This is the last of the new festive designs, but it was the first on my list when I decided on the stunning, cunning plan to ‘get-ahead’ and sew only for winter this year.
As you know, I am a hoarder and I especially struggle to throw things away that have sentimental meaning, I blame both my Gran and Mum for this trait (despite their not being blood related, my Gran having being Mum’s MIL)……yep it’s all their fault! As part of my collection of ‘things’ I have a little mouse that I made for Gran when I was a kid; after she died it made its way back to me (she’d kept it for years – see, inherited hoarding tendencies ;)). The pattern, I remember, came from a magazine article that was to sew an entire mouse family living in a fabric log that zipped apart, for years I also kept the pattern but alas, no more, that did actually make it into a bin at some point.
On one of my Etsy trawls, I came across a shop selling old craft book pages and one listing was for the same mouse and log set! I got all excited and bought the pattern (I assume the magazine article I had originally used was to promote the book), I noticed there were loads of other things in the same shop that I recognised, including many pages from a sewing book that I had once owned and which contained a second mouse I’d often made so that hopped into my basket too. Etsy is a wonderful thing.
(Part of my writing this post so late is that I was trying to find both the vintage mouse patterns to photograph, but alas I’ve ‘stored’ them away somewhere safely, so safely I don’t know where, exactly).
I’ve really enjoyed making things with a vintage twist recently, such as the Christmas Fairies and last year’s Winter Deer Aprons (the last of which is listed in the shop). I think they sit well with my original work and I enjoy the challenge of altering them slightly to make them my own.With this in mind, I immediately saw the vintage mice as a perfect starting point for some little Christmas hanging decorations and being super keen, I got straight down to working out a pattern. I didn’t alter things too much, although I did completely change the scale and construction method.
As you can see, I was working on the fabric choice whilst I still had my lovely vintage tree up in the studio……can’t wait to put that up again this year.
This is one of those critters where a production assembly line process really pays off, plus I get a kick out of the neat little piles, just waiting to be stitched up.
I spent a long time obsessing about the packaging. These mice are well over the maximum 2.5cm depth for a ‘large letter’ so they have to be sold in sets of three to warrant the heftier ‘small parcel’ postage price.
Ideally, I would have liked them to be packed in pretty boxes with clear lids, neatly tied with a nice festive ribbon, or even entirely clear boxes would have done. I spent an age trawling for something suitable on the internet, but everything was either the wrong size or insanely expensive, so alas, they will be left separate and simply packaged together for posting out.I’m really pleased with them, they were fun to make, I had plans for further development of the idea but I’ve run out of time this year. I am less pleased with the photos, it’s so hard to get good images when red is involved, especially in the current light, so I’m reluctantly using the images I have. That maroon felt used for the boy’s jacket is my very favourite but it’s a total arse to capture!
Look, they are kissing…do you think they are in love? Is ‘berry’ girl mouse left out and jealous?!
The obligatory hand shot, to show the scale.
They come to life once their whiskers are added. I did consider further details, like a little top hat for the boy (which is part of the original pattern), but I’ve learnt that sometimes it’s good to just stop,
so they are as they are, finished and ready to go to new homes and hang on trees/cupboard doors/be tied to gifts, whatever you fancy. You can find them here.
I’ve kept a set back for our tree as they go really well with the ‘Little Birds’ that I always use. I imagine that one day, I might have a tree entirely covered in Linen Cat ornaments.
Thanks for all the lovely comments on the last post, especially from anyone who hopped over from the interview at Bugs and Fishes or who is new to the blog, I forgot to mention that I tend not to reply to give away post comments as it messes up the numbers for the good old random number generator, so please don’t think I’m being rude. There’s still a week to leave a comment if you fancy a couple of birds with wonky tails :)