Hello there, we are already on the second Plush delights blog post of the year and I wonder if any of you have already had a go at making your own plush. For this post I thought we could look at some examples of plush made without the use of a sewing machine. I am also going to cover the ladder stitch, an amazingly useful hand stitch for closing your stuffed plush neatly. Of all the technique questions I am ever asked this ranks # 1.
Most sewn plush you see out there is made on a sewing machine but there are some great artists who sew entirely by hand. This is not really my area of expertise but sewing by hand can be very relaxing, it is more “portable” and if you don’t have a machine, no problem!
The most usual fabric choice for people who stitch by hand is felt. Felt does not fray and can be cut with a nice clean edge. If your hand stitching is neat and you have some embroidery skills beautiful results can be obtained with apparent stitches perhaps even in a contrasting colour.
Anne-Claire of Hibou Designs definitely has embroidery skills and them some. She combines sewing, embroidery and design to create these truly unique plush.
On most machine sewn plush the stitching is designed to be hidden but here the stitching is not just apparent, it is embellishment, it defines and enriches the design.
Next up I wanted to show you the art of Diane Koss of Cutesy but not Cutesy not just because I love her plush but also to show you that hand stitching isn’t just for felt. I love her approach to plush making, everything is stitched by hand and the stitches are made to be apparent.
Her work is designed to be easily recognized as hand made, pieced together using a very visible black over stitch. I own two Cutesy but not Cutesy monsters and the fact that it is visibly clear that they were stitched together by hand makes them really one of a kind, non-conformist and a reminder of the care and love that went into making them.
Even if you have a machine if you are making something that is very tiny hand sewing may well be the way to go. I have always loved miniature teddy bears and the very first plush I ever made were tiny mice and bears stitched by hand when I was a child. I still love to make a tiny bear from time to time, it is the ideal take along project.
Look at these adorable sets by Manomine, entirely stitched by hand and so very appealing.These bears are made from mohair its what soft toys were made from before synthetic furs. Although the goats are shorn and not killed for their fleece it is not vegan and you may want to substitute for and equally lovely faux cashmere or cotton.
And finally as promised here is a link to a ladder stitch tutorial ( http://whoframedteddy.blogspot.ca/2011/09/mini-bear-making-ladder-stitch.html ) and a couple of images to help you along.
Becky Gould is the big kid behind Scrumptious Delight. Working from her home in Vancouver, BC she makes plush toys and soft sculptures that combine a love of food, all things furry and an unnatural appreciation of small appliances.