Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Fun of the Fair - book tour and giveaway

It was a lovely surprise a couple of weeks ago when I had an email from Stitch, Craft Create asking if I would like to take part in Melanie McNeice's book tour. I have to say, I was a little hesitant to start with because to be honest making soft toys kind of scares me......I've attempted a couple but have always ended up with funny shaped heads/scary facial features! However, Melanie is an expert soft-toy maker having written loads of books (and designed fabric too!) so I figured that if anyone could get me over my fear it would be her!

I was sent an ecopy of the book and the front cover of Fun of the Fair is so appealing. I let Little Girl look through the book and after that there was no going back - seals! elephants! lions (oh I love the lion!)! monkeys and the pony that stars on the front cover.

I went for the monkey as this was picked as one of the favourites and I figured that it would be liked by all of the Smalls and set to making three (yes, three!) monkeys!!!! A monkey can easily be made out of a Fat Quarter of fabric - although some careful placement is needed if using directional fabric. I got my felt from here as they had a lovely range of colours and my delivery arrived within a day. 

The pattern directions are very clear and walk you through how to make the toy really well. The only thing I found a little frustrating at first was having to read through the pattern to find out what I was meant to be cutting out of fabric/felt/fusible webbing, so I wrote this on the pattern pieces as I cut them out. As a toy-making newbie, a couple of things I found that helped me were to starting sewing the curves in the middle and working towards the outside lines. I also found it helped to use pins to position buttons/nostrils etc before sewing the facial features in place.

Overall, I had lots of fun making these! I think I even managed to do an alright job of doing the faces, although a couple of the monkeys have got a slightly lopsided smile........next up is making them some clothes as no self-respecting monkey wants to go naked, does it?! I think these are destined to be (dare I say it!) Christmas presents so I'm trying to work on them secretly when the kids aren't around!!!

I have been given a hardcopy of Fun of the Fair to giveaway, so if you would like to have a go at making yourself, or some Smalls a gorgeous soft toy, then please leave me a comment telling me about your favourite toy from when you were a kid! Mine was a giant dungaree-wearing dog which was probably as big as I was when I was about 7.....my Dad bought him home seat-belted in to the front of the car!!!!!!

*Giveaway will close in a week on Tuesday 7th October, with the winner announced on Wednesday*

S x

Todays sky ● blue skies with a few whispy clouds






32 comments:

RobotMomSews said...

These are so cute! Great job on the monkies!! I had a plethora of stuffies as a child, can't say I can narrow any down as favorites, but I loved all my teddy bears! :)

Jo Jo said...

I love them! They are fantastic, Sonia :) I had many soft toys (no dolls) and special ones really. The funniest/weirdest was a big Nookie Bear puppet! Thanks for the chance to win. If I do, everyone will be getting monkeys fro Christmas hahaha! XX

Jenny-Narcoleptic in a cupboards mum said...

What a lovely job you've made of these Sonia. I wouldn't be able to keep them secret till C..... Your young ones will love them. x

sew.darn.quilt said...

These monkeys are so sweet! You've done a fantastic job.
My Mom made me a rag doll with an amazing wardrobe of dresses,pinafores, bloomers and nighties when I was 7. It was the most wonderful Christmas gift, a few years later my dog chewed it up:(

amanda wallis said...

My favourites were a cabbage patch doll, carebear and strawberry shortcake doll.

the running hare said...

Very cute! I'm sure your littlies will love them. I didn't have any dolls but succumbed to peer pressure when I was 10 and asked for a Sindy doll.

Wendy said...

your monkeys look brilliant, I can't believe it's your first attempt at making toys! I had a walrus called Wally, he's not very big, about the size of my (adult hand) and he went everywhere with me. He's a very well travelled walrus and has been to countless holiday destinations, and down the toilet a few times!

Lee said...

Your monkeys are adorable!! I had a rag doll that I loved when I was little. I would love to make that pony on the cover!

Jessibeth Vicenty said...

This sounds like a great books to make toys I really like the Lion! I think I didn't have a favorite toy, I change favorite toys weekly lol. I remember a boy doll that last more time as my favorite then the others so I guess that was my favorite favorite lol

quilter said...

My favorite toy way Abner, our cat. My sister and I loved dressing him up, and he tolerated it. I would love a copy of this book.
cork@pa.rr.com

Stephany said...

I have a 3 yr old and a 1 yr old. They would LOVE some momma made toys! I also live very close to a Children's Hospital, I can see some friends and I getting together to make some cute toys for the children there. Thank you for the giveaway.

Kristy said...

Aww what a sweet memory of your stuffed dog! Mine was a golden, shaggy panda. I still have him tucked in a special box full of my "treasures". :) Thanks for the chance at this book, would love to sew with it! Your monkeys are adorable too!

OhioLori said...

Your monkey's are Adorable! Good job! I think the Smiles are perfect..give 'em an air of Orneriness! lol Love the book too!

I had a Teddy Bear that was bout 1/2 as big as me, when I was in 2nd grade....was my Favorite for years!

Pauline Perry said...

My favourite toys as a child were a doll that my mum won by guessing the number of stitches it took to knit the outfit that the doll was wearing - hat, dress, coat, shoes, undies too. My dad made a dolls cot for me which my dolly slept in, and I gave that cot to my first daughter and she has given it to her first daughter. I love that. I have 5 grandchildren and have just started making soft toys and I am really enjoying it.
Pauline

perry94022 at hotmail dot com

GranChris said...

My youngest grandson would love these. I would love to win this book and make him some animals.

Arianna M. said...

I received a teddy bear when I was born, which I still have. He was definitely my favourite!

Gill said...

I love the monkeys!
My favourite childhood toy was a hand knitted mouse with a red waistcoat!

Sarah said...

My favorite was a Teddy named Harry which I got on my first birthday. All my other stuffed animals stayed animals, but he joined in with the dolls in getting tucked in and dressed up. I still have him and my youngest plays with him, even though he's not so "hairy" any more. :) sarah@forrussia.org

Leslie Bower said...

My favorite stuffed animal was a very well loved tan puppy named "Puddles". He had long floppy ears and closed felt eyes so he always looked like he was sleeping. My now Mother-in-law and Father-in-law gave him to me when I was a little girl. Thank you for the chance to win.

aus_chick said...

I had a benji toy that I adored. He once got a haircut too ... ;-)

Betty said...

I can so melt! seeing soft toys especially monkeys!! I used to read a book about a lost doft toy monkey to my kids and these look a bit like that one. Beautiful

Joan H. said...

My favorite doll was made by my grandmother out of a white stocking. She painted her face and made her clothing, and it was beautiful to me

maya matthew said...

My favourite toy as a child was a black elephant that my mum made for me. I would twirl it by its tail until I fell asleep.
I really love this book and thank you for the chance to win.

Jen in Malmesbury said...

Hi Sonia, love your monkeys! My favourite toy in the whole world was oggy the otter. He went everywhere with me and reappeared on my wedding night courtesy of my dad! Jen xx

ginny said...

Your monkeys for the littles turned out great.Love the colors you picked. My favorite stuffed toy was and still is a Raggedy Anne doll.

Chriss said...

My favorite toy as a child was a woolly mammoth, ( not very big) and I used to annoy the heck out of my elder sister walking around behind her making trumpeting noises, while carrying the mammoth.

Lisa Eck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa Eck said...

Your monkeys are very cute! I would love to sew something from this book, this would be the first time I sew a stuffed animal. My favorite was a Barbie that came with a huge pink wardrobe and a lot of accessories including some outfits with hangers that I could hang inside of the wardrobe. Also there was a bed with bedding set and pillows. I used to spend hours changing the outfits on my Barbie. No wonder I became a dressmaker ☺ Thanks for the giveaway! ☺

Jeneta said...

My favourite childhood toy was a pancake doll that was made out of sacking of some kind. She was very soft and had covered buttons for eyes and yellow wool hair.

Ella and Nesta said...

Your monkeys look great! My all time favourite softie is my teddy Bubi. I went everywhere with him. He got so worn out my Grandma made him a pair of dungarees to protect his body a bit!

Cheryl Bush said...

A patchwork fabric turtle that was also a footstool. I rescued it last year from my parent's basement & reupholstered it so my own kids can enjoy it now.

Karen Propes said...

I would love to have this book, always need a pattern when making memory toys (using fabric of a family member deacesed). Such a sweet toy to make and donate to the Duke Children's Hospital. They can never have enough toys for those kids. My favorite toy when I was little was stuffed Cindy bear, my sis had Yogi bear I still have it packed away somewhere. Thanks for the chance.
ncjeepster@aol.com

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