Friday, August 12, 2016

Flash Sale!!


Today through Midnight Saturday 8/13/16, get 25% off all patterns with the code FLASH25 on Etsy. I rarely do a site wide sale, so be sure to pick up your patterns! This includes all the Summer Softie Series patterns that have been released over the past year.

Starting next week, I will be picking 1 pattern to put on sale every Friday. These patterns will be $5, but only for 24 hours. Be sure to join the facebook group so you don’t miss the announcements!
As always, be sure to share your finished projects in the group and on Facebook! You can use the tag #Nimblephish to make it searchable!

What patterns are you most excited to try? Comment below!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

DIY Custom Doll Wig Tutorial

To start, pick your doll, this tutorial is going to show you how to make a custom one piece wig for any of the NimblePhish dolls.
You will Need:
  • Felt
  • Pins
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Fake Fur
  • Needle and Thread

Grab a square of felt, slightly larger than your doll’s head.

Start at the back of the head. We want to create a dart here, not only to follow the curve of the head, but also to direct the pile of the fur when it is on the head. Pin the felt in place somewhere on the back of the head to keep it from shifting. Then at the center of the back create the dart by pinching up so it follows the curve. Pin the dart in place.

Next move on to the darts on the side of the head, at the seam line between the front and the back of the head.
Pin the piece felt at the hairline.
Then follow the same technique as before to create the darts on both sides.

Mark along the darts and around the “hairline”. I used a washable pen, but you don’t have too, unless you are concerned with marking on the doll itself.

Cut your felt along the markings, if it seems uneven, you can fold the felt in half and then cut out.

Now you have a pattern!

Before you trace the pattern onto your fake fur, make sure the pile (direction the fur faces) is pointing towards the front of the head. Also add a seam allowance! This is very important or else it will be too small.

Cut out your fur, sew the darts and place on the doll’s head.

Pin in place and use a ladder stitch or a whip stitch around the hairline to secure the wig in place.

You can add some cute pigtails by stitching a scrap of fur into a little purse with a running stitch pulled tight and knotted. Then pin and stitch it into place.

I hope this tutorial helps you create your very own custom doll wig!

Thank you all so much for your help in getting me to my goals!!

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Busy Summer So Far

 It has certainly been a busy summer! We have made it 4 patterns in to the Summer Series, with an extra raptor who nudged his way into the mix. To be completely honest with you all I'm getting burnt out fast.
I had so many plans at the beginning of the summer and I really believe that a temporary "sugar high" like event was to blame. At the time I was floating on cloud nine from my husband's victory over cancer and the reality of summer was glazed over. The reality of summer, especially this summer, is a lot of work. I now have 3 energetic kids at home all day and they all need mommy "summer school" to prep them for their next grade. Then there is the subject of what the heck happened to my house during this cancer hibernation, it's a bit frightening, we are about a month and a half out of the woods and I'm still sorting out the hoard. On top of that I decided to drop a huge workload on my shoulders with a strict timeline, I really have no idea what I was thinking.

I don't want to miss this time to play with my kids or to get dirty and garden. I don't want to spend my summer hunched over a sewing machine or computer while my kids miss me from the next room. I love what I do, but I love my family more and I always will.

That being said, I am not giving up on the Summer Series, I am just making the schedule a bit more flexible. I work from home, I love working from home, the chaos fuels my creativity, but it isn't exactly the ideal environment for strict work schedules. I do want to give this blog more attention, I have thoughts to share, tutorials to make and even some peeks "behind the scenes" to give a look at my irregular process.

 Thank You

Monday, May 18, 2015

Summer Softie Series

Last week our family received the best news we've heard in the long time. My husband is cancer free! It's been a long, hard road and we are all relieved to have it in our rear view. With my hubby returning to work next month, I am now ready to get back to the work I love so much.
 I decided to jump into this wonderful summer head first, with a series of patterns based on a pet project I have been slowly developing over the last few months. The goal for me was to create a consistent, well planned release schedule that will help me as I get back into my groove. It will also be a great opportunity to improve on this blog with new tutorials as we explore different materials and techniques having to do with the fabulous world of softie making. 

 The Summer Softie Series begins the Wednesday, May 20th and will run until August 26th, with a new pattern posting each Wednesday.

 I will be offering a limited number of pre-order bundles for "The Summer Softie Series" in my Etsy shop. For $75, this pre-order bundle will include all 15 patterns (emailed directly to you the night before their scheduled release), access to an exclusive Summer Softie Series sew-a-long group, and at the end of the series you will get a bonus holiday pattern nearly a month before everyone else. This is an awesome deal and a great opportunity to build your softie skills(plus it'll be a lot of fun).
Remember there are only a limited amount of these, so get one before they are gone.

 You will of course be able to purchase the patterns individually as they are released for $10.

 The Summer Softie Series Schedule

5/20- Teddy Bear
6/10 Puppies
6/17-Fox & The Hound
7/22- Lion and Lamb
8/05- Piglet
8/12- Bunch of Birdies
8/19- Squirrel
8/26-Hamsters & Hedgehogs 

I'm looking forward to a fun filled summer with you all!!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Designer Pattern Swap- Renaissance Maiden from Muse in the Morning

It has been a long time since I've sewn anything non-doll related, so I jumped at the chance to join in on the Pattern Swap. I had the privilege to try out Muse of the Morning's Renaissance Maiden Outfit pattern. I have to say, I was so pleasantly surprised by the ease that this entire outfit came together and the fit is perfect! 

Yeah, that's how we roll here.

I must admit I am not exactly the best when it comes to following directions or even reading directions, but this time I made sure to read thoroughly and do it right. It was easy to behave with this pattern, the instructions are easy to follow and not once did I look at a piece and wonder "what do I do with this?" That is actually a big deal, because confused and impatient is my most common mental state when I try to make clothes, so the fact that I managed not only a single item, but a whole outfit, is close to a miracle and definitely a testament to the awesomeness of this pattern. 

My favorite part was installing the eyelets, it was a first for me, so of course I was bubbling with pride when I managed to pull it off the first time. 

Lil is beaming in her new outfit and my boy's are now looking at me to get working on their costumes. I fear they might start expecting more planning ahead then my usual night before sew-a-thon, prior to our yearly Renaissance Fair weekend. To bad they wont wear dresses, 'cause I'd be set.

If you'd like to get your machine working on the Renaissance Maiden's pattern, Muse in the Morning has it on sale for 30% off now until the 30th!

Also check out the other swap participants over at Pattern Revolution and enter in the giveaway!

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

New Pattern!!

The Mama and Baby Otter pattern is now available in my Etsy and Craftsy shops!!

This cuddly pair of otters are a lovely project for both experienced and novice makers alike. Mama Otter is about 12" long and her Baby Otter is just shy of 8". They can be made with minky or fleece ( I used some super plush cuddle fleece). They are easy to assemble with minimal sculpting, which I show you how to do with easy to follow instructions and pictures.

These two are as fun to make as they are to snuggle!

Aside from it's obvious cuteness and it's beginner friendly simplicity, this pattern is a big deal for me personally. It's the first pattern release of 2015 and the first pattern release since my husband's diagnosis in October. It's proof that we are heading towards the light, that healing has begun and it symbolizes a lot of hope for the future. 
Yes, this a lot of feeling to put into such a small thing, but it's not so small when you look at it really close. When you look at the hours put in here and there between the chaos and confusion that became life. This project was my goal for so long and now it is here. 
Thank You !! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Opposing Forces of Stretch

I had a Eureka moment the other day, quickly followed by a swift palm slap to my forehead. How is it possible that it took me this long to figure out? I've been making and designing softies for years and I'm sure in the back of my mind I knew this, but the fact that it took so long to bubble to my consciousness is a bit embarrassing. 
What is this revelation I am talking about? 
Stretch and the use of opposing forces to counter balance each other, thus making a well rounded shape easier to obtain then ever before.

Here are some examples of what I'm talking about (using the soon to be released Otter pattern)

With the stretch going vertical the head ends up quite elongated with a fairly large forehead. It also took a lot of squishing and careful stuffing to keep a consistent 3D shape.
* His missing eye is not a result of the stretch, but a great example of the importance of very small holes when placing safety eyes.*

  I ran into the same problems when I had the stretch going horizontally, but instead i got a really wide, squat head. Keeping a smooth 3D form was even more difficult with this one, as you can tell by the wonky shape of his head. 
With both of the examples the head ends up flat and it would take a bit of sculpting to get a decent round cheek shape.

Now if I cut the face (front) and the back of the head with opposing stretch directions, they work to balance each other out. This little change results in a much easier to stuff foundation and rounder, smoother 3D end product.

The vertical stretch in the back keep the horizontal stretch in the front from stretching to wide and vice versa for the length

I hope this little tid-bit of knowledge helps you in your future softie and doll making ventures. Keep your eyes out for the Tiny Otter Pattern set to release tomorrow April 14th!!