Flower Bear kits are coming!

Partially sewn teddy bear pieces, joint hardware, and glass eyes.

For those of you who don’t have embroidery machines, or just don’t want to hunt down things like glass eyes and disc joints, I’m putting together some Flower Bear kits for the shop.

Teddy bear with flower ruff in front of flower arrangement
Swatches of upholstery velvet.

I’ve got three of the different greens out of my upholstery velvet stash, plus the chocolate brown that’s always been perfect for a sunflower center. I’m going to need some daylight or a better lighting setup to take the listing pictures, though – that middle color is a grayish green, not just gray, and the one on the left is the same one that shows up much brighter in the finished bear. I’m also going to need to find the tiny washers that go with those cotter pins — I scavenged enough loose ones to make the giveaway bear but I think I might need to order more.

Shoebox labeled "Joints" containing doll/bear joints.

I’ve organized a lot of sewing/art/craft supplies since moving and yes, I really do have a shoebox labeled “Joints.”

Owlbear dice bag

A tiny plush owlbear that is also a dice bag.

Having given the dragon dice bag by Vanessa to the kid, I guess I had dice bags on the brain and well, I went off on another rabbit trail. What would happen, I wondered, if the top of the owl[bear]‘s head was a drawstring?

The result is not quite as round a critter as the stuffed version (one of which is in the shop right now) even with a handful of polyhedrals, but overall it came out okay.

Back view of a tiny plush owlbear that is also a dice bag.

Most of it happens in the hoop, but this time I sewed the bottom dart on the conventional machine, and of course the paws and tail are hand-sewn on.

Looking into the drawstring opening of a tiny plush owlbear that is also a dice bag.

It’s a pretty conventional lined drawstring bag on the inside. I think I’d make it a little shorter if I did it again, so the top draws closed a little close to the face. Not sure I will do it again; I really need to get my “real” stuff in the shop. The silver dragon is very sad that I haven’t been paying it enough attention:

A silver dragon fabric sculpture work in progress.

Stash panda, guardian of the fabric

Did I work on the hand sewing yesterday? Nope. Did I work on Mew today? Nope.

Instead, I worked on getting some bookshelves cleared off and rearranged. And I thought to myself, “I’m going to take this tall one out of the living room where it doesn’t fit, and use it to store my active fabric stash so I’m not burrowing through tubs of fabric.

“Fabric… stash. STASH PANDA! I MUST MAKE A STASH PANDA!”

(Karen’s brain, ladies and gentlemen.)

The pattern needs a little fine-tuning (gonna make the hind feet more properly trash panda-ish) and then I’ll publish it, but this one will be the guardian of my fabric stash… as soon as I figure out where to put that shelf.

More impulsiveness

Saturday: I decided to sell off my faux fur stash because it was too bulky and I really wasn’t making big plush or costume items anymore.

Sunday: this happened.

In the course of trying to remember what it was I even bought the pink plush for, I did a DuckDuckGo image search for “pink plushie” and found nothing that jogged my memory but I did find some pretty cute (handmade) Mew plushies. I’m not a Pokémon player myself but when I found a promising pattern on DeviantArt, well, I’ve mentioned the way my brain works and here we are.

I haven’t started sewing because it has been years and years since I worked with a thick plush and I have no idea where my little box of binder clips have gone. Since that time, though, Clover has come out with Wonder Clips which are a more streamlined version of that hack, and I need some #11 sharps to sew the vinyl eyes, so it’s off to a fabric store for me.

Book bands

Although I keep telling myself I didn’t get the embroidery machine to do conventional embroidery, I keep finding myself doing conventional embroidery. In large part it’s learning how the thing behaves with different materials, and also yielding to the temptation to make cute stuff for my nieces.

It started when I sent my sister a link to a possible teacher gift and she sent back a link to a unicorn book band on that site, for one daughter’s school agenda.

I asked her what she wanted for her planner, and she said a heart, so I went all-in on hearts.

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The distractability spider

Yesterday’s pattern development kind of encapsulates how I work.

I decided to release the in-the-hoop dragon as a pattern on Etsy, which meant I needed some pictures for the instructions. I cut some kelly-green minky squares and went through the process. I gave it orange eyes because St. Patrick’s Day is coming up and I was thinking Irish flag. And the more I worked with it the less I liked that green, until I realized it was the unnatural green of a plush Cthulhu. It only took encouragement from one person to get me haring off on an in-the-hoop Cthulhu, even though there are already way too many chibi Elder Gods out there already.

I rushed things a little too much and, in the process of changing the pattern entirely between colors, managed to mis-align the eye-shines:

Dragon and failed embroider

As I went to throw away the goof, I went “ha ha looks like a cute little jumping spider instead” and, well, my heart really wasn’t in Cthulhu anyway.

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Silver dragon work in progress

My experiments with the ice dragon had come close to using up the yard of white upholstery velvet from Fabric.com, so I ordered some more. While I was at it, I picked up a yard of silver on a whim (and also two yards red, which I’m not sure what Past Karen was thinking). Despite the projects already on my plate, “I wonder what surface sewing belly scales on upholstery velvet would look like” turned into… this.

Proper nerds may recognize this dragon as the current style of silver dragon in D&D: frilled head with a “goatee” type chin section. I’ve put my own stamp on it a bit; the official art shows kind of a bloated round nose profile but I toned it down quite a bit. It came out a little more dinosaur-ish than I was shooting for, especially in the above pictures where I forgot to pin the ear on.

I also haven’t decided whether I’m going with the carved-bone horn (black, below) or the smaller icicle-trim horn (chrome, above). The problem with both of them is that they only come in one direction of spiral, so I may come up with something else entirely so they can be properly mirrored.

I can’t say how excited I am that the embroidery-machine plans I’ve had in my head for the last year-plus actually work. At least, they work after a yard of experimentation and fine-tuning on that yard of white. Now the real challenge begins: finishing a project.