Christmas Mice…

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.

DSC_0139

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).

DSC_0033

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.DSC_0130With 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.

DSC_0133

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.
DSC_0134This 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.

DSC_0129

I had lots of fun picking out the fabrics colours and details.
DSC_0130
And by the end of last December they were done!DSC_0148

I say done, but actually they were missing whiskers until quite recently.  
DSC_0152

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.
DSC_0171

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.DSC_0200I’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!

DSC_0179

Look, they are kissing…do you think they are in love?  Is ‘berry’ girl mouse left out and jealous?!

DSC_0166

The obligatory hand shot, to show the scale.

DSC_0146

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,
DSC_0150so 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.

DSC_0019

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 🙂

28 thoughts on “Christmas Mice…

  1. Oh my! So sweet… especially the boy’s little bow tie. And such adorable mice expressions. Love them! And rather impressed with the younger Linen Cat’s hand stitched mice, complete with knitting!

  2. They’re lovely! I think I might have seen the book with that zip up log in it – did it have stitched wood grain on the top? Might it have been the Jean Greenhowe dormouse house? I saw that once in a book in a holiday cottage, and loved it.

  3. Oh Beth I was so hoping you were going to be making and selling some little mice, I treat myself…ahem…us to a new tree decoration each year, these are perfect and were purchased in less than 1 minute of seeing them, well, they are so cute they might sell out !
    I think it’s lovely that your Gran kept your mouse and that you have it now, things like that keep people alive in your heart, I bet you think of her every time you look at it xxx

    • I just saw your order – thanks so much!! I do think of Gran when I see the mouse, she lives in a cupboard with all my other ‘Gran’ things. I like seeing bits of family furniture at my brother and sister’s houses too, I think it’s nice we all treasure the things that have made their way down to us. Your little mice are wrapped and ready to pop in the box tomorrow 🙂 Bxx

  4. Hi Beth,
    Your little mice are SO sweet, I love there little clothes and the pictures of them all together, the cutest mouse army ever! They must’ve taken so much work to make, there wonderful 🙂 Mr. Mouse especially has captured my heart, he reminds me of Dickens novels with his little coat and bow tie, brilliant! Am feeling the Christmas fever coming and am trying to get ahead this year and get things finished, love Christmas though, your mice are very festive and lovely 🙂 love safxxx

    • Thanks Saf 🙂 Can’t really claim the credit, it this case, but I’ve no idea who wrote the book the pattern pages I used came from (or the book, I did try to find out). I have bought the first of my X-mas gifts, otherwise it all gets too much and I feel stressed, we have our first Christmas gathering coming up with all the Fosters in a week! Hope you are keeping well. Bethxx

  5. Beth, they are so cute! I can see them as a bride and groom too for a gift to a couple on their wedding day…sorry I might of made more work for you there! Xxxxx

  6. Perfect Beth. I’m sure I have said this before but I really do love these a lot, possibly a favourite. I find myself very torn between being hopelessly sentimental, especially about furniture, and loving (trying would be more accurate!) a less cluttered house! I completely understand why you hoard things! Juliex

    • Glad you like the mice 🙂 They were very popular and sold super swiftly, in fact I had hoped to keep 2 sets for myself but only managed 1. I agree that less clutter is quite freeing, I just find it so difficult to decide what is clutter and what is emotionally valuable and worth keeping. I have to say, the house is looking reasonably good at the moment, so I hope to keep it that way with a something in, something out policy. Bx

  7. Such beautiful work Beth, I love all your work. How lovely that your gran inspired you so much. I’m hoping to pass some of my love of crafts onto Daisy too. Enjoy your collecting it’s not hoarding and it makes a home a home in my books. Hope you are keeping well xx

  8. They are just gorgeous and will certainly become treasured ornaments. How wonderful that you could find the exact pattern from your childhood. x

  9. I LOVE these mice, especially the berries/flower fabric ones. So Christmasy. Isn’t it amazing what you can find on Etsy—old patterns, books, etc.?? Hope you’re having a good late November, Beth.
    Anne D.T. xx

  10. Hello dear Beth,

    These mice are just precious, so so sweet! They will be making many homes happy every Christmas – you just make the sweetest pieces, Beth, just family-heirlooms-to-be.

    Happy first Advent, and December soon too!

    Yours,
    Mia

  11. Pingback: Merry Mad-mas.. | Maison Bentley Style

  12. Pingback: The Plan and How Christmas Went | The Linen Cat Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s