sorry I've been away for a few days. I've still been trying to catch up (I'm convinced it's hopeless), and then I had some "connectivity" problems. Sigh. I'm so tired of Internet problems at our house. Hopefully I've found a solution. I'll keep you posted. I am having to write this at work on my lunch break! LOL.
Before I begin today's post, I thought I'd update you on the lawn mower situation. So...Papa Pea came home from his month-long trip to Alaska, and I broke the news to him about the lawn mower. Actually, I did it over the phone while he was a couple days away from here. He handled it really well. He said, "Oh, yeah, I knew that weld was broken. Remember, I told you that. That's why I never mow over those tree roots. But I forgot to tell you that." So, whew. I felt much better.
Then, he came home, looked at it, and tried to fix it. Then he got frustrated with me a little. He said, "Yeah, you really bent it up good. I don't think I can fix that." He was a little testy about it.
Then, he took it to the shop, and they said they could heat it up, straighten it out, and fix it for about $100. That wasn't so bad. I mean, I'd rather not spend $100 on that, but I figured the damage was more in the $1,000 range. So we both breathed a sigh of relief at that. And the guy at the shop said, "We see this a lot. It's usually the wife who does it. This is not that uncommon." Geez. I was a little miffed at that one! "Usually the wife...." Well, I said to Papa Pea, "I was just trying to do my job [with a faulty tool, I might add] while you were gone!" And that was that. I think I'm sort of forgiven.
We don't have it back yet. Should be ready this week. The yard looks like crap because it hasn't been mowed for so long. It's sort of embarrassing.
But alas, how about something a little more fun??? How about a pattern review?
Recently, I picked up this pattern. When we were in Arizona, Sweet Pea played with a little girl whose family had moved in next door to my parents. Her name was Lara. She was a little sweetie. Her family is Dutch. They are over here in the US, becasue her dad is a pilot in the Royal Dutch Airforce. They are over here at the Air Force Base near Tucson, training some of their pilots. Super nice family, and so interesting. Sweet Pea and Lara really hit it off and played together every day. They were both really sad when it was time for us to go. (There are not many children in my parents' neighborhood, so she LOVED having a friend next door!)
There was a lot of this going on at Grandma's and Grandpa's house. I didn't include Lara, because I didn't ask her parents' permission to post her photo or video. (I just tried my hand at iMove and uploading a video to YouTube. A first for me! I want to experiment with more video on my blog...think video tutorials and demos! Let me know what you think!)
Before we left, Lara gave Sweet Pea one of her toys. So, on the way home, Sweet Pea and I decided I should make Lara a softie and mail it to her. Sweet Pea picked out this pattern. I also let her pick out the fabrics.
These are the fabrics she picked out, and here are the resulting dogs. She picked out flannels, so they are really soft. Of course, I had to make two, because Sweet Pea wanted one, too. Sweet Pea hates it when dogs wear neckerchiefs/bandanas. Don't know why. She hates it when the groomer puts them on our dog, too! So, she wanted a ribbon around hers instead. I think they turned out pretty cute. I couldn't find a plain black button for the eyes. I had to get these with a little silver circle on them. Sweet Pea and I agree that they look a little crazy with these eyes...sort of like googly eyes. But they are soft and squishy.
As far as the pattern goes...It is not a hugely complicated pattern. However, I think if you're new to making dolls and toys, this might not be the best pattern to start with. There are a few places where I thought the directions could be more clear. For example, in one spot, they tell you clearly where to start sewing (under the dog's tail)--and the spot is even marked on the pattern--and they tell you where to stop sewing. But this isn't the case on other pieces. I found in some places, you wanted to stop short of the end of the fabric (e.g., where the 1/4" seam allowance would be) to make it easier to put together--sort of like making a Y-seam. If you knew to do that, it went together much more easily. Similarly, there's a little football-shaped piece that comes round the back of the head and that joins to the two back seams. This is a little bit of a tricky spot to sew, but because I've sewn that shape with some of my dolls, I could maneuver it pretty easily. I think if you haven't sewn this type of thing before, it might be a little tricky with the instructions they provide (which are something like, "Sew around the back seam, connecting all the pieces").
I also attached the eyes a little differently. The instructions had you running the thread through the head and tying it in the back of the head. That would be nice, because you could pull the eyes in more and make it look more like eye sockets. (They also encouraged you to poke a hole in the fabric for the shank of the button to go into, but I was worried about the hole getting bigger over time, so I didn't.) I couldn't figure out from the instructions how I'd hide that knot, unless I made it come out at the neck, where the neckerchief would hide it. So, I just sewed the buttons on to the face the regular way. I figure, these are 6 and 7 year old girls. They can handle having a button for eyes and if it comes off, they won't eat the button.
Sweet Pea thought it was funny how their faces look so different. "Yes," I told her, "they each have their own personality!" It's hard to see in the photo, but the nose on hers is longer and skinnier, and the mouth is longer than the other. So, the faces really look different when you have them side-by-side. And the eyes on hers are up a little higher. I love that about sewing...you can make things look so different.
Other than that, I thought this was a pretty fun pattern, and it went together quickly. I made both dogs on Friday afternoon. I bought twice the fabric recommended on the pattern, since I was making two dogs. And I bet I have enough left to make at least two more dogs. I am contemplating making them for the boutique in our quilt show this fall. Hmmmm....we'll see if we have time!
By the way, there are two different puppy pattens in this package. The other pattern is for the yo-yo doggie. I haven't made that one yet. Not a huge fan of yo-yos. So, I can't speak to that pattern.
If you want the pattern, you can get it from Indygo Junction here. I think the price is the same as what I paid for it at my LQS.
Well, I must get back to work. I'll show you some other stuff from this weekend and hopefully get a little caught up on some stuff from my trip!
By the way, my birthday is coming up next week. And I'm going to have a whole week of giveaways to celebrate! My mom is moving and gave me a bunch of great stuff to give away...and I've added to it as well. So make sure you come by next week and get in on the action!
Until next time,