Cuddly, colourful and unique, handmade soft toys are fun to create and also make the perfect gift or touch of fun to your home. Best of all they can be personalised with your own choice of fabrics and embellishments.
Pauline McArthur, from Funky Friends Factory, specialises in designing a range of original patterns, kits, supplies and toy-making tutorials, providing everything you need to get started in sewing your very own softies!
This month Pauline is kindly offering ‘into craft’ readers, a pattern and tutorial for her Plattie the Platypus toy absolutely FREE! This is a fantastic project for beginner toy-makers as it can be completed in a few hours – plus it can be made with any fabric, such as quilting cotton, fleece or corduroy – giving you plenty of opportunity to get creative!
We asked Pauline how she developed a love for soft toys and where she found her design inspiration to create Funky Friends Factory.
“I don’t really know where my love of soft toys comes from, as I was a real tomboy when I was growing up. When my friends started having babies I designed my ‘Baby-safe Bunnies’ as baby-shower gifts. They had sewn on faces and no chewable, choke-able bits and turned out to be so popular that I moved on to mass-production (that’s where the ‘Factory’ bit comes from!).
At first I sold the toys at markets then I began selling my Funky Friends Factory toy patterns in 2001. The official Funky Friends Factory website was launched in 2006, and now my patterns are used by crafters around the world.
What I love most about my website is that it has allowed me to ‘meet’ the most wonderful, generous, helpful crafty people and I have formed some incredible long-distance friendships with people who I’ve never met face to face! My whole aim is to make toy making simple and fun for everyone including children and beginner sewers so everyone can give it a go!”
For more tips and tutorials on toy-making, as well as heaps of great patterns and supplies visit the Funky Friends Factory website at http://www.funkyfriendsfactory.com/learn-to-sew-toys/. Pauline and her Funky Friends Factory will also be exhibiting at the Brisbane Craft & Quilt Fair from October 19-23, 2011.
All images, patterns and tutorials: Copyright © 2011 Funky Friends Factory.