Only one of my three sons ever really took to soft toys. By "took to them" I mean took to hoarding them, sleeping with them, shoving them into random cupboards and nooks around the house. Since he's my youngest, I've only recently taken a stab at learning how to make them myself. Above is an example that shows you how, ahem, adept I am at this craft. To be fair, this was my first effort at a proper three dimensional animal (I've made much simpler soft toys to better results, as I've posted about before here), and therefore not too bad. And anyway, in spite of the very wobbly neck and imperfect stitching, Michael loves this guy. He's made from an old sweater of mine, and hypoallergenic poly fill. Michael didn't want button eyes but drew on the facial features himself. Unlike many of his other soft toys, I know where this one was made and what's inside him. So he's kind of perfect.
The pattern came from this book, which I found in the corner of a thrift shop several months ago:
These toys in Sue Quinn's "The Creative Book of Soft Toys" are a little dated, and I prefer linen, wool and other natural fabrics over the fake fur called for in most of these patterns. Also, the included patterns had to be enlarged before use, which is a bit of a drag.
This book arrived in the mail today. Rob Merrett's "Make Your Own Soft Toys" is filled with projects that are a little more to my taste, including a section on making some lovely dolls, which at the moment I have no use for. It also demonstrates mixing up fabric types to whimsical effect, and the included patterns are all full sized and ready to use.
I'll post any projects I complete in the near future, and would love to see or hear about any soft toys you've made for the little people in your life.