A Vintage-Inspired Corduroy Horse

Meet Henry the Horse.  

This red and white Henry was the final prototype I made before sewing the actual toy featured in my book (see photo with dolls below).  Many, many prototypes were sewn before him.  But when I stuffed this particular toy, I knew I had the pattern I had been striving for.

Henry was inspired by an illustrated toy horse featured on a vintage birthday card I stumbled upon years ago.  I don't actually have the card - just a tattered page with a picture of the front of the card.  Like many of you, before the advent of Pinterest, I used to print and pin "inspiration" to my bulletin board.  This horse was literally pinned years ago!

I really wanted the toy horse pattern in my book to be reminiscent of this sweet horse above.  Simple and timeless.  Perfect for boys and girls of all ages.  And I am happy with the result.

I adore this horse in red and white fabrics.  But when I looked at my collection of toys as they were all nearing completion, it seemed like I had a lot of red fabrics.

So for the book version of Henry, I used blue and white corduroy instead.  In my opinion, he looks just as charming.

Truth be told, the blue and white combo was inspired by my sewing chair.  

And now I can't help but think of this toy horse whenever I see my chair.  It makes me smile.

Obviously, this horse looks great in any color - solids, ginghams, or spots!

I hope some of you make a Henry (or two).


bybido on Facebook

Last night I set up a Facebook page for my blog.  I've been finding myself following more and more blogs over there (with posts leading directly to blogs).  I thought it might make it easier for some of you who use FB regularly.

I was also thinking that a Facebook page would be a great place to share photos of dolls and toys made from patterns in my upcoming book.  If you email me photos, I'll feature them over there (if you'd like).  I'll also set up a Pinterest board, too.

There is a link to the FB page on the sidebar over there ---->.  It's hard to miss.  I probably should reduce the size of that image :).

If you want to follow along on Facebook, just click on the button and it will take you to my page.  Then just click "like" and you'll receive updates from me from time to time.

I added a few old posts to the blog (not everything).  All new posts from now on will also have a link posted on Facebook.  I'll also be posting photos here and there of other projects I'm working on, while they are still in progress.

I'd love to have you follow along!


Tiny Puppy

One of our side projects around here has been making tiny dogs from patterns in these two books.

By the talented Chie Hayano, these popular Japanese books ("Mame Wanko") were translated into English a few years back. Both books have tiny dog patterns and one includes several adorable tiny dog accessories.

I'm working on the carrier and dog bed. 

The girls have made the dog bowls and bones and some of the toys.  The bowls still need to be painted. 

To make the dogs, I needed some type of short pile fur.  We decided to recycle some Beanie Babies.

My Grandmother was a collector...and one of the things she collected were Beanie Babies.  She had hundreds.  She had boxes and boxes of new Beanie Babies and when she passed away six years ago, I volunteered to find homes for all of them.  

Most have been given away to preschools, friends, and the girls all have dozens of their own.  Still, we have many stored out in the garage.  I weeded through and took a few that we have many duplicates of and decided to take them apart.  I kept thinking of what my Grandma would say...but considering we are just reusing them and making them back into toys...well, I think she'd be okay.  We're just making cute into cute(r)!

These patterns are tiny.  Really teeny tiny.  Definitely not something the kids can sew (yet).  I might enlarge a few of the patterns so my oldest can sew a few on her own with felt.  But for now, I have to sew these little pups up.  

Our pup is a Lab-mix, with a white chin, chest, and paws.  So I used the pattern above and some recycled panther and unicorn fur below.

And this is the end result.  It's not perfect, but it's okay for my first try. 

I've sewn a few more since this first pup, but with a bit of baker's twine, they make really cute Christmas ornaments...so I'll have to show them closer to the holidays.  

Don't want to ruin any surprises :).