Poppy and Blossom

I’m not going to write much today, just show you how I make my Koala stuffed toys, step by step. You can then have a go yourself, or if you can’t be bothered and desperately want one, you can buy them here:ย https://www.etsy.com/shop/WinterOwls.

To start with, you’ll need some wool fabric, I get mine by upcycling vintage pure wool blankets after throwing them through a hot cycle in the washing machine. You’ll also need some stuffing. When I first started making toys, I used polyester fill, but now I’m using clean washed Merino fleece. It’s eco friendly, but it is more expensive and a little harder to use as stuffing. It tends to jump out of where it has been placed! As well as fabric and stuffing you’ll need some embroidery thread for little details and something fluffy ear like. In the past I’ve used Jumpers, shawls or the fringe of mohair blankets for luxurious ears.

I sew the main outline with a sewing machine, but you could sew up the whole thing by hand easily. I then close the stuffing gap by hand and outline the arms with embroidery thread, once the body has been machine stitched.

You can also gather little scraps of other fabrics, lace or doilies if you want to add accessories to your koalas. Go wild, they love dressing up!

IMG_1872 edited

First cut out your bodies, front and back. Just draw a simple outline and cut around it.

IMG_1881edited

Choose your front and embroider eyes and mouth. I have sewn on a nose but you can do whatever you like. Hand stitch on any accessories such as collars, buttons, pants etc. Note that here, I’ve shown the front of Poppy and Blossom.

IMG_1886 edited

Next tack on the ears to the front side facing in towards each other and then flip them, so they are facing outwards and you can see what they will look like. I hope that makes sense! You will need to flip them back in, before you sew the two halves together. (They will be covering the eyes when flipped back in)

IMG_1922

Pin the back and front together with the right sides facing inwards. Make sure those ears are tucked in well. Sew around the outside about 1/2 cm in from the edge leaving a 3 cm gap where you would like to put your stuffing in.

IMG_1925 edited

Now turn your koala right side out and remove the tacking from the ears. Use a spoon, chopstick or whatever you have handy to put the stuffing in a bit at a time. When you are happy, hand sew up the opening.

IMG_1938 edited

I like to whip stitch the ears to the head for extra stability and I top stitch the arms to define them, but you don’t have to.

IMG_1934 edited

Finally, make yourself and your koalas Poppy and Blossom, a nice cup of tea. You deserve it.

A crafty mess

You haven’t heard from me for a little while, I’ve been in a bit of a hermit mood. I’ve got a few things on my mind, nothing too terrible, just things to work through. Creating is the best way for me to deal with this, it soothes my soul and brings me peace.

It’s been a bit of a koala making festival lately. The dining room table is in a mess, littered with ric rac, lace and other vintage trims. Buttons, embroidery threads, pins and needles, scraps of blankets lie around. It’s time to tidy up though, I’m ready to paint a commission I’ve had, for a yet to be born baby. For painting ideas, I need a clean, tidy space for ideas to flow. Once I’ve finished that, I’m going to start making a rusty fox from an old chenille blanket, that I have been wanting to make, for a certain lovely blogging friend. Yes Poppy Tump, that is you.

2014-03-15 12.06.54

A koala making mess

Claude

Claude the Koala

clara 1

Clara the Koala

clyde 1

Clyde and his friends are available in Winter Owls Shop

Perfect weather for cosy Koalas

Where is my hot Melbourne summer? I don’t want it to be boiling hot but some warmth would be good please. Instead we’ve had a couple of sporadic teasing warm days, followed by chilly southerly winds. Oh well, it has been good weather for making woolly things. I have been making upcycled creatures for a while now to sell at markets and my Etsy shop but decided to expand my range and include some Australian animals. I present to you Keiki and Kylie Koala. They are made with an upcycled vintage blanket, the fringe of a mohair rug, scraps of wool jumper and decorated with a scrap of doily and some Ric Rac. They took a long time to make as I had to puzzle over making a pattern for them, think a while about their ears and how to decorate them and finally, hand and machine sew them. I really like the end result, especially their ears which are particularly Koala like. The only problem is, I only have one small mohair knee rug to make ears from, so I shall be keeping my eyes peeled whilst thrifting…

2

Keiki the Koala enjoys the beach and lounging around.

1

Kylie the Koala enjoys sampling Lamingtons and Pavlova.