Saturday 26 April 2008

How I made Berlita Bunny

I've been thinking of making a bunny toy for some time, and a few weeks ago I finally got around to doing it. I made a bunny a few years ago, and although she's now a very well-loved bun, I felt the urge to create another.
Belita Bunny being very proud about her lovage plant
As it was a few years since I'd made my first bunny I thought i'd make things simple by using the tried-and-tested pattern (for the body, at least) first.

However, I did design a brand-new head pattern for this bunny though which took a lot of trial and error. I started by modelling a plasticine head, then divided it into sections by lightly scoring lines which would be the seams.

I then laid tracing paper onto the head and traced the scored lines, then cut the paper sections out; these were the basis for the pattern.

I then made a series of felt heads until I achieved the shape I wanted. This tried my patience a lot and wasn't easy! But eventually Berlita's head took on the form which I was looking for.

This was the hard work over. Now I had a pattern for the body and head that I could follow, so the rest was relatively plain sailing. I used some very nice black wool felt coat fabric, which was easy to work with as it doesn't fray - a real benefit when you're working with small fiddly bits!

Although I did use Vilene iron-on heavyweight interfacing on all the pieces to give it that bit more stability.
I covered a couple of buttons with black satin for her eyes, which are ok although they do protrude a little more than i'd like.

I also invested in some new needles - some extra long upholstery ones for attaching the arms and legs, and some curved ones for attaching the head - useful for getting the needle into such a tight corner (although the curved needles I got were a little thick for the felt I was using, but would be fine on woven material I think).

I embroidered Berlita's features before I stuffed her face, and I also planned and wrote down what order I would sew the pieces, because this is the area I always tend to mess up! Like sewing up a seam that I was meant to leave open... my seam ripper is very well-used, unfortunately!

I designed the pattern for her little dress and made it up in a blue and white polka-dot polyester satin moire that i've had for years, and which I only use for very special occasions because one day it'll be gone!

Berlita Bunny isn't going anywhere- I spent too long making her to want to give her up - but I may make her some cousins who will be up for adoption (hahaha! I mean up for sale in my Etsy shop....) when I can get around to making them!

Please tell me what you think to Berlita!


Oh my goodness, I haven't written anything in this blog for such a long time! I've been sewing, going to "real" work and generally wasting time! But I must write a bit about this lovely film I saw last week, directed by Mike Leigh and starring Sally Hawkins as the irrepressible Poppy.

It's a story about a very lovely primary school teacher who has an amazingly positive outlook on life. She starts driving lessons with an instructor who is the polar opposite of her; narrow-minded, negative and angry. While the instructor shouts at Poppy about her habit of wearing inappropriate driving footwear, she laughs and enjoys the moment... because anger just doesn't seem to be part of her. But she has a great empathy for any vulnerable person, and shows a lot of love and understanding. I would love to be like Poppy, she is incredibly joyous and bright, like a golden ray of sunshine! There are plenty of funny moments in this film and I think its the best comedy since last year's Little Miss Sunshine, because it shows people coping with life's setbacks and difficulties with humour and love.

The film showed how Poppy wanted to see happiness and light and that's what she saw; and the driving instructor only saw bitterness and hate in the same situations, because he didn't want to see anything else. The film seemed to say that we can, to some extent, decide what our world is; the world isn't just outside our bodies, its just as much made up of the feelings that we create in our own heads.

If you see this, you'll be chanting, "En-Ra-Ha" too!


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