Friday 19 September 2014

Wedding Tortoises

For my friend's wedding I decided to make wedding Tortoises. There has been a long running joke between them about owning a tortoise to the point where a tortoise made it onto the invitations! I therefore decided that it was appropriate to make a pair of tortoises. I love making things for weddings as you get a theme and a colour range set as soon as you get the invitation. Last year I made my sister and her husband wedding mice to match their blue shabby chic theme. I used a pattern from Sewn Toy Tales by  Melly and Me. They were fun and went down really well.

The wedding mice

The pattern for my tortoises came from Mariska Vos-Bolman on her fluffels website. It was marked as an advanced pattern. I really liked the pattern and the expression on the tortoise's face. I had some experience of making soft toys mainly from 'Melly and Me' and my confidence had grown with each toy so I decided to give it a shot even though I would say I was more 'intermediate' than 'advanced'.

The pattern layout was different as you had to add in your own seam allowance. There were a lot of pattern pieces and some very new techniques to learn. By far the most difficult section was the eye as it involved making an eye socket which had to be turned in on itself leaving a good seam. The eye was made separately out of three fabric pieces and a felt pupil. The eye was then stuffed and stitched into the socket. This required precision which is even harder when sewing a circle. Getting the seams correct on the head was also difficult. Apart from these two stages the main difficulty was constructing it to hide all of the seams initially put in on the band and the base.

The fabric was easily chosen as I knew the groom's tartan and the colour of the bridesmaid dresses. I decided to use the same mottled green fabric on both of the tortoise. For the bride tortoise I used the burgundy to match the bridesmaids in the center and ivory satin backed crepe for the side panels. I decorated it using lace and seed pearls to add texture and lift the design. The ivory and peals were left over from my wedding dress which I thought made it more personal. I ordered a sample of the grooms tartan for the grooms tortoise with the co-ordinating colours for the side panels and I liked that it co-ordinated so well with the theme and colours.

Although it took a little bit of getting used to a different style and method I enjoyed the detail in the pattern and the result had a good finish. I feel it is only a matter of time before I own her new book Sew Cute to Cuddle.

The tortoise went down well with the happy couple and the biggest compliment came from the groom himself who did not realise I had made them until he spotted the tartan!

Mr and Mrs Tortoise - pattern by Mariska Vos-Bolman

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