Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Poppet the wooly wombat

I adore wombats. It's a fondness that started with the book Sometimes I Like to Curl up in a Ball -- a wonderfully sweet story, made even better by the fact that it was our very first baby book. I received it early in my pregnancy, but definitely a pivotal moment for me. Needless to say, it's been a very special book for BabyBee and I since the day she was born.

At any rate, when I saw the "Wodger Wombat" pattern at Funky Friends Factory it was just a matter of time before he was mine. I even cut into my Chiocopee Corduroy for this one. To say I was intensely picky about how this one came out would be an understatement. Since being "finished" she has endured more than a little plastic surgery, but more on that in a second. Even so, I am finally satisfied with her, and have named her "Poppet."

The wombat pattern has quite a few pieces (at least compared to the Hippo), and comes together in a really cool way. And the corduroy was also a pleasure to sew with. In fact, everything seemed to be coming together perfectly until I stuffed her. Something about her eyes just wasn't quite right. They almost look uneven, except that they aren't (I took out a ruler and everything!). And her nose was crooked. See for yourself...
Pre-face lift photos, not pretty!

So, I took out all the stuffing, and gave her a bit of an eye lift. To do that, I looped a strand of embroidery thread through the backings on the safety eyes, and tightened. I also restitched her nose, lining it up along the curve of her muzzle (as opposed to centering it over the seams). Those two changes made a pretty big difference. When I restuffed her I was very happy to come out with this:

As you can see, pulling in her eyes contoured her nose nicely, and puffed out her cheeks. I think she has a much sweeter expression as a result.

If I ever make a second wombat, I'll be a little more generous with the darts. The instructions suggest 1/8inch seam lines for the darts, but I'm programmed to use scant seam allowances from my quilting.  Next time I would be sure to use a generous 1/8 inch allowance on the darts, and definitely not a scant 1/8 inch. Whoops.

The other huge lesson learned? Wool stuffing. I'm a complete convert. It is squishy, but retains it's shape well  too. And my hands enjoyed a really nice moisturizing session (well sessions) thanks to the residual lanolin in the wool. Now I just need to find a way to get a huge five or ten pound box delivered!

I think this will be my last stuffed animal for a little while, I'm ready to dive back into some quilting. Straight lines, here I come! :)

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