November: Month of books at

Hop Skip Jump, by Fiona Dalton, Published by Penguin Australia.

Do you know Fiona Dalton from Hop Skip Jump? She makes the most loveliest and put together soft toys – she has a little shop where she sells some of her patterns – but now you can get the whole book instead.

Fiona’s book by the same name as her blog “Hop skip jump”, shows us how to sew 25 different toys in Fiona’s unique style of cute and retro but always stylishly dressed and finished. The toys are all different characters and use recycled or eco fabrics. There is the Quick Red Fox, inspired by Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox; Monkey man (pictured on the cover) is one of Fiona’s first ever toys and so you may recognise it if you have been reading her blog for a while, it is made from wool flannel with tweed overalls; Gordon is a donkey with a very large snout and a very cute knitted vest; Eddy is a cheeky mouse with jointed limbs made from a wool kimono; Clothtopus is a scrappy fellow made to hang from a bookshelf or ceiling, and Basil is a sweetly serious rabbit made from tweed with a little scarf to match his pink nose.

There is more of course including rockets, robots, dolls, a cloud and more animals, but as well as the cute patterns, Fiona also talks about her passion for sustainable sewing and recycling materials as well as introducing makers to the basics of toy making. Each pattern includes step by step directions, a series of clear illustrations and lots of very sweet photos. The book itself lays out in a strange gatefold configuration (taking a little more room on the bench than I have available) but the patterns are neatly tucked away inside the back.

Now because I know you are dying to get your hands on a copy of this book – Penguin are offering TWO readers a copy of this book. So please leave a comment letting me know your favourite toy to sew, stitch, glue, nail or make in some way. You have 48 hours to enter and winners will be chosen at random and contacted via email. ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED. The two winners are: #48 + #4 Lisa – I have emailed you!


Zombie Felties: How to Raise 16 Gruesome Felt Creatures from the Undead by Nicola Tedman and Sarah Skeate, Andrews McMeel Publishing (August 10, 2010)

The next in what is proving to be an exciting series on unusual and small felt critters – the first book ‘Felties’ I reviewed here and gave it a big thumbs up. This book is even better! My kids love it – they laughed while flicking through it and then immediately went to their felt stash (yes they have a felt stash) – no finished projects yet they need some help with the stitching (but not much). The projects as in the previous book are all really simple and immediate. They require minimum skills and materials and all achievable hour or two projects – so not daunting at all.

Plus these little critters are fun – witty and clever – you have your classic zombie (pictured here), you need tiny amounts of felt stuffing plus glue and stitching and a few beads, sequins and cord – thats about it. There are multiple variations with zombie pets – we loved the dead ducky – great gruesome descriptions too: “Ducky died a long time ago at the shooting range-you can see the bullet holes. Since then, he’s passed into a different state of being altogether. And it’s not one where he’s going to be welcome sharing anybody’s bath.”

The zombie bunny is great with a slit in his tummy and red embroidery floss guts spilling out. Pumpkin head has pink button brains coming out of his head – there is even a Michael Jackson ‘Thrilla’ Pop zombie.


How fun – make some geeky robot rabbits this easter! [via geek crafts]


Download the pattern – see the tutorial – and fight for the little people – with these rainbow ribbon plushies.

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Oh this dude is adorable. Nice work Buggy. Link to tutorial.

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