Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Just a Little Monkey Business

A special colleague is having a baby. Rather, had a baby a couple of months ago. Yes, just as I am
slow to post blog entries, I am also slow to get gifts done on time. ( Future posts will be evidence of this as well)  Oh well, what's that famous saying?  Better late than never? Ok , so don't judge. I tell my students this all the time. You just have to determine which things can be late and which must be on time. If it takes a bit longer to do a better job, then gamble with the late project. Except when your boss needs it at a specific time. Um... RAMBLING! Okay, okay, enough of that.

Anyway, I knew I wanted to make something for this special person, but I had no clue what to do. I thought of lots of stuff on Pinterest, but I really wanted something different.  A little bird (SK) told me the theme of the nursery and the colors: monkeys, brown, pink,  and teal. Yes, Pinterest had lots, but nothing really grabbed my attention until I saw this: DIY Fluffies Monkey Doll

Once I saw the pattern I went to work right away. Selecting the perfect fabric of brown and pink polka dots. Cutting, ironing adhesive and appliqueing.  Sure it looked easy, but this little bugger was really a challenge. 

The arms and legs were so thin, it took forever and a day to  sew them  and get them stuffed.  You can see, I also added a big smile to this little gal.  Once I got to this point, I started thinking, " Just where did I buy this pattern from?"  Obviously it wasn't from Simplicity, McCalls or Butterick, the big 3 of  commonplace patterns. Oh no, I had to get something that was really going to challenge the heck out of me.  If you know me, no matter what, I usually don't give up. So onward I went to put Miss Monkey together. 

Little by little, the pieces started to come together. Soon it looked somewhat like the picture. You can see the added smile; but also the nostrils are a  little , Umm, off.  This really bugged me for a long time.  After awhile I decided to leave it alone and chalk it up to the uniqueness of the project. 
Okay, so where is the teal and pink? 

Here we go. I decided to make a pinafore type of dress for the monkey. And yes, it is now a girl monkey. Plenty of flowers in blue and teal, with accents of pink ribbons. 

I decided to put the letter "A" on the pinafore to signify the name of the baby girl.  Using my Cricut, I adhered some "Heat and Bond"  to the back of the pink polka dat fabric and set the maching to cut a letter A.

With a little heat from the iron it was on Miss Monkey in no time.  I also played around with some felt to create a little hair embellishment.  You can find a great tutorial for the flower here on Pinterest, of course. 

So Miss Monkey is finally done.  She really like the rocking chair, so I hope her new "mommy" will have fun rocking with her. 

I was finally ready to give this to my special friend. Imagine how pleased I was to see this picture posted online! Aren't they just the cutest?  I'm told this little girl's big brother helped name Miss Monkey. They call her Maria the Monkey. 

I hope that Maria brings much happiness to this little girl and her family. 

Lessons Learned: 
  1. I wish I had time to make two of everything. One as a trial, and the second as the "real deal." I like to work out mistakes and kinks before attempting the real thing. 
  2. This was a rather tedious project. The directions were not the greatest. I'm glad I kept going with this project because there were times I wanted to ditch it and make a simple blanket or something. 
  3. I will not become a toy maker, at the north pole, helping Santa during my retirement. 
Do you have any experience making stuffed animals or toys? I would love to hear about your trials and errors, and successes. 

Happy Sewing. 

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