Sunday, March 25, 2012

Orphaned Glove Bunny Love

Winter is over, and if you have kids, I can promise you that you have a TON of "lonely gloves".  Here's a great project to make with them...

Who would've guessed that we would have 8+ days above 80 degrees in northern Illinois in March.  Seriously.  And with the warmer weather, everyone has been packing up their winter gear, and in this process, maybe you've found a few gloves that are missing their mate.  This post by Tamika at No Time for Tea Parties is a great tutorial of how to make a glove bunny from these "lonely gloves".

These are just so cute, I decided to give it a try myself, and I added a few touches of my own.  Here's what we are making today.
Isn't she sweet?  Tamika's glove bunny makes a perfect "blank canvas" for your inner doll maker.  The whole process is also easy enough to follow that children can get in these too - think of this as a great project for your Brownie or Junior Girl Scout troop to do.  This little cutie is all done with hand sewing, so if you're not comfortable sewing with a machine, you should seriously consider giving this a go.

Here's what you will need:  Stretchy knit gloves.  You can use orphans or pick up some at a dollar-type store pretty cheap.  The top two pairs in the photo below we had as leftovers from a 3-pack.  The bottom 8 pairs (those are all 2-packs), were on sale at our local Dollar General for $2 instead of their usual $3.  That makes these gloves $1/pair.  And since one pair of gloves makes 2 bunnies, that puts our little friends at 50 cents each.  I think I can fit that into my craft budget!  I thought the bright striped gloves would make for some really fun bunnies!
You will also need a sewing needle and a spool of thread that matches your glove, some stuffing (polyester fiberfill or your filling of choice), and an embroidery needle and embroidery floss to give our hare a face.  Other decorations will be described below.  These are entirely optional, but they are a great way to use up items in your stash.

Here is the pair of gloves I decided to use first.

Following Tamika's directions, I trimmed off the thumb (straight line right along the hand portion of the glove), index finger, and pinky.  I also trimmed the thumb piece straight, and made it the same length as the index finger.  You'll see why in just a bit.  Now, turn the glove inside out.

Carefully snip open the cuff.
Like this.

Stitch the finger and thumb holes closed.  I originally used an overcast stitch, but I will use a small running stitch when I make the next one.  It will leave a more finished edge on the outside (and remember how finished edges take a project from homemade to handcrafted?).  Turn your glove back around, right side out.
Stuff the bunnies ears.  If desired, you can run a gathering stitch across the bottom to give them more definition.  Next, stuff the finger and thumb pieces.
Tuck the edges in toward the stuffing.  Sew the arms onto the body about half-way down. Here's arm #1.
And arm #2.
Snip the cuff in half to make two legs.
Stuff the very top part of the body.  Make a long running stitch under this stuffing.  This will make the bunny's neck.  Leave a long tail.  Holding this tail, pull the stitches tight.
To secure, cross the threads in the back, wrap around and cross in the front, then wrap them around to the back again.  Tie tightly, and snip threads close to the knot.
Look at the cute little head!

So I have to apologize here - for this next section, you are going to have to just trust me on the directions.  Not one single photo I took came out clear.  Not one.  Because I'm getting really good at Practice Mondays and Carry-Over Mondays.  Everyone has to be good at something, right?  My camera is a big-picture kind of being.  It can't wrap it's little digital mind around all the small details.

Don't worry, it's not complicated at all.  Just take your time, and go step by step.  If you feel totally confused, feel free to email me (address on contact page).  I'll do my best to help.

Our bunny is feeling hungry - her little tummy is empty.  Stuff the belly portion ABOVE where the cuff/legs meet the future torso.  Repeat the running stitch across the top of the legs, which will also sew up her "personal areas".  If desired, you can run another set of stitching to give the legs more individual definition.  I chose not to do this.

You will alse need to stitch up her inseam.  The knit fabric of the glove should curl in towards the center of each leg.  Use this to your advantage, and stitch this seam shut with the raw edges in.  Overcast stitch here is fine.  Stuff each leg with fiberfill.  Roll the bottom of her bunny feet in towards the stuffing, and using a gathering stitch, sew them shut.  You now have a perfectly usable bunny doll, made by upcycling a glove!  Welcome to the world of dollmaking!

So it was at this point that I wanted to give my new friend some of the personality I knew she had inside.  I started by giving her a tail.  Take the pinky piece you saved and cut it about halfway between where the curve of the fingertip meets the straight side and the bottom cut edge.  That was a mouthful, and hopefully you get the picture.  The photo below shows a practice piece that I cut too short, but I think you can get a good idea.  I actually cut it where the curvy portion meets the straight side, so when you make yours, cut about half-way between where you can see that I cut and that bottom raw edge.  Make sense now?
Add a bit of stuffing, fold in the raw edges and using a gathering stitch, sew it closed.  Then sew it to your bunny's bum.  I like how the tail helps stabilize her body for sitting.

Tamika used french knots to make her bunnies eyes.  If you are making your bunny for a child under the age of 3, I suggest doing the same thing to prevent choking.  I chose to do small buttons because my bunny will go to an older child, and also because I can't make french knots.  You can also do whatever embroidery you'd like, or use felt/fabric.  Whatever works best for you, using what you have on hand.

This is the "design on the fly" portion of our program today...
I also decided to give her some ribbons on her ears.

She needed a dress, so I snagged a piece of pretty floral that would match her eyes (and why I chose that color for the ribbon).  I cut out a rectangle after doing a rough measure to make sure that the scrap would cover Miss Bunny all the way around.
After cutting the rectangle, I pressed all the raw edges under 1/4".  Then I folded the two short ends into the center of the rectangle and pressed.  I cut along these new creases.  Now, I had a front, which was the bigger piece, and two back pieces.  This enables you to have side seams that you can stitch up to Bunny's armpits, as well as make a center back seam that accommodates her fluffy cotton tail.  Match a back piece to a front piece (raw edges together, right sides facing) and measure where the armhole will begin.  Mark that place with a pin.  Start stitching from the hem up to the armhole.  Hide your knot in the hem like this:
Then just do a simple running stitch all the way up to the pin.  Repeat for the other armhole on the other side.
In the back, match the pressed edges and mark for the tail hole with pins, just like before.  This picture shows the right side facing out.  You need the wrong side facing out.  I only used the right side of the fabric so you could see the pins better.  Running stitch from hem to bottom of tail hole, and from top down to tail hole.
Turn your garment right side out and help Miss Bunny into her fancy new dress.  Match up the top of the back to the top of the front.  If you need to, fold the top of the back down a bit more.  Finger crease it.
Hold the shoulders together with pins.  I just matched the edges with no overlap.

Start in the center back, and do a gathering stitch all the way around the neck, pulling as needed to get it to fit.  Knot your thread and trim the ends.
And here she is in her finished dress!
For the record, I went back and did a few extra stitches at the top and bottom of the tail hole, just to be sure it wasn't gappy or "immodest".  This is where I also added the ribbon bow at the neckline.  What you won't see here is the detail I added to the hem.  I did some simple cross-stitching on the bottom of the hem.  Nothing fancy - they weren't even all the same size.  It was just a folk-art-type element that I thought would jazz up the dress a little bit more.  I was right.  You could also add some lace or other trims or stitching.  Or not - your choice.

So what's a new dress without new shoes to go with it?!

I clipped the thumbs off a spare pair of black gloves.
Trim the raw edges so they are straight and even.  Fold the raw edges under, slide them on her little feet, and stitch them to the legs.
Modesty is important, so our little miss needs some underthings.  Start with a scrap of eyelet.
I started in the center back, just under her tail, and stitched it to the body through the bound edge.  When I got back to where I started, I overlapped the edges, and trimmed the curves to match.  Then I stitched the crotch with about 5 or 6 quick stitches, to make it look like real lace bloomers.
Like I said, I was designing on the fly.  When you make your bunny, if you choose to do the bloomers, do them BEFORE you do the dress.  Same for the shoes.

Final touch:  embroidered her little nose and mouth.
Embrace your inner dollmaker and have some fun with these.  Make funky colors, make different clothes, add some hair.  Add pink (or other color) to the ears.  Give her a heart on her belly (like a Raggedy Ann (TM) doll).

Have a great rest of the weekend, everyone!  See you tomorrow!

And PS - be sure you click through on one of the links above to thank Tamika for such a wonderul inspiration piece!


reFresh reStyle said...

What a cute idea! Love it!

Amy of While Wearing Heels said...

What an adorable little bunny. Now that spring is finally in the air, my winter gloves have nothing better to do than be turned into a bunny! Thanks for the tutorial.

Amy Dingmann said...

I LOVE your tutorials. I am NOT a sew-er, but I think I could do just about anything reading your blog posts. You explain things so well! CUTE where did I put those orphan gloves...

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

These are so cute! I'm not so great at sewing, lol, but it looks like something I might be willing to attempt...once.

Pam @Threading My Way said...

This is just SO cute!!! Great way to use up scraps and old gloves. Thanks so much for sharing. I'm pinning this.

ealldredge5 said...

Adorbale! Thanks so much for stopping by my linky to share. A Crafty Cook

Jill said...

That is just too cute! Great idea for those gloves!

Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
Hope you have a fabulous week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success

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