Book review: Softies

…Simple Instructions for 25 Plush Pals…

The info:

  • By Therese Laskey (with an introduction by Leah Kramer)
  • 120 pages with 10 instruction pages, color, paperback
  • July 2007
  • Chronicle Books, $19.95

Plushies are everywhere. From craft fairs to upscale boutiques, I’m seeing a variety of plush gifts sweeping merchandise shelves. I’ve been a big fan of My Paper Crane for a while, as you’ll see in the photos below, so when I saw “Softies” featured a pattern by Heidi Kenney, I knew this book wouldn’t let me down. And it didn’t.

The book features 25 different patterns from some of today’s greatest, hipest, (these are so NOT real words) and most unique artists and makers. Obviously I’m a big fan of MPC, but I also really enjoyed the pieces from Grace Montemar, Alicia Paulson, and Teresa Levy.

The projects range in difficulty from easy to difficult, so there are pieces for all skills levels, making the book appropriate for all sewing levels. There are also options to either stitch by hand or machine, another great asset. I know sometimes I can’t stand lugging my sewing machine out into my living room, so I stitch by hand. Sometimes… And it’s not just using felt or leftover fabric scraps to make the photos. Several projects involve crochet, needle felting, etc.

The patterns themselves are housed in a convenient folder in the back of the book, safe from little hands or, in my case, little kitten teeth that LOVE paper more than Hallmark loves sappy greeting cards.

With so many cute projects to choose from, it was a little hard narrowing my choices down for the inaugural make. I finally decided on “Treeling,” designed by Lynda Lye. I modified him a bit from his original design, but he’s fit to sit in my kitchen now, thanks to the harvest color scheme I went with.

Treeling, meet S’more and Pink Sprinkle Doughnut.

The finished product stands alone.

So there you have it. If you’re in the mood to make a plush tree, make sure to include “Softies” on your next “to-buy” list.