If you have read my last post – Custom Order No. 2 – Skin Tone Variations – then you will remember that – although I was really pleased with the little Angel I had created, something was definitely missing. Where is Bonnet?
To really bring Angel and Bonnet to life, I knew I had to to create the long floppy eared bunny rabbit Bonnet to accompany Angel – just like in the original photo.
There are such wonderful resources available to us these days. In days (thankfully) now long gone by, I would have had to walk down to the library to try and search out a pattern for a long floppy eared bunny rabbit. I probably would have spent a very long time looking – and very probably not have found one!
These days, I can just sit in front of my PC and find any number of them – so there really is just no excuse for not making an order exactly to requirements?
A little time on You Tube yielded a number of options and I finally settled on a free pattern (always a bonus) from Sweet Brier Sisters who also kindly provided a detailed step by step video to help me create Bonnet exactly to spec.
If you want to make your own floppy eared bunny, you can follow the links in the video below and download your own free pattern.
Tips and Tricks
The Sweetbriar Sister’s pattern was a great find and the detailed video really helped me a lot, but I found the pattern quite difficult to work with in practice. I much prefer the Tilda style of pattern with fewer seams – especially when working on quite a small scale.
How to Find the Straight Grain of a Fabric
- I mentioned in a previous post – My First Custom Order – Enjoy Rosie’s Story – how important it is to find the straight grain of a fabric and respect that when placing patterns. This is a particular challenge when you are working with up-cycled fabrics because very often, you have no selvedge visible – it will have been chopped off long ago!
- I once made a pair of bathroom curtains and thought I was being very clever cutting the fabric to minimise waste only to find that I hadn’t cut the curtain on the straight grain and I ended up with a rather wibbly wobbly curtain. I hung it anyway – to avoid wasting the material – and succeeded in annoying myself every day for about ten years. They say you learn from your mistakes – I certainly did!
- You will see from the bunny pattern on the right that the double pointed arrows showing the straight grain of the fabric run in several different directions. It’s really important to get them right! If you don’t, you end up with a squashed distorted bunny that isn’t very nice to look at at all.
To find the straight grain of a fabric:
- Line up the selvedges and cut off any excess fabric – ideally with a rotary cutter rather than scissors as it is much more accurate.
- No selvedges? No problem! Pull out a thread and whichever way it pulls, you will have found a straight grain in your fabric.
- Line up your fabric to your selvedge and use a right angled ruler at 90 degrees to find the straight edge for your fabric piece.
- Fabric actually has two straight edges – it’s the selvedge you need to find to lay the double arrows in your pattern along.
Bonnet Bunny starts to take shape ...
The pattern pieces are all placed here, and it is starting to look something like a bunny rabbit – but there is some way to go yet!
I found this a tricky pattern to work with because the head and body are made in four pieces, so there is a seam right down the middle. I much prefer the Tilda style where you can sew before you cut.
At one point, you have to turn both arms and legs (already stuffed) and the long floppy ears all inside the body of the bunny and stitch carefully around the edge – without catching any of the limbs in your stitch line. I found this a very tricky process indeed!
Bonnet doesn’t look much like a bunny at all in this photo?!
After a long day persevering with this pattern and re-watching the You Tube video a number of times, Bonnet finally came to life.
Meet Bonnet ...
It took me a whole day to complete this little bunny – but I was so pleased to finally have created Angel’s floppy eared little companion for her!
This project was a great opportunity to use up-cycled materials!
- Bonnet was made from a section of an old duvet cover that my daughter tossed out last year. The pale grey stripe was just the right colour! It was a double duvet too, so there was plenty of opportunity to re-do things if I made any mistakes – a real bonus given this was a new pattern to me.
- The duvet has several different colours in its stripes – dark grey and blues as well as the pale grey, so lots of opportunities for resourcing future projects. Thanks Becky!
- The inside of Bonnet’s ears were made from some of the remainder of the pink sheet I used to make the underskirt of my First Tilda Doll.
- Bonnet’s little dress was made from a tiny scrap that lay at the bottom of the bumper bag of remnants that my neighbour donated to me last year. If you look closely, you can see that the cheerful cherry fabric has a little bunny on it too – perfect! Thanks again Michelle!
But what about the little box?
If you look again at the original photo, you will see that the original Angel and Bonnet lived in a pretty little box. I felt that this custom order just wouldn’t be complete without that finishing touch.
I spent some time looking for reasonably priced gift boxes, but I just couldn’t find any – even if you were prepared to buy in bulk. I am aiming to upcycle as much as I can anyway and donate the maximum from each order to charity as possible, so making my own box was the obvious solution.
You Tube came to the rescue again with a nifty little tutorial – see the link below.
It was much easier than I thought to make this little box in the end and way better than anything I could ever have bought.
But the Angel and Bonnet story doesn't end here ... Keep Reading for the best and last instalment !
So – Angel and Bonnet have finally come to life. They may have been delivered as two separate orders in the end – but patience is a virtue?
The last – and most exciting part of the Angel and Bonnet story for me though is the final instalment.
Keep reading to see what I made next …
Would you like a Doll made especially for you?
I am always very happy to receive custom orders – in fact , this is how I really prefer to work – so please do contact me using the link below if you would like something made especially for you.
I donate all my profits to support the valuable work at Birmingham St. Mary’s Hospice.