Monday, December 20, 2010

Mikey AND Molly Monkey

Mikey and Molly Monkey

You're looking at 'em.  The super secret project that has kept me locked inside my sewing room for the past 3 days.  Christmas gifting in our family is going to be slim this year, but I still wanted to make something for my 2 favorite little people.

I had been sitting on these patterns (Molly Monkey and Mikey Monkey) for the last YEAR . . . I had intended on making them for the kids for Christmas last year but just plumb ran out of time.  An added challenge I put on myself before I started was to see how few things I could get away with buying.  I wanted to see how creative I could get with my somewhat modest stash.

I love seeing piles on piles of gorgeous fabrics on shelves . . . just waiting for the perfect projects.  But the truth is for me, most of my stash consists of the scraps of leftover fabric from my previous projects, and a few pieces here and there that I pulled out of the remnant bins on clearance.  I just don't have a fabric category built into my budget.

Anyway, being able to pull these guys together with stuff on hand made this project all the more satisfying in the end.  It reminded me of that 100 Day Craft Burn I did last year.  I think all I ended up needing was 1 piece of felt to make Mikey's hat and shoes.  :)

Opening my stash drawers reveals my love of girly fabrics . . . maybe because I'm a girl and because most of the stuff I've made has been for girls.  So I had a little trouble coming up with the fabric for Mikey.  Until I had a little brainwave.

Recently, my nephew was born and I had pulled out all of Kee-ku's little newborn clothes to offer to my sister in case she needed any of them.  It was upon going through those clothes in the bin I realized how tragically stained some of them were.  What's odd is I don't remember putting stained clothing in there, so I don't know if time just kinda warped some of the stuff and stains that weren't terribly visible just decided to show themselves or what.  Anyway, it was a bit disappointing.

Until I realized I COULD SAVE THEM!  I could take these little clothes and make them into something new.  :)

Here's one that I found.  It's a little guayabera-esque one piece that Kee-ku wore to a wedding we went to when he was about 2 weeks old.  I so very much wanted to salvage the buttons, but they pose a choking hazard for a 16 month old so I had to leave them off.  :(  The little detailing on the sleeves would have been SO cute to work in, don't you think?

Here's what the Mikey shirt fabric looked like when I pulled it out of the bin:

So yeah . . . there was some inexplicable staining on that shoulder and part of the collar so obviously no other kid was going to wear it again.  I wish I had a picture of Kee-ku in it, but he was swaddled in a wrap the whole time we were at that wedding so I fear that none exists.

Here are a few "in process" shots . . . I did take a few very tiny breaks from my toiling to snap these pics, but had no time to make separate blog posts for them.  
 I decided to cut into a piece of Alexander Henry's "Love-In" that I've been sitting on for a few years to make the body for Molly.  I just adore those fun colorful hearts.  Her little skirt was made up of charm squares that I acquired from my last swap and her "socks" were made from a colorful stripey remnant I bought awhile back for 87c. 
For some reason I had lots of that luxurious brown chenille leftover from the cloth baby book I made for my cousin's baby about 2 years ago.  I used very little of it on the book so I was kind of astounded that I had enough left of it to squeeze out enough pieces to make TWO monkeys.

[Just a note on working with chenille . . . it is a PAIN IN THE you-know-what.  The stuff is constantly curling at the edges.  Thank goodness I had a fabric glue stick for basting.  Pinning that mess would have given me hives, I assure you.]

But in the end, it was all worth it and now the kids will have two very soft and very huggable monkey friends
Mikey and Molly Monkey
And yes, they're holding hands.  ;)

Anyone else finishing up some last minute holiday gift-making?

Linking up with the best of em RIGHT HERE!


Kathy December 20, 2010 at 1:36 PM  

Those are the most adorable little monkeys ever -- what an awesome job salvaging scraps and such - WOW! You are truly amazing, and two lucky little kids will be thrilled on Christmas morn - how fun.

i am not December 20, 2010 at 1:58 PM  

Marissa, those are cuter than any stuffed animal my kids have ever received! Great job.

When I was a kid, my grandma made quilts for me and my sister. Each of them had several Holly Hobby profiles on them and each profile was made with a piece of my mom's baby clothes. You should totally get Kee-Ku's stash out and repurpose his stained clothing (which, by the way, always happened to me - put away clean, taken back out stained - what??? Hence the reason the clothes you got from Georgia were in less than stellar condition) in some way. Perhaps more of a treasure for you than the kids, but a treasure nonetheless. GREAT idea!

♥Duff December 20, 2010 at 4:18 PM  

GAH! Creativity jackpot!!
Thanks for sharing--these two are going to be a real Christmas hit!

Heather December 20, 2010 at 4:52 PM  

Absolutely adorable! I am impressed how you repurposed fabric from clothing as opposed to buying new, nice work. You will have two very lucky kiddos to have such adorable lovies.

Stacy Risenmay December 20, 2010 at 6:05 PM  

These are absolutley ADORABLE! I would love it if you would link them up tomorrow.

Stacy @ Not JUST Housewife

DANA December 20, 2010 at 7:16 PM  

Hello! I found you at Keeping It Simple and I am loving your blog! I wanted to invite you to enter my $50 American Express giveaway and my link party that are both going on this week! Keep up the great blogging and happy holidays! -Dana

Elizabeth December 20, 2010 at 9:57 PM  

These are beyond adorable! You did such a great job! I tried to make a bear once and it ended up looking like a pillow...major fail. Hoping you'll visit me at Sew Chatty and link up to Made With Love Monday! Wishing you a very blessed Christmas!

Jill December 21, 2010 at 12:45 AM  

Too cute!! I love these monkeys - and all the more because you made them with just what you have!

Thanks for linking to A Round Tuit!
I hope you have a wonderful week and a very Merry Christmas!!

Jill @ Creating my way to Success

Melissa Crowe December 21, 2010 at 1:26 AM  

You did an absolutely FANTASTIC job, and you ought to be thoroughly proud of yourself. These are top-notch gifts--I'd be thrilled to get one under my tree! :-)

urban craft December 21, 2010 at 7:56 PM  

wow! These are so beautifully made. I adore them. Way to use all of your fabric, the brown looks like it feels dreamy.

Anonymous,  December 21, 2010 at 11:07 PM  

Your monkeys are just adorable. Not much of a stuff animal person, but I wouldn't mind having one for myself!!!! They will certainly get lots of hugging, I'm sure;-)


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