The forest folk pattern is in the shop. Little creatures that fit in the palm of your hand and are cozy in your pocket. I’m so excited to share this pattern with you – it is a satisfying project to make and, if you are inclined, a jumping off point for making all sorts of other creatures. The pattern has full instructions for a bunny and squirrel and with little modifications to the fabric colors and tail and ear patterns you could create skunks, beavers, gophers,chipmunks! raccoons….. you get the picture. I’d love to see what you make and you can send photos to ann at ann wood handmade dot com.
The squirrels and bunnies can be hand or machine sewn – I think hand sewing is best for beginners and it can be a nice travel project- I’m making lots for gifts this year – I pack up some cut pieces and sew them on the subway. The little bunny in the center is made from a worn cotton velvet that started its life with me as a skirt when I was in my twenties. About 15 years ago it became a pillow cover and now it’s becoming a flock of little velvet bunnies because who doesn’t need a little velvet bunny? The velvet was more difficult than wool to sew but I couldn’t resist it. (These creatures and some others are in the shop now if you are not inclined to sew your own).
I love his littleness – he is just 3 and 1/2 inches tall and would be very cozy in someone’s pocket. I’ve been working on a sewing pattern for a basic forest creature body for weeks without success. I wanted it to be very little, detailed but not fussy and easy to make. After a bazillion drafts and failures I’m satisfied, very happy with this little fellow, and ready to dive into shooting the steps. The pattern will also have little modifications to make a squirrel, and maybe some other pocket sized little forest folk.
So long little bunny! Check back for the pattern next week-ish or hop on the mailing list if you’d like an email when it’s ready to go.
The star folk pattern is here! Six pink cheeked little stars ( including grumpy and shooting) and a sleepy moon to sew. They are lovely as ornaments or a garland and make a devastatingly sweet mobile. Devastating. It’s an easy pattern – nothing complicated and there are tons of photos to illustrate the steps if you are a beginner and a resource list.
If you don’t see the mobile video below click here to check it out. I love the way the different expressions and the movement work together.
I’m shooting pattern steps for some sweet little star folk – there are five stars with different expressions and a sleepy moon. They can be ornaments, a garland, a twinkly mobile or someone could be an adorable meteor shower for halloween. It’s a quick and easy project – look for the pattern early next week.
And in other ornament news – I know it’s early – but in 2013 and 14 I tried to wait until what felt like a festive and civilized time to mention my Crate and Barrel ornaments and they were sold out before I told you about them. So I’m not taking any chances. You can find the sleepy goats and lambs and baking mice online now and they should be in stores by the end of the month. I’m pretty excited about them.
Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the mini holiday ornament survey – I’m so glad I asked!
The questions were:
When should holiday patterns be available?
Is there a particular ornament you would like?
And do you prefer kits or downloads?
Regarding timing there were equally strong opinions for early and not too early. A lot of responders do not want to hear the word Christmas until October at the earliest but I was surprised at how many people answered July or June – about 1/3 of responders. That ship has sailed for this year ( I’m shooting for mid September) but I’ll keep it in mind going forward. If you are somebody that likes to start early there are three patterns from last year available – a little boat, a whale and a bird.
The overwhelming majority of responders would love to see woodland creatures and nature/ botanical inspired things. You’re forest people like me! I love it. There will be a woodland creature ornament pattern coming your way soon and for now the little mushroom pattern makes a great ornament. Just add a hanging string and I love using wool scraps for ornament fungi.
On the question of kits or downloads – downloads win by a landslide. But you would like to see some hard to find or specialty materials available as an optional purchase – great idea! I’m on it. If you’d like an email when new patterns or supplies are available you can join the mailing list here.
I also learned that I have incredibly kind readers. There was email after lovely email with marvelous ideas and insights and in addition to the survey responses personal notes that stunned me with their care and thoughtfulness. Thank you – I appreciated every word.
The mushroom pattern is here! And I’m so excited for you to make these. The pattern scales easily up and down – so you can make a variety of fungi. Beyond making fabulous toadstools I hope you take away some new ideas about shape building in textiles. (photo by Chistine Chitnis)
If you make mushrooms I’d love to see – I’m @annwood on instagram if you’d like to tag or you can use #annwoodmushroom. Or email if you like to: ann at ann wood handmade dot com.
I hope you make mushrooms! And if you’d like to be notified when new patterns are released you can sign up here.
The toadstool pattern is just about done. I’ve got a few steps to reshoot and then a little more work on the document and it’s ready to go. I’ve taught this class a couple of times and that definitely helped in writing the steps.
It took two years of experimenting to get the shape I wanted in my toadstools. Two years of almost there but not quite. I am pathologically persistent – relentless. The most difficult part was finding a reasonably efficient way of making the concave shape for the underside, reasonably efficient and reproducible. I tried so many things – some with interesting results – like foam padded bra inserts – but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. What I ultimately came up with is simple and has a lot of flexibility – the shape and effect can be varied with little adjustments – it’s fun to play with.
I loved teaching the class – the steps seem odd until all of a sudden a toadstool appears. I hope one of the takeaways from my botanical experiment classes and this pattern is thinking innovatively about shape building and materials.
So stay tuned and if you would like to be notified by email when new patterns are released you can sign up here.
I’m so happy to finally publish this pattern! I hope you enjoy it. A dear little lamb and goat to sew. What’s cuter than baby lambs and goats – nothing- absolutely nothing.
Please meet Smokey and Pearl:
Skill level is advanced beginners and above – requiring basic hand and machine sewing experience. If you don’t have experience sewing 3 dimensional shapes this is an opportunity to learn about darts and gussets. There are tips along the way for beginners, and the instructions are very detailed.
full sized pattern pieces
detailed step-by-step instructions
color photographs – there are 54 instructional photos
resource list with links
A small glossary of terms for beginners
I hope you make lambs and goats! I feel like if you show up at a baby shower with your own handmade Smokey or Pearl you should be prepared to revive people – they are so sweet it’s almost too much.
P.S. – I’m having a sample sale at the end of the week of some of the many prototypes I made along the way – check back for details.
*Update – sorry for the delay – the sample sale will be up tomorrow – 4/30.
The pattern includes instructions for a little owl and 3! pattern sizes – a 4.5 inch owl, a 5.5 inch owl and a 6.5 inch owl.
The owls make perfect captains for paper mache ships, the small size works well with the small ship and the medium owl works well with the large ship. The photo below is the small owl in the small ship.
I hope you make owls! If you do I’d love to see – you can email photos to me at ann at ann wood handmade dot com. And I’m already working on the next two patterns – fabric sail boats and March lambs – you can check back here or join the mailing list if you’d like an email when new patterns are available.
I’m working on my next sewing pattern – little owl friends. I’ve tightened up the pattern and I’m making the file tonight so I can shoot steps over the weekend. The little owls make great ship captains ( I’m building this guy a ship tomorrow) and I’m also including other sizes – so you can create a little family. The smallest size fits in the palm of your hand, they are quick to make and they’re great for using special scraps. If you’d like to be notified by email when new patterns are available you can sign up here. I’m thinking of doing illustrations for instruction this time instead of photographs – I wonder if you have a preference? Please let me know in the comments or email if you prefer.
I like these funny little owls – I like them so much I wrote a poem about them.
I got a tree! And I made ornaments to put on it. It’s my first ever as a grown up and it’s a living potted tree- a Norfolk Pine. I hope it’s happy here for a long time. I also hope deciding to live with a tree in my tinyish Brooklyn apartment wasn’t a mistake. I like plants and they seem to tolerate me well enough – I think we’ll be all right.
Full disclosure, the holidays aren’t my favorite, I don’t exactly look forward to them but I decided to dive into the parts I can get enthusiastic about. I like making things – I like making presents for people and I do love a Christmas tree. I pulled out my box of saved Christmas treasures, some that I made as a child and I created some new things. I’m so happy with my little tree it has nearly unscrooged me. Some of the handmade ornaments are below and I included links to the patterns or tutorials where possible. The first is a little clothespin ballerina I made as a child – she magically reappeared last year.
The little soldier above is another childhood clothespin creation – his arms are coffee stirrers and his hat is a pom pom. The silk bird has a fluffy, lace wired tail that winds around the branch – she was made with this pattern. The little blue bird is a gift for my sister Catherine. It’s embroidered with her wedding date and made from a blue vevet dress that was our mother’s. It’s made from the merry wobbler pattern. The little white whale pattern is here And the pattern for the felt boat is here. Or for another boat ornament idea you could print the template for my free paper mache boat at about 50% of the original size.
I’ve just added 2 more new patterns to the shop – that’s three in the last week! It hurt my brain a little – sewing all this coming weekend seems like a tropical vacation compared to all that step writing, photgraphing etc. – I do enjoy it though – very much. And I love these patterns – if I do say so myself and apparently I do – sweet as ornamnets or gifts, quick and simple to make and they have all sorts of other possibilities – like mobiles or garlands…. And they are small – a great way to use the little bits you’ve been saving – I’ve got lots of little bits.
He’s got a blow hole and spout!!
I hope you enjoy them and as always if you’d like an email when new patterns are released you can sign up here.
I’ve finished my third pattern and it’s available now. Merry Wobblers are cheerfull little birds that are easy to make and it’s a great way to use little bits of saved fabric. There is also a pattern and instructions for the little nest pictured and a leaf tassel for hanging.
I’ve also posted a little video on how to embroider the eyes ( this works well for the little bird pattern too) – it’s a useful trick for hiding knots when sewing or embroidering. If you don’t see the video below click here: http://youtu.be/F733fJH_Uq4
If you’ve made my paper mache ships wobblers make perfect little passengers. And I’ve included a couple other ideas below.
I hope you make Wobblers!
And a couple other notes:
* Check back later this week for 2 !! new patterns.
* Squam Art Retreats has posted their 2015 offerings and pre- registration is open – I’m teaching my botanical class again in June (spring 2015) – I’d love to see you there. I’ll post about the class a little later this week and if you have questions please email me.
At last! I hope you make ships! And thanks so much for the encouragement and good wishes along the way – it helps. This is a huge pattern- 57 pages of photos and instructions, 3 templates – a Large Ship, a Small Ship, a Little Boat, a resource list and more. Make the three projects and then expand on that – you’ll learn how I make graceful shapes from cereal boxes and all sorts of other top secret techniques – you’ll make beautiful ships and get all sorts of ideas. You can find the pattern here or if you prefer on Etsy.
If you make ship I’d love to see, you can post here or send me a photo : ann at ann wood handmade dot com
There are also a couple little (very little) companion videos including :
Over the weekend I took the entire ship building /pattern making operation way upstate into the Adirondack park. Major progress was made and there where some setbacks too. If I had known how long this would take or how hard it would be I’m not sure I would have started, but I’m glad I did.
I’ve still got a handful of photos to take, a bunch to edit and lots of pages to layout but I hope the hardest part is done. I’ve been testing as I go along so I’m confident the instruction is solid and there’s a lot of it. Hopefully the patterns make it out into the world by the end of the week. This has been such an epic effort and learning experience and I’ll be very, very, happy when it is officially done and released and I’ll also be very excited to start the next pattern.
PS – If you’d like an email when the pattern is released you can sign up here.
Big projects have them. Usually what keeps me motivated is the process – I like making things, all sorts of things and that has extended to my new project: making patterns (especially because it’s new to me and I’m all lit up with learning).
I had hoped to finish the paper mache ship pattern in the Adirondacks over the holiday weekend. Planned on it really – no distractions, great light, plenty of room etc. but I’m back in thick, hot NYC summer and I‘ve still got a long way to go. Often, if something is taking me a very long time it’s because I’m lingering in the process – I don’t want it to end. In this case a lot of the fun designy stuff (like the cover) is done. And the project has gotten bigger:
I had made the executive decision to keep it small and manageable – just one ship – one small, pretty ship and I was nearly done with that.
But then I reversed that executive decision and decided to make it a collection – 3 vessels. The original small ship, a little boat and a large ship (similar to “The Gulnare” one of my favorites) – a big billowy full sailed affair. And the large ship pattern had to be designed pretty much from scratch – I didn’t have a reliable large ship template. That’s a lot of designing, and a lot of step photos and instructions, editing, testing etc. A lot.
This morning I woke up feeling daunted by the hugeness of the task and frustrated about not being where I hoped I would. I re- read a post from James Clear that I keep a quote from pinned to my wall:
It’s great advice. Great, simple advice that I still need to be reminded of often. The size of the project has changed and it requires a new strategy to finish. Rather than pushing hard towards a completion date or relying on my enjoyment of the work to motivate me I’ve got it on my schedule everyday – 3 hours – first thing in the morning: photographing, compiling, testing and editing.
I can’t wait for you to try the ship patterns and I know that focusing on the schedule rather than that goal is the most reliable way to get there. If something, some goal has been eluding you I recommend trying the approach.
Little Birds includes a link to the free video tutorial “how to make a perfect bird leg” – useful with this pattern and for all your bird leg needs as well as a link to a video on sewing the bird body that you will receive within the PDF when you purchase the pattern. And make a bird size top hat just like the caketopper bird above is wearing – find the free tutorial right here. I hope you make birds! If you do I’d love to see – use #annwoodhandmade or #annwoodpattern on instagram. And if you’d like to be notified when more patterns are available you can sign up here.
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