Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Being productive? I made a felt rat.

I'm thinking of setting up an Etsy shop sometime soon, and I've been thinking about what to make. Some kind of animal toys/collectibles seems like the best option for me as I love sewing and all kinds of creatures!

So to get some practice in and also because I've never really made a pattern myself before (I'm one of those people who can't visualise things flat - I can't read a map or work out the layout of a building) I decided I would unpick a soft toy rat that I have. I got it from IKEA ages ago - I think they're about £2 - and once when I came back to my student house after the Christmas holiday, my mum, who had been staying in my house for a weekend break, had stitched the rat to a cushion and left it on our sofa, presumably to make us jump before we realised it wasn't a real rat.

Anyway, I forgot to take a photo of the rat before and now it's all in pieces, so here's what they look like (photo taken from IKEA website):
So after I'd unpicked all the bits, I ironed them flat and drew around them to create a pattern. I thought once I'd made the rat I could see how long it took and how difficult it was and then adapt the pattern to create other animals - maybe a guinea pig or a hedgehog to begin with.

Here are my pattern pieces, all cut out and labelled:

Then it was just a question of cutting all the pieces on grey felt (I used felt because it's so easy - it doesn't fray, both sides are the same and there's no pile or pattern so it doesn't matter which way round you cut the pieces out) and hand-stitching it back together. Actually, the sewing was a little trickier than I thought, mainly because I'd forgotten exactly how it fitted together, but luckily I did remember to label all the pieces so with a bit of trial and error I got there. And of course I managed to sew one of the legs on the wrong way, but that was remedied in a few minutes.

The best bit with making something like this is always turning it the right way around (because you're always working with it inside-out when sewing the seams) and seeing it for the first time how it's supposed to be. That's the fun bit, when you get to sew the features on and it seems to get its own personality.

Here's my rat chilling with our new peace lily:

I actually recycled the feet and tail from the original rat, because they were fiddly and frankly I couldn't really be bothered to make new ones! The eyes and nose are just embroidered on in black thread, although he's probably look better with buttons for eyes as they catch the light.

I'm not really that impressed with how he turned out. He's kinda cute, but I don't really want to make another one. Still, it was good pattern practice and I'm sure I can find somewhere for him to live or someone to love him.

Check back in soon for my next bizarre and probably underwhelming project!
It's still boiling so this is my song today. It always makes me think of summer.
Moby - 'South Side' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOQDCppovR4 (Yeah, I'm not so keen on the version with Gwen Stefani)


  1. Omg it looks so cute! You're really creative and talented! x


    1. Thank you! I looked at your blog, I am horribly jealous of your amazing tan, you look stunning x