Magical Gecko Owes His Very Existence to - "Stuffed Animals: From Concept to Construction"

Original Design - Gecko

Meet my very colorful Magic Gecko!

A couple weeks ago, I reviewed Abby Glassenberg's brand new book "Soft Animals: From Concept to Construction" and as part of the review, I made the very first project in the book - "FISH".

If you haven't read the review, take a minute to do so here and then pop over to read all about the book in Abby's own words here.

Although Abby has included a total of 16 projects in her book, the real purpose behind writing "Soft Animals:  From Concept to Construction" was to teach the skills and techniques needed so that anyone can create whatever stuffed animal their heart desires - be that a snake or a dragon or a unicorn!

And just to prove it -  I made a gecko!!!

Gecko first pattern

Abby suggests when creating our own creature, it is best to begin with a drawing and then transfer the drawing to a paper pattern! And here is my first version of the gecko pattern! (Notice - five toes on each foot - a proper gecko!)

This little guy is designed to be a tree ornament so he is only about 8" long - probably five toes was a bit ambitious for a creature this size but I had to try!!

Gecko 2nd. pattern

Abby recommends making a test muslin animal before committing to the chosen fabric, so I cut and stitched test muslin gecko #1.

I quickly figured out that while I could actually succeed at stitching those five teeny tiny toes, turning them nicely was pretty much impossible. They really are teeny tiny toes! Four toes might be a better solution.

And once the muslin body was stitched and stuffed I realized my gecko body was way too narrow - unless I was making a North American Pencil Body Gecko - which I was not!

All good reasons for Abby's advice - make a test muslin, evaluate and adjust the pattern, make another muslinÂ…. And so I did! Actually - three times - and each time the toes became fewer and the body a little fatter!

Gecko 3rd pattern - cut and stitched

At last - a three toed gecko partially stitched and almost ready to be stuffed!

Thanks to lessons for turning and stuffing long skinny parts and inserting parts into a seam, and to tips for proper stuffing - what was a bit of pretty fabric and fluff is now a plump, very colorful, three toed magic gecko!

Gecko <ade using instructins found in "Stuffed Animals" by Abigail Patner Glassenberg

Abby's book is fabulous! Anyone wanting to make stuffed toys for children absolutely must have this book in their crafty library. In addition to all the basics from proper stitching technique to stuffing tips and tricks, "Stuffed Animals: From Concept to Construction" is a beautifully organized and well written collection of 52 lessons that cover every possible aspect of stuffed toy making.

If you really don't want to make three muslins and would rather take advantage of someone else doing all that testing for you,  then 16 adorable pre-tested projects are just waiting for you - trace the patterns, stitch and stuff!

Order your very own copy here or here! And while you are at it, why not get an early start on your Christmas gift list. "Stuffed Animals: From Concept to Construction" is the best gift ever for anyone you know wanting to make stuffed animals for the children in their lives.

Why a "magic" gecko?  Any gecko with only three toes has just GOT to be magic - right?

LOVE your gecko! I totally

LOVE your gecko! I totally agree - the book is wonderful and I have just finished making the fish and am about to start on the next project. Well done at making your own gorgeous design and keep up the great work!

Thank you Jody!  AND it is

Thank you Jody!  AND it is very nice to meet you!  I popped over to see your fish and they are gorgeous.  LOVING the fabrics you chose.  The little fish - actually many of the projects in Abby's book invite the use of colorful prints, don't they.

Can't wait to see what you make next!

Pam, Your gecko is truly

Pam, Your gecko is truly fantastic. This process of making one prototype after another, and making things wider and simpler, is all part of soft toy design. I'm so touched that you used techniques from my book to turn your idea into a reality and so impressed with all the hard work you put into developing this original pattern. Thank you so much for writing about the process here!


Abby!  It was my pleasure to

Abby!  It was my pleasure to share my adventures making gecko!!!  I am quite certain, had I made him bigger, I would have had a better shot at success with five toes!  But I love him as he is and apparently so does the young man he is now living with - carried him everywhere with him the day I gave him gecko.

I love your three-toed gecko!

I love your three-toed gecko! I bet Abby would love it too. Like you, she's a brilliant writer and teacher.

aaaw this is a awesome

aaaw this is a awesome example, i like the fabric which is used for the geko
It's yours?
Well done. love it.
thank you for the sharing.
do they live neaby you?
John had big huge african turtles and three lizors in a huge terarium in his living room.
Awesome animals to watch. He got the turles as my welcome home gift after his coma time in hospital. They were just tiny funny matchboxes that could walk.
But by his good care and healthy diet and food they become giants.LOL
I often was talking to them. It looked that they liked my conversations.XD

oh, I love your geko!!! Here

oh, I love your geko!!!
Here in sicily these little creatures come out every night in summer and I really like to watch them (although people here are mostly dusgusted by them). Gekos don't live in northern Italy, so they are new to me :)
Your geko is super lovely, also because of its three fingers, that give it a funny look, like a comics' carachter!
Thenk you for this book's reviews you are writing, I'm very interested in it!