From the author of the bestselling Sewing Happiness comes this beginner's sewing book to making beautiful handmade animals—includes 15 easy projects plus 35 variations. The projects in this book are divided into three main categories of cute creatures to sew: decor, toys, and wearables. Inspired by the beautiful simplicity of Japanese and Scandinavian design, these projects will delight the maker as much as the recipient.
Make adorable handmade animal toys: a darling whale teether, adorable fox baby slippers, stackable animal blocks, a sweet lion throw pillow, or a fuzzy sheep backpack! Perfect for gifting, these one-of-a-kind handmade treasures are sure to be cherished.
• Sewing and embroidery primer
• Project instructions with photos and step-by-step iilustrations
• Sewing templates
Pillows: Polar Bear, Lion, Koala, Bunny, Sloth
Placemats: Cat, Bear
Wall Pockets: Zebra, Reindeer
Rope Baskets: Cat, Dog
Stackable Blocks: Mouse, Raccoon, Bear, Elephant
Teether Rattles: Whale, Dove
Terry Cloth Bath Puppets: Panda, Cat, Penguin, Seal
Quiet Adventures Felt Book
Beanbags: Turtle, Hedgehog, Armadillo
Beanies with Ears
Baby Slippers: Fox, Penguin, Raccoon
Hooded Capes: Animal with Ears, Animal with Horn, Animal with Bony Plates
Bibs: Monkey, Koala
Backpacks: Sheep, Fox
Related collections and offers
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
WHEN I WAS A KID, MY mom sewed me a fluffy little bunny doll that I called Usagi-chan. I must have been quite a literal child since Usagi-chan means “little bunny” in Japanese! She was white and simply made, with small felt flowers adorning one of her ears. I loved her so very much. I still have the bunny doll to this day, forty-plus years later.
There is so much care and attention and love poured into anything handmade, especially when created for little ones. As someone who grew up surrounded by handmade goods, I can attest that they enriched my memories of childhood, filling it with a sense of magic.
My daughter was born in 2006, and though I’d had a vague fantasy of finally developing my crafty side for years, it wasn’t until I held my little girl that I was gripped with a sudden desire to sew and sew and sew. I remembered all the sweet toys and clothes that my own mother had made for me and I wanted to create my own version of that experience for my daughter.
And what could be cuter than a handmade animal? My first sewing project for my fifteen-month-old was a ladybug costume, painstakingly hand-stitched out of cheap red and black felt. I had no idea what I was doing; I made some sketches, Googled “ladybug costume” (back then, not much was available online), checked out some craft books from the library, and took a stab at it. After three days of sweat and confusion and mounting concern that I might not finish in time for Halloween, I lifted the puffy, unwieldy thing I was sewing and marveled that it actually looked like ladybug wings. I slipped the makeshift straps I designed onto my daughter’s shoulders and lo! She looked like an insect! A super-adorable insect! I was so proud of myself and she emitted babbles and squeals of approval. We both glowed.
I’ve come a long way in the last ten or so years since I started sewing, and that same ladybug costume would take me a mere three hours to complete now compared with the three midnight-oil-burning days of yore. That sense of accomplishment and joy I got from struggling through that first project has propelled me to make hundreds of toys and clothes for my little girl. I’ve learned a thing or two, and I still get excited about coming up with sewing ideas and experimenting to bring them to life.
The projects in this book are divided into three main categories of cute creatures to sew: décor, toys, and wearables. Like the Japanese craft books that inspired me when I first started sewing for my daughter, this book is structured with a “lookbook” section in the front that showcases the projects, followed by step-by-step, illustrated instructions at the back. If you consider yourself a beginner, check out the basic sewing primer and embroidery tips sections. And if you have years of sewing experience under your belt, I hope you will enjoy whipping out some quick projects and that they will inspire you to try out variations of your own.
I designed all the projects in this book guided by that glowing feeling I got from the ladybug costume. The designs I’ve included here are simple, and I wanted the projects to feel easy to create, but I also believe in taking time to put care and attention and love into every stitch. So don’t rush it or sweat it, and please enjoy every step, mistakes and all!