Last month, I got a book called Wild and Wonderful Fleece Animals (Creative Publishing international, 2009). I knew I was going to love it as soon as I opened the cover. The 20 animals inside are cute and whimsical, but realistic enough for my toddler to identify.
Gracie Anna is on an animal kick right now, so we “read” Wild and Wonderful Fleece Animals about fifteen times a day.
Never mind that this is not a children’s book. It’s a craft book. Wild and Wonderful Fleece Animals has paper pages, and it comes with full-size patterns that I’ve been trying to keep away from my child.
After an introduction that discusses basic sewing and explains how to work with fleece, Wild and Wonderful Fleece Animals shows the animals broken into thematic sections. In each animal’s section, there is a list of the materials needed and an illustrated tutorial with step-by-step instructions.
I’ve been sewing for almost twenty years, so I’m not a novice. I think I’d be able to follow the instructions even if I was, though. They are well written, and the sketches enhance the directions.
In my characteristic style, my first Wild and Wonderful Fleece Animals project was Olivia Octopus. I think Olivia could be the most challenging animal in the book, but only because she has nine arms which were a wee bit of a pain to sew. Aside from that, Olivia came together quickly – in just an evening.
Because I made Olivia Octopus for Gracie, I did not add the button embellishments to the tentacles. I dug through a huge vat o’ buttons at the craft store, I selected sixty matching shell buttons, and I paid for them, but I did not sew them on. I might add them someday, but not for a couple of years.
Fortunately, my mother-in-law came to my rescue when she fell in love with Olivia Octopus. She requested that I make her an Olivia Octopus of her own.
I do have one criticism of Olivia Octopus, and that is that Olivia needs a nose or maybe a mouth. I’m going to play around with some felt and emroidery thread and see what I can come up with.
At any rate, Olivia and her Wild and Wonderful Fleece friends are cute and easy to sew. You’re going to love them, too!
© 2009 – 2014, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.