Making foxes has always been a favourite pastime for me - the first one made was for my elder daughter, when we were living in Edmonton, Alberta and it was also the first toy I'd made for about 15 years. She called her Fanny and if memory serves, her dress was made using a small blue gingham printed cotton material. It was in the late 1970's/early 1980's that this happened, and I don't think this version survives. On the other hand, I made one a year or two later for my younger daughter, and that one is still going strong!
So, last week-end, I dug around in my material cupboard - keep forgetting what I've been given., so it was a lot of fun - until I had to put everything back again! Must not complain, because I have really been so lucky with the generous folks hereabouts (even though I suspect I am doing them a favour sometimes - as it's giving them more space in their cupboards). Having selected some colourful material and cut out the patterns for a Mrs. Fox, I found that the selected remnant was big enough to give me three outfits. So once the current Mrs. Fox is completed, I may two a couple more - or then, I may do another Mrs. Rabbit .... In't it wonderful to have the luxury of being able to choose? Though I'd just as soon welcome some more commissions as well.
Anyway, back to my current story. Once the pattern pieces are all cut out, then the sewing begins. One begins with the body, for which I use plain material - calico, sheeting or something similar for preference. At this stage, I often resort to my sewing machine to do the seams - takes less time and the seams hold as well as those that are hand made. I attach the sleeves from the dress to the paws, stuff them and attach them at the appropriate places to the body. I do two lines of stitches where the legs join the body - the top one with a curve, which allows the toy to sit Then the body is stuffed. The pattern for all my lady toys allows the toy to sit, rather than stand. Standing is an occupation reserved for the Mr. Foxes.
Then the felt shoes (pale blue fleece type material - again a donation) are sewn up, stuffed and attached to the legs. Then come the pantaloons, decorated with a pale blue zig-zag braid I had in stock from another commission and the waist is gathered up and the whole thing sewn to the body, both at the waist and ankles.
|Showing shoes and pantaloons|
|Mrs Fox, Stage 1, with sewing aids|
I'll finish the description of how Mrs. Foxes are made with the next post. Meanwhile, I'll close for tonight. Isobel