loveday’s found feather

Jennifer children inspire me, original patterns, sewing 2 Comments

This is Loveday…and just quietly, between you and me…I like her a lot.

I thought I might take the opportunity releasing her design offers to tell you a little bit about how she came to be.

A few months ago The Little Bush Princess plucked a beautiful dove feather from the grass and the sight of it in her hand made me remember the triumphant grin that would cross her face as a little girl when she happened upon just such a treasure. The moment when she realised that she’d found something that nobody else had ever touched and if she asked…she’d be allowed to keep it. At that point I settled on the idea of a character holding a found feather.

Some ideas run around in my mind for a long time before they finally start to emerge (poor Walter!). Other’s keep rising to the surface and can’t be ignored. Loveday was one of these. The problem was that I didn’t know ‘what’ Loveday was. Was she a doll with long wool hair to be styled and twizzled? A little piglet ready to go to market? A snuffling echidna with the feather nestled among strong quills? A fawn in a knobbly knitted scarf? I could see how I could make the idea work for all of these options.

The best way to discover a design is to just start looking for it. Like all of my critters she started with a sketch or six. At the end of these I’d settled on her being a lamb…which leaves me at a loss as to how to to explain to you why she’s a young goat!

No matter what form she took, I knew Loveday needed to be playable. Everything does for me!

More than playable I knew that Loveday could be and needed to be a character like my little Tulliver…she could be a wanderer, an explorer, a taster and a nibbler of the world. I wanted to build up her character with layers of whimsical belongings. I do love accessories!

So I started to add layers to Loveday to help tell her story. The first layer is what to make her from? In my imagination she had fur so I settled on Viscose faux fur from Teddy’s Bits. It was perfect for the job! It has a nice supple backing which allowed for a smaller seam allowance and wasn’t too bulky when turning limbs right side out.

Then she needed a frock. A simple cotton one with room for a tail to be wagged.

Of course there needs to be a coat. Something warm but practical. Not too long to allow for striding and a pair of pretty pockets perfect for a found feather to find its way into. Then of course a neck kerchief. Practical and useful but also a chance to add a flash of polka dot. I’ve never met a polka dot I didn’t like.

Like Tulliver she needed to be a practical character only more feminine. Taking with her what she’d need for a light afternoon ramble.

Maybe there’ll be a chance for some bird watching? There needs to be some cakes to nibble and she’d need to be prepared for a spot of knitting if the shade of an orchard or reaching oak tree couldn’t be resisted. All that was needed now was a cornflower blue back pack to tuck these into.

Making Loveday made me remember just how much I love dreaming up these detailed characters. They all start with SO many ideas waiting to be slotted in. One of my friends suggested that for a snack she should have a shirt showing signs of already being tasted…how cute would that have been? I also thought of a simple rainbow for the flap of her backpack in muted tones to match her colourings. One of my first ideas and by far the hardest to let go of was a pair of lace up shoes…they just didn’t work despite the fact I’m sure she’s a practical soul.

the time that I discard these ideas it seems like a waste, a missed opportunity. It feels like I’m shortening the potential of a design.

Then I sit back and look at the balance of the ideas that make the cut and I know I’ve made the right choices.

It’s the delicate art of ‘just enough’!

Oh…and her name? Loveday? Well that’s easy. She’s the child of my two favourite characters from Winston Graham’s ‘Poldark’ series…just like Tulliver is a corruption of one ‘Tolliver Groat’…of my favourite (‘one’ because there’s waaaaay too many favourites for there to be just one) characters from the brilliant mind of Sir Terry Pratchett.

Loveday’s pattern is now in my Etsy store if you’d like to fashion a little goaty girl for yourself. The link is here.

Words and toys.

Memories and moments.

Books, textures and story telling.

That’s where the best ideas live.

That’s where toys become stories!


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