Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Elephant Skin Blanket

Elephant skin may not sound like the softest thing around, but when it's made from minkee, everything's different.

This is Cotton Ginny's Cuddle Blanket in the style "Pachyderm." The pattern I bought includes a bear and hippo version, if I should want to switch things out. She also offers patterns for lions, frogs, dogs, cats, zebras; practically the entire animal kingdom.

Stretched out on the rug
I first spied this pattern on the Sew Well blog. Amy has made a bunch of these cuddle blankets, each cuter than the last. When I discovered I was going to have a grandson, the first thing I thought of was making one of these darn blankets.

Little tail
The pattern calls for minkee. My internet exploring turned up a bunch of terrifying information about sewing with minkee. Stretching, creeping, fluff everywhere. I considered using flannel instead, which I bet would also be very cute, but then I noticed the mother-to-be nuzzling a minkee stuffed bear on a recent trip to LA. So minkee it had to be.

I went slow, used plenty of pins, lengthened my stitch to a 4.0 and it didn't give me much trouble after all. It's true, there was fluff everywhere. I tried not to breath deeply and I'll clean my machine out before I try to use it for anything else.

But once all the raw edges are safely sewed up to the inside, that minkee is so darn soft and soothing. Mmmm. I think it was worth the trouble.

Baby's eye view
This was my first time sewing up a stuffed animal-type object, so I stumbled through the directions a bit. I could have used a diagram showing exactly how the underside of the head was meant to come together. I was able to figure things out pretty well, though, by pinning and fiddling a bit with the pieces as I went. I'm not 100 percent sure my finished product would meet the designer's standards, but it's good enough for Grandma work.

Cotton Ginny had some computer issues in the midst of my order, which delayed shipping for a bit. She was super sweet and insisted that I pick a free pattern to make up for any lost sewing time. She also said she's always happy to answer questions from sewists if they find themselves confused about one of her patterns mid-project.

If you happened to be a besotted grandma and you have a source for minkee, I really recommend this pattern. I'm actually pretty tempted to grade the pattern up to 5 feet long to make one for myself.

My pattern review is on PatternReview.com here.

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