Book Review: Stuffed Animals

1:31 PM

I was given the opportunity to receive a free copy of Stuffed Animals by Abigail Patner Glassenberg to review from Lark Crafts Publishing.
I've made a few softies (Bullseye, spotted giraffe) and was excited to learn more.

I really liked the format of the book.
Not only do you have 16 different patterns for projects to complete, each animal builds on concepts as they increase in difficulty.
Throughout the projects, there are specific lessons to teach concepts on the softie making process.
I didn't realize the book is actually meant to teach you how to design and your own stuffed animals.
We have too many stuffed animals in our house right now, so I don't plan to make every project, but I did read through all the lessons and feel like I learned a lot.
I'm excited to try the concepts of going from sketch to 3D object and gussets in my future clothing design and sewing.
Or take this idea of turning kids drawings into their perfect mimic stuffed animals.
awesome, cool, art, creative, drawings, kids, 18 Kids Drawings Turned into Stuffed Toys
awesome, cool, art, creative, drawings, kids, 18 Kids Drawings Turned into Stuffed Toys
Overall, I just expected stuffed animal patterns, but there's a lot more in this book I learned.

I wanted to try a stuffed animal and didn't have a preference, but my son LOVED the book.  
He slept with it a few nights and spent time browsing all the pages of the different animals before finally deciding on the monkey.

We went to JoAnn's to get fabric.
I'd suggest a fabric that would work and he'd put his cheek on it to test if it was soft enough.
He brought the book with him and carried it around to make sure we got everything.

He wanted to be involved in the construction, and cut out all the felt pieces.
We made the banana first, which he cut out all by himself and stuffed.
He was pretty proud of his own banana.

There were different options to help the monkey hold his banana, but RJ chose elastic in the hand.
Which in the end was probably smart (I was leaning toward velcro) because it doesn't stick to his other fur and can link both hands together so RJ can wear him on his back.
"Mom, did you know monkey's love to have piggy rides?"
RJ hated the felt mouth in the book, so we went with a thin embroidered line instead.
He also wanted the monkey had to have blue eyes like him, because blue is RJ's favorite color.

At this point RJ had been so involved, I thought this project was kind of like build-a-bear, but only cost $7 instead of $40+.
So I had him cut a felt heart and brain he could stuff into the monkey to "make him come alive".

He stuffed the brain in first and I helped him pack the head to hold the contour of the face,
then he jammed in the monkey heart and finished the body until it had "a good squish".

So the monkey was a hit with RJ.
He named the monkey George, rejecting my suggestions of Walter or Clive.
George hasn't left his side and went with him to the doctor's office to get kindergarten shots, the store, and he tried to sneak him into church.
Mainly at the doctor's office people asked him about his monkey and he'd proudly tell them:
"This is George!  I made him with my mom!"
and then he'd show them how the banana comes out.

The only negative criticism I have, are two typos I found in the pattern pieces.
I only made the monkey, but some of its pattern pieces were labeled with the wrong info.
If you read through the instructions before you start like you should, I would have caught them, but I cut everything out according to the pattern piece info, and cut the monkey side face from the wrong fabric and cut 2 extra head back pieces I didn't need.
So just follow the written instructions to make sure you don't waste fabric!

I appreciated all the patterns are printed in the back of the book and you just trace them right onto freezer paper without having to enlarge them. Or I also just found they offer the templates free online so you technically can print them rather than trace them out of the book.
*The last project, a dinosaur is the only one that you need to enlarge for full scale.
So all in all, I'm glad we got to try out this book and had fun making a monkey together.
It's fun to see your kid appreciate something you make, and actually use it.
But it's even more rewarding to see him proud of his contribution and hopefully gaining self esteem in creating something he loves.

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  1. Your monkey is adorable. I will need to check out that book! Thanks for sharing.

  2. How fun! Great job RJ! I love how he got to help with the project, he'll never forget that! It turned out darling. Thanks for sharing about this fun book.

  3. That is so cool that you got to review this book. I love the idea of turning a child's drawing into a 3D animal. Thank you for sharing!

  4. oh I love this experience that you have shared with us!!! Because my grown daughter has shared our adventure with making Mary Poppins doll even down to the little high heels that were made from felt, I can tell you he will cherish this forever. By the way he gets more handsome and big brother looking with every photo you share. God Bless you for being such a great parent.

  5. Well, George is darn cute but your little boy is way cuter! I wish I would have had this book and avoided "Build a Bear". I may still get this and do it with the grands when they come to visit. Thank you for the excellent review and also for sharing the magic you and your son had in making George and some unforgettable memories.

  6. The dog day is coming,pls keep your passion and release you energy,buy a good bootcut jeans and dressing up yourself!

  7. Although I have not made any of the projects in this book yet, I have made a few softies over the years. Ms. Glassenberg's latest effort provides very clear, easy to follow directions with wonderful pictures that help illustrate the softie making process. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in soft toy making.

    Irene Jennings (Professional Microdermabrasion Machine)

  8. Wow! This is just a perfect gift for my daughter this Christmas. I'm going to make one.

    Charmaine Smith (More about Church Hill MD Locksmiths)


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