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Amy Butler and More Polka Dots

September 24, 2010

Sometimes I look back on my week and I am amazed at how much or how little of something I’ve done.  This week was a lot of home cooked meals (go me!), a lot of banana splits with homemade fudge sauce and a lot of sewing.  And absolutely no scrubbing of bathtubs or laundry.  Meh.  You get some you lose some. Of course with all that sewing Scott’s birthday present still isn’t done (Sunday, I swear!).  This week  Sew+Tell is an Amy Butler challenge, with prizes to be had!
weird poochiness
To start the Amy Butler fest, I made a fall version of the Birdie Sling.  I made this same pattern about a year and a half ago for my sister.  And I love the pattern, but I’ve clearly got some weird poochiness going on.  My last one had it too… I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, but a quick google search of birdie sling images showed me I’m not the only one with issues.  (But clearly us issue girls are in the minority.)  After I took these pictures I tore it apart to fix some of that weirdness.  And now it’s unfinished but not weird or poochy.  Does it still count as a finish if at one point today It WAS finished?  The chocolatey fabric is a soft suedey bit of loveliness and the bag is lined in the same brown floral.  (Both from Walmart.)

But more fun than making another purse (I’m on a fall purse kick lately! (here and here)  I better call this one an overnighter.)  I got to do some more with those orange Amy Butler polka dots (from the Lotus collection).  And I might even like it better than the pumpkin.  No, that’s a lie.  There is no might about it.  I love this.
my friend the giraffe

This is the new friend at our house.  Everyone wants to sit by him at lunch.  A few weeks ago when I spotted (ha!) these polka dots I couldn’t help but imagine a whole family of giraffe’s walking around in spots.  I have long loved this pattern from hop.skip.jump and after three yards of polka dots mysteriously made it to my house, I bought the pattern.  And there never was a happier, or cuter pair.  I cut him out on Tuesday night, saw a squirrel (SQUIRREL!!!) and got sidetracked by the pumpkin project.  But that actually worked out for the best.
getting to know you
Around midnight on Wednesday I sewed my little giraffe parts together and put them in a stack.  And Thursday morning that little stack, a bag of polyfill and a few sewing supplies went on a very long car ride with me.  We drove to a small town a few hours away with Scott so he could do a little work and Creamie could go down a different slide at a different park a gillion times.  Turns out stuffing a long skinny animal neck with enough polyfil to make it stand up straight is a very long laborious, but perfectly lap-controlled project.  It was the perfect bit of car craftiness.
sharing jokes
And the whole four hours roundtrip ride was puncuated with a little voice from the backseat “Hold Giraffe!  Hold it!”  Followed by me, fingers full of needles and polyfill and giraffe parts, in my grown up voice from the front seat “As soon as he is done I promise you can hold him.”  And then a more under the breath voice “Why in the crap is this neck so long!  Are you serious?  I can still get MORE stuffing in that neck?  Ahhh, why didn’t I leave a bigger stuffing hole in this thing! And on and on…” And finally, four hours plus a few minutes later he was finished.  And when I set him down for a quick photoshoot Creamie sidled right up next to him and said “Hi Giraffe.  Hi.”  And then they started telling jokes.  And they were both laughing it was so funny.


[ This is Creamie saying “Rockabye.  Nigh’night.  Rockabye.  Hug.” ]

They are good friends now.  Creamie even sang him a song and rocked him to sleep.  The pattern calls for this little guy to be made from wool, but I couldn’t resist the idea of a polka dot giraffe.  I think the wool would have been easier though.  Also I left out the button joints on the arms and legs.  Because he belongs to a one year old.  Well, and her mother.  I’m going to have a hard time letting this one down off the shelf.  Mostly due to the incredible amount of time that went into stuffing that neck.  You wouldn’t believe the amount of stuffing that has been compacted in that tiny neck with a ballpoint pen.  Just the neck and body took me more than an hour to stuff.  I’ve decided that making softies is 10% machine sewing, 70% stuffing and 20% hand sewing.  You know, with all that wealth of knowledge I have in the softie making department.  Perhaps the problem is I am a total rookie…
with new friends

But the giraffe seems happy to be finished and to have some new friends to hang out with.  Even if he is head and shoulders neck above them.  (That cute little frog was knitted by my amazingly talented SIL Stephanie.  Creamie sleeps with him most every night.)

I’m off to look at Sew+Tell: Amy Butler Edition.  And then I’m off to a mountain cabin to laugh the night away with some cute girlfriends of mine.  Right after I finish sewing my new overnight bag back together.

24 Comments leave one →
  1. September 24, 2010 2:34 am

    I think that sounds just about right ! Stuffing is a huge and hugely important part of softies. That is one finely stuffed neck I have to say !

  2. September 24, 2010 4:47 am

    OMG! I heart that giraffe so hard!
    Probably because I am African and all.

    I knit softies for the various bebes in my life, but ack. The sewing up and stuffing.
    Not my favourite part.
    Thank goodness there is usually time urgency in the form of a birth blessing or party, which forces me to finish things. Otherwise I would just have a bunch of empty soft toy carcasses lying around.

  3. allyn permalink
    September 24, 2010 8:06 am

    what else could you possibly think of to use three yards of polka dots? that giraffe is adorable. don’t you wish you could make friends for your children all through their lives. you could choose what they look like and what they wear and what they say.
    it turned out so sweet.

  4. September 24, 2010 8:12 am

    I absolutely love love love this giraffe. I don’t know what my favorite part is! The neck? His little face? Adorable ears? The POLKA DOTS? SO hard to decide. It’s simply adorable.

  5. September 24, 2010 8:28 am

    love love love the giraffe! and the pictures with your daughter are adorable. great birdie sling too; love the brown.

  6. September 24, 2010 8:45 am

    here i thought your pumpkin was cute but this giraffe is soo soo cute!! i love it. you did an amazing job. i love your birdie sling.

  7. September 24, 2010 9:01 am

    so absolutely cute!

  8. September 24, 2010 9:01 am

    I LOVE that giraffe! I want to make one, right NOW!! And I love the polkadot material – SO, SO CUTE!!

  9. September 24, 2010 9:12 am

    This is the perfect use for those orange spots! Only problem is, now I want my own giraffe too!

  10. September 24, 2010 9:19 am


    Your bag is really cute. Sorry about the poochiness. I hate it when patterns don’t behave properly.

    Also, that giraffe is SO. STINKIN. CUTE, and his new best friend is adorable. Those Amy Butler dots are so great.

    xo -El

    P.S. Everyone wants to sit by him at lunch. I’m dying. That is a really great line!

  11. September 24, 2010 9:49 am

    Oh my goodness, your giraffe is SOOO cute! Again, great use of the tangerine full moon dots!

  12. September 24, 2010 10:16 am

    Yes, the giraffe is lovely. But I would like to announce that when you had the arrows and “weird poochiness” labeled TWICE on the bag photo, my first reaction was “Why are you saying that about my hips?”


  13. September 24, 2010 10:24 am

    Love love love that cute little giraffe. And cheers to you for not letting the stuffing the neck part break you. You won! (How cute is that girl of yours!)

  14. September 24, 2010 10:27 am

    Love the giraffe! That is about the most perfect pairing of pattern to fabric I’ve seen.

  15. lacey permalink
    September 24, 2010 10:37 am

    i love the orange polka dots! that little giraffe is so cute! i appreciate your time stuffing that neck :).

    Oh, and i didn’t mind the poochiness, if you hadn’t of pointed it out or sent me to the link with the other ones, i wouldn’t have noticed. i love the brown and the floral on your bag, so cute!

  16. September 24, 2010 11:06 am

    Ok. Giraffes are and always have been my favourite animal. Like forever. Have you met Mrs. Perkins? I must introduce you, then I must make this version of adorable pot-bellied giraffe!!! The orange dots are more than perfect! That Creamie……sigh.

    Have a wonderful time with your GF’s tonight!!

  17. September 24, 2010 1:05 pm

    You’re so talented! I love the photo of Creamie and the giraffe looking at each other! 🙂

  18. September 24, 2010 2:03 pm

    I really enjoy your blog and the giraffe is just adorable!!! Creamie is such a sweet and unique little girl! So nice to read of your adventures together!!!

  19. September 24, 2010 3:36 pm

    i made 6 of these last year for a bridal party & i remember having trouble on those poochy sections. i’m sure i just took them in a bit, but can’t really remember. it seems so long ago.

    regardless, i think it’s adorable & i love the fabric you chose. very perfect for the falling temps.

  20. September 26, 2010 9:07 am

    so totally in love with the giraffe I cant even handle it!

  21. September 27, 2010 8:59 am

    I cannot get over the cuteness that is your giraffe! Seriously adorable. And how cute is Creamie singing the giraffe a lullaby?

  22. September 27, 2010 11:26 am

    The giraffe is absolutely adorable! Love it. And the fabric is just a perfect fit.

  23. September 28, 2010 2:08 pm

    this post is super adorable! i love the photos and great job of the giraffe 🙂 really cute and unique!

  24. September 29, 2010 6:31 am

    That is the best stuffed project I’ve seen in a long time and the story with it is even more precious! It’s great!

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