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"Stuffed Animals: From Concept to Construction"
Submitted by Pam on Wed, 05/08/2013 - 01:09
Introducing my very bright, very sparkly "Rainbow Fish" made using the sweet "FISH" pattern and instructions in Abigail Patner Glassenberg's brand new fabulous book "Stuffed Animals: from Concept to Construction". You can order your very own copy here or here!
Read and hear more about it here in Abby's own words.
AND be sure to pop over and enter the fabulous Release Date Giveaway on While she Naps.
I have been impatiently waiting for Abby's book to finally reach it's publish date - for what seems like f-o-r-e-v-e-r! When it comes to making stuffed animals - Abby Glassenberg knows - well - her stuff-ing - inside and out! She has spent years perfecting her skills through trial and error, frustration and triumph, and now at last she is sharing all that she has learned in "Stuffed Animals: from Concept to Construction".
Having learned several very useful tips about the ins/outs and dos/don'ts concerning soft toy making while visiting Abby's blog "While She Naps", I just knew her book was going to fill what - until now - has been a big void of information on the subject. This book is truely a MUST HAVE for anyone wanting to sew stuffed animals.
What I think is absolutely the most valuable feature of this book is that it is designed to teach. First to teach the basics of stuffed toy making and then to provide the tools needed so that anyone can make not just Abby's 16 stuffed toy projects, but almost any stuffed toy imaginable!
Recreate a stuffed toy version of your favorite animal or lizard - or insect if you dare! Or turn those wonderfully magical drawings your children have bestowed on you into soft toys they can hold and love.
Of course, "Stuffed Animals: From Concept to Construction" includes directions and patterns for 16 adorable soft toys - from monkey to monster. However, the book is designed to be much, much more than a collection of projects. It is the kind of learning tool you will keep in your library long after most books featuring collections of cute projects have been given away.
Abby holds a master's degree in education from Harvard and taught middle school before becoming a mother and textile artist. The quality and thoroughness found in every lesson is a reflection of her training and experience.
Instructions for making gussets and leg darts that Abby so generously provided on "While She Naps" are 100% responsible for my success in making my own stuffed Dala. Having already completely failed to make a stuffed pony that could stand on it's own two feet, I will always be grateful to Abby for teaching me how to make a stuffed Dala horse that would stand as tall and proud as any wooden Dala horse!
But gussets and leg darts are really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the wealth of tips and techniques shared in "Stuffed Animals: ...". There are many new adventures and learning experiences waiting for me - and for you - on every page!
The minute my copy of "Stuffed Animals: From Concept to Construction" arrived, I read the first three chapters - every single word. Don't be tempted to even skip the first chapter "Tools and Materials". Take the time to read all three introductory chapters carefully and then take Abby's advice and make "Fish"!
Everything you have learned in the first three chapters will make sense! And you will come to understand the importance and the role played by every detail in making a successful and beautiful stuffed animal.
I have a great deal of sewing experience under my belt and in my determination to cut the body fabric for my fish so that the wave pattern would be vertical, I chose to ignore Abby's advice to pay attention to grain. Not a good decision! Without the stretch in the fabric that would have been there had I cut the body as Abby instructed, I had to pull out every trick I ever learned to get the body and head pieces eased and stitched together - and I still have a couple little puckers! Lesson learned, Abby!!!
Take a moment to study the index. Notice that the first three chapters I mentioned are followed by 16 projects, and imbedded in each project - lessons and tips.
While making each project, you will be learning new techniques - each more advanced than the last. The projects are carefully designed to give you the opportunity to learn and practice new skills - from making movable limbs to turning a very long thin tail!
But remember - what is most valuable about these lessons and tips is that Abby is teaching you how to ultimately design and make your very own stuffed animals!
And right now I am doing just exactly that!
Notice the little stars in the index above - marking lessons I will especially need in order to complete my creature.
He is currently in the 'third muslin alteration stage' (see chapter 2, page 20 and 21); however, I promise to share my brand new beautiful stuffed animal with you in a couple weeks!
And while you are at it, pick up a copy for Mom! So she can make stuffed animals for her grand children! Mother's Day is right around the corner!