Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Improv sewing

Hey all you needle wizards - do any of you enjoy making things without a pattern? You know, just sit down with some fabric and scissors, and start cutting without any specific plan in mind? No? GO TRY IT NOW.

This is a giraffe I made I made with my new improv technique. I cut out a silhouette and made the gussets without drafting a single thing. Isn't that kind of really neat?

I really love using freezer paper for making my pattern pieces, but I was out at the moment, so I did without.

I did use one of my old patterns for the ears and I did use a rotary cutter and quilting ruler to get the straight lines for the arms, legs and tail. But everything else was just pulled out of thin air, and there's just something I really love about that.

I actually made her several weeks (months?) ago, and she's been hanging out on my shelf since then. I want to enjoy her a bit before she goes to her new home!

It was really fun and stress-free project for me. With my workload as full as it is, this may seem like just a distraction from everything I have to do. But making something with no consequences is a great exercise in keeping your skills tuned up. Suceeding (or even failing) at something that doesn't matter can teach you the lessons you'll need for the next thing that does matter. I think this theory can be applied to many things in life, hmm...

It's fully made of fleece has hand jointed knees! Aren't those cute? I just started making joints in my plushies, and it really adds that "something special". So try it! Maybe I can make a tutorial? Let me know in the comments if anyone would find that helpful!

Her spots were rough-edged appliqued with a straight stitch - a technique that I think looks great in fleece.

I really wish I had thought about taking pictures throughout the process. Would anyone be interested in my doing a post like that? I don't think I've ever seen anyone else use this technique, so it might be cool for just, you know, the history of plushie making and all. Let me know in the comments!

 If you like this giraffe plushie, I'm sorry to say that she's actually a gift for my niece! And since she was made with my freehand technique, she's one-of-a-kind. Maybe I'll make a pattern based on her? We'll see!


  1. Your little giraffe is so cute!! :) Looks adorable, especially for having no pattern! I too am a plushie maker, and sometimes I make things this way- so far, only fun little things for my 2 boys to play with (not to sell). I would really love it if you did another post about how you do this, it would be so interesting to see your method! I just found your blog, and I love it! :)

  2. Thank you so much! I'm really glad you enjoyed this post... I thought I was the only one who does this! I'll make sure to document and blog my next improv project. It'll make for a great post! Thanks so much for taking the time to view and enjoy my blog... I hope you'll come back soon! :)

    All the best,