July 28, 2012

Ellie the Elephant minky blankie

Ever since I found Abby Glassenberg Design, I have been hooked on her blog and her ever so inspiring designs. Her series of "Learn to Design your own plush" has become my first go-to reference point. In recent weeks, while I have been sketching and testing different shapes for a couple of softies ideas, I also decided to buy my first Abby Glassenberg Design patterns and Ellie the Elephant minky blankie is my first finished project.

Ellie has been such a fun project and I learned heaps. I made some simple modifications and one of them is the use of different types of fabrics to what the pattern has called for. I used some minky, a thicker dress fabric and a piece of felt as the head gusset instead of fleece. This is simply because I hadn't found any nice fleece and had none in my stash, plus I also touched a piece of minky at the store and I melted... With the patterned face, I decided to use matching coloured felts for the eyes to give her a different expression. 

This is the first time I sew with this minky material (picked up from my local Spotlight) and I am glad I tried on a test piece first. It's a little stretchy and thicker than quilting fabric which is not something I am used to so I had to make sure that it didn't move away from me! This is also my first time to use the 1/4 inch foot (OMG, I don't know why I waited this long!), I love how I didn't have to mark out the seam allowance!

I left an extra opening on the bottom of the body and inserted the head, stuffed and ears sewn on, through the neck (right side) with the body wrong side out. I then hand stitched it to the body along the raw edges. I did this because I thought I could position the head neater. 

The tail is so cute and just by chance that one of the minky nobby dots is sitting in the centre of the tail! And since it is a present for my friend's little baby, I also hand stitched my little label.

I used the ladder stitch to close the bottom edge which I am happy with how it has turned out. My hand sewing skill can be hit and miss sometimes so I love how this minky fabric just hides the stitches, definitely a lot more forgiving than quilting fabric!

I thought she has turned out quite cute and soft and the different materials also give her the different textures. so hopefully she will become a little snuggly thing for her new owner.

Making this softie without booboos has made me so happy!! YAY! I have also signed up to do Abby's Craftsy workshop to make the Humpty Dumpty Doll which I can't wait to start soon.

I am just going to do a bit more trialling and erroring with my own patterns and see how things go... until next time, CRAFT ON!


  1. So cute! I love that minky fabric; it's unbelievably soft. You don't think it was too difficult to sew with? I've never tried but am a little nervous.

    Great job!

    1. Hi Nicky, thanks for your lovely comment! The minky is so soft I fell in love with it straight away. My local shop only has a small selection of colours but I have seen shops onilne that have many different choices.

      I actually bought it to make the Melly & Me Bambino pattern (http://mellyandme.typepad.com/photos/designs_by_melly_me/bambino---email---jpg.html) and I still have some left for that.

      The minky is a little stretchy but not as bad as a fleece mix fabric I have been trying out (http://stitchyncraftyisme.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/sunday-crafty-snippets-lambus.html). I love the minky and now that I have tried it, I think every little baby should have a piece of minky in their life!!

      Try with a small scrap piece first and see how you feel and go slow. I am sure you will master it quickly :)

  2. I used the minky fabric for a new born quilt backing recently. It's so soft and lovely.

    I actually planned to use it to make Abby's lovey dovey bunny too. I hadn't thought to use different fabric for the head. That's a good idea! I'm going to rethink my project.

    1. Thanks Jess, for being encouraging. I love matching different colours, patterns and textures and sometimes they work, sometimes not so but I just love experimenting.

      I would love to see your dovey bunny when it is done :)