Stick Cover Extraction

Stick Cover Extraction Blog Post Spoonflower Strips WARM

So… you’d like to make a Carousel Style Hobby Horse using a Spoonflower Cut n Sew Design but the Stick Cover pieces are on a separate piece of fabric & you have no idea how to ‘extract’ the required Strips…right? Well it isn’t as complicated as it you might think! Follow this photo series to learn how…

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Custom Fit a Bridle

Oopsy Wardrobe Malfunction Custom Fit a Bridle Blog Post


Oopsy! What do you do when your Hobby Horse Bridle does not fit properly? A “wardrobe malfunction” can be embarrassing, can’t it? Help is available!

Learn how to custom fit a Bridle to your “Wish for a Pony” Hobby Horse or Spoonflower Cut n Sew Faux Suede Horse. Understand why size differences can occur depending on the fabric and materials chosen. Make small corrections for a perfectly fitting Bride so your Hobby Horse is ready for play or display!

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Alternative Bridle Bit Method

If you don’t like hand sewing this method of elastic ‘bit’ construction minimises the need for a needle and thread. Machine Zigzag stitch is used instead of Whip Stitch as described in the “Wish for a Pony” Sewing Pattern PDF.

Below is a portion of the PDF page showing the Whip Stitch

Step from PDF Page shown in Alternative Bridle Bit Method Blog Post

Portion of PDF Page showing Whip Stitch

The “Wish for a Pony” Sewing Pattern PDF shows the folded Elastic being sewn entirely by hand. However, there is another Method that combines Machine Zigzag and a small amount of hand sewing.

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Arthritis friendly Hobby Horse Eyes and Nostrils Tutorial

Determined not to let Arthritis stop her from making Hobby Horses for her Grandchildren Maker Therese has kindly given permission for her method to be shared on my Just Bananas Over Soft Toys Blog! Having experienced the inconvenience of stiff fingers and Arthritis in my own hands I appreciate the effort Therese has put into creating the following photo series. Those with less nibble fingers may find it helpful to use the tutorial in conjunction with the “Wish for a Pony” Sewing Pattern PDF available on Etsy.

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Wish for a Pony Fabric Dream

I was ‘Horse Mad’ as a child and sometimes kids just don’t grow up! My Youth Hobbies pages document this fact!

Bay is my favourite horse colour followed by Buckskin or Palomino and sometimes dappled Grey. But then again Chestnut is nice too….and don’t get me started on Paint horses!! Plus all the marking variations if only I could make a realistic horse of every imaginable colour and choose from a Blaze or Star or Snip!

Well you know what? I am well on my way to being able to do that very thing. Check out this Page too to see the Spoonflower.com fabrics that I have designed so far.

On the 24th of February a Postage Box containing several Yards of Spoonflower Faux Suede fabric arrived in our mail box! Talk about exciting! I had big plans…

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Why I am Just Bananas Over Soft Toys

Being “Just Bananas” is more a state of ‘being’ than a ‘name’ for a hobby/business!

If you were following the 5 Day Art Challenge that I participated in during January 2015 via Facebook you would have had the opportunity to see some of the images that I have included on my Permanent Blog Pages Youth Hobbies. All of these artistic endeavours had a certain amount of satisfaction attached to them but on their own individually they weren’t enough to keep my attention.

Here’s a quick recap of the images I chose for the Challenge.

Remember more information and other examples of my artistic endeavours are included in the Permanent Blog Pages….just click the red text to follow the links.

Day 1 of the Art Challenge:

Wildfire Painting Facbook Challenge  Closeup Wildfire Hobbytex  Wildfire Papier Mache

Day 2 of the Art Challenge:

Inspiration and Imitation Running Horse  Inspiration and Imitation Arab Horse   Inspiration and Imitation Hawk on Branch

Day 3 of the Art Challenge:

Wildfire Papier Mache

Flicka Papier Mache

Painting Flicka and Jubilee

Day 4 of the Art Challenge:

Darcy Painting and Ceramic

Giraffe Antelope Ceramic

Billy Ceramic

With so much early creativity in a variety of mediums ranging from Painting, Drawing, Papier Mâché and Ceramics you may be wondering why I am “Just Bananas Over Soft Toys.”

The beginning of my interest in making Soft Toys was visually portrayed on Day 5 of the Art Challenge… Reading two horse books written by Monica Edwards “Wish for a Pony” and “The Midnight Horse” were the starting point. “Wish for a Pony” inspired me to draw horses and “The Midnight Horse” inspired me to create horses using fabric and other materials (see Toy Making).

Day 5 of the Art Challenge:

Inspiration and Imitation - Page from “The Midnight Horse” written by Monica Edwards & Toy Horse on Hand

Inspiration and Imitation - Newspaper clipping and toy Gundy Gay

Inspiration and Imitation - Phar Lap

I feel like I am “Just Bananas” because I am so passionate & borderline ‘crazy’ (i.e. bananas = crazy) about designing Soft Toys. I love to look at fabric creations and try to figure out how they are made & how to apply the techniques or methods to what I am aiming to create. I strive to learn and improve all the time. When making Soft Toys I aim for realism and prefer to refer to real live living creatures or good photos whenever possible.

I enjoy the design process, the drawing & cutting out of paper & fabric shapes. Sometimes I find the sewing a little tedious because I am such a perfectionist it can take many, many attempts and tiny revisions to get the shape just right! I am currently learning a digital drawing program & enjoying using it to make my Pattern shapes neat. Plus it is always fun to work with photos and create what I hope are clear step by step instructions. Then there is a new creative outlet that combines even more of the artistic skills that I gained as I grew up, namely Custom Fabric Design made possible by Spoonflower.com which is a dream come true! Perfect for all those occasions where I can’t find just the right fabric! If only I had more time I have so many ideas!

But that is not the full explanation as to ‘why’ I am “Just Bananas Over Soft Toys”… it’s not just about “me” being able to create the things I do it is about encouraging & supporting other people (e.g. other toymakers & designers) and about enabling others to create also (e.g. by creating Sewing Pattern PDFs).

When I heard about the Sewmamasew 6 weeks of Softies Competition I spent a lot of time thinking about whether to enter or not. I was keen to see all the fabric creations and hoped to see people who needed a little confidence boost or encouragement by way of positive feedback or winning a prize benefit from the participation. I felt the need to continue to work on my current PDF and wondered if I could spare the time to sew something(s) to enter.

My main motivation for entering is not based on a desire to win a prize. Even though I have been designing and making Soft Toys (off and on) since I was 12 years old I have only had an Online Internet presence for just over a year (Etsy & Craftsy shops, Facebook Page, Spoonflower shop and this WordPress Blog). By participating in the competition I hope to show a wider audience what I make. The best ‘prize’ I could ever receive would be to fuel and assist other people’s creativity!

Designing Soft Toys is my (almost all consuming) passion! Why have I pursued Toy designing instead of drawing, painting or ceramics? The main reason is repeatability…..

I could show you my drawings or paintings & provide you with some art supplies but would that empower you to recreate the images that I have created?

I could give you some clay and show you techniques and guide your hands but could you replicate what I have made?

I could create realistic Textile Art animals and birds etc using a freehand/organic non repeatable method but that doesn’t enable anyone else does it? However “if” I create a design for a Soft Toy and turn that into a PDF and/or Custom Fabric design I can take things one step further. This is where repeatability is the ‘star’.

Cut n Sew Fish with Fabric

Made using Spoonflower Cut n Sew Sateen fabric and Finger Pocket Fish 1 “This Little Fishy” Sewing Pattern PDF

Bay Cut n Sew plus Horse

Made using Spoonflower Cut n Sew Faux Suede fabric and “Wish for a Pony” Hobby Horse Sewing Pattern PDF

Chestnut Cut n Sew plus Horse

Made using Spoonflower Cut n Sew Faux Suede fabric and “Wish for a Pony” Hobby Horse Sewing Pattern PDF

Buckskin Cut n Sew plus Horse

Made using Spoonflower Cut n Sew Faux Suede fabric and “Wish for a Pony” Hobby Horse Sewing Pattern PDF

BTW If you want to know more about the Cut n Sew Fabric look here!

My aim is to give others the potential to achieve a close if not identical result as I have. As soon as a Soft Toy has been successfully created by someone who purchases a PDF then the imagination and creativity of the maker can be added to the base I have provided. I am longing to see the starting point I can provide become a unique and personal expression of someone else’s creativity.

Does it make sense now? Now do you understand why I say I am “Just Bananas Over Soft Toys”?