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:Β 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!

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

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Showing you around

I thought, I might show you around my new neighbourhood, just a little. Today I’ll focus on the river, my beautiful Yarra. Ruby the Pugalier and I like to walk along the meandering river, listening to the bellbirds chime. I relax as Ruby eats grass and has her head down, madly searching for food.

Johnston St Bridge

Following the path under the bridge, Ruby the pugalier and I like walking along the river.

Every time I wander, I spot something new, like this mysterious tree creature below.

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Can you see a face in the tree? My son thinks it looks like a lion, I see a fairytale creature.

What is it about water that makes us relax? Is it because we once swam inside our mothers? Is it the sound? All I know, is that I can feel my shoulders dropping, the tension sliding away….

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Slowly, slowly drifting on, close to the sea now.

The river is the peaceful part of the neighbourhood which is a mixture of small industries, historical terrace houses and workers cottages, a children’s farm and open bush, all wrapped around the river. It’s a bit grungy, a little arty, busy at times and quiet at others and only three kilometres from the city. I love being up a little high, not too high though. I can look all around me and gaze and gaze and gaze. Next time, I shall show you how I made Miss Poppy, posing below.

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Poppy the koala and I are loving living the high life, by the Yarra.

A definite chill in the air

It’s 5.00 pm and time to feed Ruby, my naughty dog. Stepping outside I thought ooh, winter is on its way, there is a definite chill in the air. I quite like winter for a few months, snuggling inside, hot soup and coffee and perhaps a little chocolate too. Of course, I tire of it after a while and long for spring to arrive. For the moment though, I’m relishing the cool change. I’ve spent the day making Wayne the Wombat from a two toned vintage wool blanket. It’s perfect weather for working with wool. I’ve also started knitting a jumper. Sadly, just as I finished the rib band, I discovered I had made a mistake in row two, so I will not be showing you that…. Instead you can see how Ruby enjoys the cold weather. She loves nothing more than snuggling in her bed by the heater.

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Wayne the Wombat is available in Winter Owls Shop

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Ruby the snuggler

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Ruby the Pugalier with her thrift shop blanket

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.

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A koala making mess

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Claude the Koala

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Clara the Koala

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Clyde and his friends are available in Winter Owls Shop