Friday, January 14, 2022

Handmade Christmas: Homemade Nutcracker Stuffies


Syd and Matt helped me make the BEST Christmas gift for our favorite baby.

I wanted to make our favorite baby a set of Nutcracker-themed stuffies to go with a board book retelling of The Nutcracker that I'd bought for her (Will's bookstore scratch-off birthday present has been a great excuse for me to do a bunch of shopping in local independent bookstores), but I couldn't find ANY patterns for anything close to what I had in mind...

... so I commissioned my favorite artist to make some!

Syd drew me five Nutcrackers on her Wacom, and then I commissioned my favorite graphic designer to lay them out in just the right way that I could have them printed as a fat quarter from Spoonflower:

And then I took over doing some actual work myself!

I matched each character up with a complementary color of solid cotton from my stash--

--drew a simple outline around each character (Frixion heat-erasable pens for the win!) and cut them out--

--and finally put each one right sides together with its backing fabric, sewed it most of the way around, turned and stuffed it, and ladder-stitched the opening closed. 

I am delighted with our little set of Nutcracker stuffies--

--and I think they're the perfect size to cuddle or play imaginary games with.

Since I had to mess around with Spoonflower so much to figure out how to format Syd's design and get it published to the site, I went ahead and did the whopping four extra steps required to actually list our design for sale!

You can find our Nutcracker stuffie patterns here. The set is ideally printed as a fat quarter, but if you buy a full yard you *should* be able to get four sets? I'm in the process of testing that theory out as we speak, because I want to have a few finished sets on hand to list in my Pumpkin+Bear etsy shop, so I'll let you know! I also have an eye towards asking Syd to make one more character for the set--perhaps Fritz or the Sugar Plum Fairy?--and maybe I'll find some copyright-free graphics of Nutcracker sheet music that Matt can also make into a fabric print. I think it would be fun to back the stuffies with that instead of having to find your own backing fabric.

My favorite part of making something brand-new isn't the original inspiration, or the problem-solving and creating required to bring my idea to fruition--it's the inspiration THAT project brings for ever more and better iterations of itself!

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