Thursday, March 29, 2012

Custom Plushies and Freehand Embroidery

Ever since I've started designing and making plushies, I've been asked to design custom ones for people. Unfortunately, I'm not the quickest with drawing characters and creating/testing original patterns so I've had to turn those offers down. I would have to charge more money than I'm comfortable  with because of the hours it could potentially take to get it right and those hours would take away valuable time from working on plushies I could sell in my store, songs I could write, and videos I could make.

For a very limited time, I've agreed to take five custom plushie orders so I can raise money for one of the tours I'm going on this summer! Riddikulus 2012 is a rolling wizard rock festival tour with six bands, and we've been running a Kickstarter Campaign to cover costs such as gas, the tour van, and tour merchandise. If you donate at the $200 Fairweather Friends plushie level, I will work with you to make your drawing or specific idea into your very own, one-of-a-kind plush toy! I'm only taking three more custom plushie orders and this Saturday, March 31st is the last day you can donate. Click here if you'd like to check out the Kickstarter campaign!

I'm going to be touring all summer (and I've got a few shows next week!) so if you'd like to check out my list of shows, go to I'll be selling tiny owl plushies that are exclusive to my merch table there as well, while supplies last!

One of my favorite things about the new tiny plushies (which you can only buy at one of my shows if I have any in stock) is that I've been practicing freehand embroidery on their little faces. The more I embroider, the more I want to learn more about embroidery! I've been replacing felt details with little  embroidery floss stitches and it looks wonderfully handmade and adorable. I bought a book called Doodle Stitching by Aimee Ray, and I'm looking forward to using its stitches and techniques in my work more often.

First, I whipstitch some really small black felt circles onto the fleece heart-shaped face with black thread. Then, I add eyelashes with some simple straight stitches in black embroidery floss. The highlights on the eyes are little french knots in white floss (and they add so much character and expression, I think!). Lastly, before I whipstitch the face onto the stuffed owl body, I outline a little triangle for the beak and use satin stitch to fill it in with dark orange embroidery floss. I originally used a classic satin stitch but I found that it looks and feels better if I put the needle in on the same side that it came out to keep from doubling the stitch on the back of the fabric. With a piece this small, the regular satin stitch made it too thick and used nearly double the amount of floss. It feels nicer and the floss lasts longer this way.

Because I freehand the stitches, occasionally glancing at my original sketch, every face ends up looking just a little bit different. It gives the pieces character and makes them just that much more unique. If you make it out to one of my shows where I still have owls left to sell and you'd like to buy one, pick the one that speaks to you! You'll own the only one just like it.


  1. How much will the owl plushies be? I might be going to one of your shows next week! :D

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