an aristocratic lamb : how to create texture with fabric

lamb rag doll hooves

An aristocrat, from the tips of his well manicured hooves to the perfectly coiffed curls of his head. I can see his whole world – the crumbling manor house,  stern ancestors glowering down from the walls,  the dim and dusty library,  his ever-present walking stick and far away gaze. The once stately gardens are a little more overgrown every year but he either does not notice or does not care.  All is well, he has his books, his tea, his evening walks and his memories of his youth and the sea.

lamb rag doll

lamb rag doll

I will probably not make another like him – his luxurious texture has been tormenting me – it took ages.   I’m never doing it again.  I might do it one more time.  I like the technique and use it often for small things but there was a lot of lamb to cover here. If you would like to similarly torment yourself  I took some progress shots along the way.

ruffle fabric

I start with long strips of light fabric – a cotton voile in this case – and about 1 and 1/4 inches wide. My old White Rotary has an awesome ruffle attachment or you can achieve the same effect (on light fabric) by turning your stitch size to the largest and the tension to the highest setting. I stitched just off center.

lamb ruffles

Fold the ruffled strip over at the seam, press and start stitching it on – whip stitching over the seam. Row after row, around and around.  In the photo below you can see how much space there is between rows. This varies depending on the size of the project and the ruffle – for my fancy lamb it is between 1/4 and 1/2 inch – I get a little closer in curvy places.

lamb ruffles

lamb ruffles

And at last the fun part.  When he was all covered I gave him a serious haircut.  Holding the scissors parallel to the ruffled surface start snipping.  You can do a little or a lot – I did a lot.

lamb rag doll


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  1. Susan Jonsson

    Love the lamb and want the pattern for him…..can’t wait!

  2. Oooooooooh!!!! He’s brilliant!! I don’t know if I would attempt the fleece but I love him. I also love your machine.

  3. Oh he is soooo magnificent!! I’m drooling over your machine too ,)

  4. Lucia Fischer

    Oh my gosh what a divinely dandy fellow! Can’t wait till the pattern comes out 🙂

  5. Virginia Jaquez

    What a sweet black lamb! He is so unique and special…love him! Beautiful job on creating him.

  6. Caroline Shepherd

    He is fabulous! I can just envision him sitting in his dim and smoky library surrounded by old books, candlelight and a roaring fire!

  7. How tall is he? I think he is wonderful and would suit lounging on my sofa! I would like to make him!

  8. You are an absolute wonder you are! He’s incredible!

  9. Vikki Tesar

    The lamb is absolutely lovely and the title “aristocratic” fits perfectly. The wooly texture is fabulous but I can see that it is a lot of work.

    Aren’t the attachments on the old machines wonderful? In addition to the ruffler, I also love the tucker attachment. I always feel such a connection with the women of the past when I use my old machines. The white rotary is a workhorse- you are lucky to have one!

  10. it is beautiful. i can imagine your efforts. thank you…

  11. Titi Walter

    He is so lovely!!!And your sewing machine is precious.I love everything you make.Specially the boats.

  12. Kathleen Guevremont

    I so look forward to seeing your projects….and the back story…the stern relatives looking down on this poor black sheep! You always make my day!

  13. I love this one so much. I can hardly stand it. And your description of his surroundings just resonates – something is so familiar here … a past life?

    Your machine is a work horse! It reminds me of my first which was all steel, a factory machine.

    Thank you for the beauty you bring to us.

  14. Obviously lambs are not for sissies – but I would love to give it a go. You are so creative. I love him and his story. Yes, I too love your machine.

  15. Ann Your projects are works of art! What a joy to read your blog! It’s even a bigger treat that you share with us how you made your items.
    Thank you. There is always something interesting to read and see on your blog.
    Ever surprised by arts beauty, Sharon

  16. Bonnie Totten

    LOVE LOVE this guy!! You are so talented. Looking forward to pattern. Keep creating!

  17. he – is fabulous. well done on the texture. for pushing through and finishing (you know you would have eventually, right? and your eyes are better now!). it’s fantastic and must feel wonderful.

    i adore the description ‘he has his books, his tea, his evening walks, his memories of youth and of the seas’ (hope i remembered it right). if i have what he does later in life, it will be good indeed.

  18. Is there a pattern for this ? I need to make one for my granddaughter

  19. Just discovered this lovely little lamb; the textured coat is wonderful. I see this was a 2017 post and there was mention of a pattern. I have most of your designs, but see that this chap has not made it to the shop as yet. Has he been put out to pasture, or will be be making an appearance soon? Easter is fast approaching and he would make a lovely gift or home decoration. Thank you for the wonderful things you help us create – inspiration is a gift in itself x

  20. PS Thinking about it, this lamb is almost a scaled up version of Mr Socks. Hmmm…. I wonder

  21. Hi Ann, did you ever create this Goat pattern? I’m just crazy enough to try making it. Wonder if the Mr Socks body combined with the Forest Folk head would work?

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