SewMamaSew’s blog is having an aweome few weeks, so awesome that the posts are nearly all about softies. They are calling it the 6 Weeks of Softies and it has been wonderful to see other great plush artists! And what’s better, a friend of mine let me know that not only are they showing all these great softies, they are having a Spectacular Softies Contest to make them as well. This is right up my alley! And it’s just icing on the cake that the Grand Prize wins a new Pfaff sewing machine. I use Pfaff and those that know me or follow me, know my main machine Creative Vision has caught a ghost (a.k.a. needs a new mother board) and I desperately need a new machine. So on to my entry!
I don’t know why I thought of this, but for whatever reason I thought it would be fun to make a pinata donkey. I could see the whole plush in my head! Lots of colors, lots of texture, and lots of cuteness! I looked at a whole bunch of different horse/pony/dinosaur patterns to get the idea of how to do the legs. I know the basic construction of a quadruped and adding the interior pieces of the legs, but I wanted to make sure I had nice round legs. The normal plush I sell at my ETSY shop are all very flat. That’s mainly due to speed and cost for a good selling point at conventions. I wanted this plush to have some great dimension! So after I decided upon my shape and a great size ( I knew it would be awesome and texture – so I wanted him to be pretty big!) I drew up my pieces on muslin. Then using those as templates I cut them all out on black fleece. I wanted him to have little hooves and some black show up on the nose and ears, and not to be too distracting. For the main pinata texture I cut 1″ strips of five colors of fleece. I had to look at some references to remember if pinata colors were in stripes or all over. Once I saw stripes I came up with a color pattern and started sewing!
I was very happy with how the stripes were turning out but was concerned on the amount of thickness I would be sewing through. And I was right as you can see my next image. There were a few seams that were extra bulky and my machine and I had some fun. I sewed this entire donkey on my back up machine, my Pfaff Expression. It’s a great machine but oh do I miss my Creative Vision! You never realize how good your machine is until you have to start really sewing on another one. Man do I miss the automatic presser lift and the cut feature! Anyways, the process was going great. After thinking about the order of construction and making sure seams lined up, I turned him inside out. Even without stuffing I knew something special was happening.
Time to stuff and I had a little helper! I used a different stuffing than normal. I usually use polyfill but a friend gaveme a bag of her stuffing that is more wool based and has a thicker texture. Since I knew I wanted him to stand on his own I thought this was the perfect project to try to it on! And my little Zoe is in love with the donkey. She named it Rainbow Donkey and wants to keep it. She will, but he just might be taking a little trip before that.
When it was stuffed I could see how successful I was in matching the colors and seams. If you look at the front of the donkey there is the left side piece, a chest piece, and the right side piece. And just look at how those pieces and stripes line up! (Had to pat myself on the back here – incredibly happy with the details). After the stuffing and sewing it closed it’s time for texture! I knew I wanted to wait to do the fringe until after he was stuffed. I didn’t want to have all those loose pieces while sewing parts together. I took my nice big scissors and clipped, clipped, and clipped some more to make the final piece! I am very happy with him. I originally had an idea to add a pocket to actually put candy in, but I figured it wasn’t necessary. I also though of making him a hook so he could hang like a Pinata but I wasn’t sure of the weight and structure it would need. It would take away from the softness, so I left that out. He’s a cute little Pinata that gets to sit on the ground. His final dimensions not counting his ears are about 16″ tall, 12″ wide, 10″ deep. He is a bundle of love and I hope he wins this contest!