Little Traveller by Simone Gooding

I’m part of a blog tour for Simone Gooding’s new book but most people don’t have blogs anymore so it is mostly an Instagram tour. But I still have a blog and I am happy to show you this beautiful book!

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Simone reached out to me to ask if I would participate in the tour. I had never actually seen her work before but thought it looked right up my alley. I received the book before I left for LA and was impressed by how attractive it is- gorgeous photos and thoughtful design. I love the details like handwritten page numbers.

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She asked that the tour participants choose a project. I decided on Thistle, a sweet bunny, because I thought it would interesting to see how someone else put animal clothing together. The rest of this post is my review: of the book and also of me, as a maker. Any time I make someone else’s design, it is all inside-my-head arguing and I am not very good at following directions. Weirdly, I want the directions to be there and then I can discard them if I want to. I know. I might not be the best person for a job like this! So this was my experience.

I cut out the pieces and got the bunny together. I used shoe button eyes because I had them. Ears-hmm. Not quite liking how they look. Tail? I used a wool felt ball instead of the pattern directions.

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I wasn’t happy with the eyes or the ears. I took the button eyes off and embroidered them instead and then they looked more like Simone’s original design. My way had changed the shape of the head. Not good. I took the ears off and played with the placement. I sewed them on my way. I know- I can’t just follow the directions!

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Then the clothing. There was a lot of hand-sewing called for in the instructions. Um… I mostly didn’t do that. I was disappointed that the dress was sewed onto Thistle. I like a dressable doll and it would have been easy to make it that way.

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Here is the dress from the back. You can see that the fit isn’t great.

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Next, the jacket. It looks really cute! And isn’t she the sweetest? She stands up by herself too- I love that! It’s not exactly looking like Spring around here.

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So my review would be-

On the plus side-

It is a beautiful book. Gorgeous large color photos. 10 projects made mostly from wool felt. Full size pattern pieces that I easily copied on my copier. I appreciate that! It is a nicely made book too- when you open to the design you’ve chosen, the book stays open on the table.

But then…

I don’t think this is a book for beginners. If you don’t have some experience hand and machine sewing and also with basic toy-making, you might have problems. I never discovered what the seam allowances were suppose to be until I’d finished because they are listed in the supplies area and not with the pattern pieces or the sewing instructions. I am bad about reading through the entire design before I start- I’m more of a jump-right-in kind of maker and so factor that in about my experience. There are no markings for the placement of the arms and legs, or for the ears. The pattern pieces are great and all fit together but the written instructions were confusing to me. I ended up having to redo several parts; ex. the arms of the coat were too tight so I restitched them with a smaller seam allowance. I would have liked photographs of the bunny with no clothes on and with just the dress, in addition to the glamour shots of the finished doll. I ended up with a lovely little bunny though so all of this being picky.

I’d recommend this book for a maker with some sewing experience who’d like to jump into the world of felt and make adorable animals and lots of accessories.

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Simone is having a giveaway on Instagram if you want to check it out. Here are the other participants of the blog/Instagram tour. There is a hashtag #littletravellerbook if you want to check it out on Instagram.


15th March – Simone Gooding (@simone_gooding)
16th March – Winterwood (@winterwoodcraft)
17th March – Kerri Horsley (@sewdeerlyloved)
18th March – Shelly Down (@gingermelongirl)
19th March – Mimi Kirchner (@mimikirchner)
20th March – Lauren Wright (@mollyandmama)
21st March – Anne Sutton (@bunnyhilldesigns)
22nd March – Jennifer Goldsmith (@frazzydazzles)
23rd March – Manuela Trani (@nuvolinahandmade)
24th March – Jess Cunningham (@pastyourporchlight)
25th March – Simone Gooding (@simone_gooding)
26th March – Jo Molony (@deerdarlingdolls)
27th March – Minki Kim (@zeriano)
28th March – Jooles Hill (@sewsweetviolet)
29th March – Sedef Imer (@downgrapevinelane)
30th March – Ayda Algin (@cafenohut)
31st March – Katy Livings (@katylivings)
1st April – Jodie Carlton (@jodiericrac)
2nd April – Melinda Hume (@mooseandbird)
3rd April – Simone Gooding (@simone_gooding)


The Swaddled Baby class

Yikes, it has been almost 2 weeks already. Time to post, right?!

The Swaddled Baby class went really well. There were 15 participants, 2 5-hour days, and beautiful handmade babies at the end.

Babies in progress-

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The first day we focused on the hard parts- the face, getting the body stuffed and closed up, basic designing. By the end of the first day, pretty much everyone was ready to move on to the fun part- designing, embellishing, stitching. I didn’t get any pics at all from the first day!

Busy hands-

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Lots of pieces-

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And here are (almost) all the babies at the end of the day. (A few left early.)

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They are all different and amazing! Most people didn’t finish but it seemed like everyone was well on their way and had fun getting there. Here are some of the dolls that went home on Sunday afternoon-

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Frida Baby!

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Another great class at French General!

Checking in, LA report

I got back from LA a week ago but things have been a bit crazy. There was a bad storm in Boston while we were gone and it damaged our roof. We got back just in time to deal with another storm (Wed. and Thurs) and all the water issues. Plastic and buckets in the attic, moving years of attic accumulation to keep things safe, and trying to find someone to repair the roof before the blizzard today. Yep, I’ve been distracted. But we did find someone to do a temporary fix (new roof ahead), and today was a blizzard-y snow day and the attic seems dry so I can relax. Here is a picture heavy post of quilts that caught my eye at QuiltCon.

I have the names of some of the artists but not all. I don’t know how I messed up with that and I’m very sorry. If I find out the artist, I can add the names.

3-12-LA quilts - 1detail- I found the details in the piecing fascinating.

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below- Wholecloth, 4 by Heidi Parks. As someone who can’t stand to throw any little piece of thread away, this appealed to me!

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below- detail of Pivoted Plaid by Cassandra Beaver

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Get Woke by Chawne Kimber

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Counter Weave by Scott Murkin

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Ms Conceived by Miriam Coffey

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This is the back of

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this one!

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And some details-

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There were a lot of amazing quilts; so many it was overwhelming! There were many quilts with political messages and an area that had some of the AIDS quilts. I found those quilts very moving because of the birth dates- so many of the deaths were of people I could have known, gone to school with, been friends with. It brought me back to that time. I am glad I made the effort to go to the show even though quilting isn’t my main interest. I saw people I knew, so many fiber friends, and it is always fun to wander through the vendors and see all the cool toys I mean tools! Next, I will show pics from the Swaddled Baby class.

Baby Time

Oh the poor tattooed men, waiting and waiting!

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But, I had to get to work on some swaddled babies- I am off to California soon to teach the class so I need to make a few to refresh my memory and help me organize all my tools and supplies. If you are near LA and interested in joining the class, I believe there are a few seats left.

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Sweet sleepy baby face-

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