When I spotted the cute kits L’Ile à Mousse was selling at the Aiguille en Fête show we were attending I knew I just had to get one. It was just a matter of deciding which one. I opted for Miette the Mouse as it was just a little bit different than the actual teddy bear kits they were selling.
I have made stuffed animals before using felt (have a look at my gallery, they are kits by Atelier Oog van de Naald) but I had never used teddy bear fabric before. That is why I really liked the look of these kits. The finished product resembles ‘old-fashioned’. I hadn’t realised when I bought the kit, all of their stuffed animals have articulated limbs, which mean that they actually are like real teddy bears.
The kit contains nearly everything you need: the teddy bear fabric, the eyes, whiskers, embroidery thread for the nose, the articulated joints and felt for the ears. The things you have to supply yourself are plenty of stuffing, a pipe cleaner, sewing thread. The accessories, which are pictured on the kit such as the scarf and patch on Miette are not supplied either.
The kit also contains 3 A4 pages of instructions and one page with all the pattern pieces. As L’Ile à Mousse is a French company, the instructions are obviously in French. As my French is reasonably ok, and since the instructions are very basic I managed alright. However, there were a few omissions/mistakes in the instructions which did make things a little bit difficult (e.g. instructions for the ears omitted mentioning how to use the piece of felt, articulated joints for arms were different than described). For one query I contacted L’Ile à Mousse and they send me a prompt reply with the correct instructions and a thank you for pointing out the mistake and a promise to correct it when making new kits. I mostly just ended up looking at the picture and using my own initiative and logic thinking to get the right result.
I started by photocopying the pattern twice as you need to mirror pieces for the limbs, body and face. I cut out all of the required pieces and transfer them on to the back of the teddy bear fabric using a white gel pen (chalk didn’t hold). I then cut out all of the pieces.
An important tip when cutting teddybear fabric is to only cut the fabric, not the hairs. After sewing a body part together it is very useful to use a needle or pair of tweezers to pull the hair out of the join rather than leave it stuck in the seam. That way the hairs will cover any joins.
As the mouse has articulated joints you needed to make and attach all of the limbs first before you can fill the body. I didn’t use pins to keep the two sides of a body part together. Instead, I made sure that the lines continued to match up when sewing the pieces together.
It is a rather fiddly project (the mouse is 20 cm tall). Especially turning the limbs right-side out or sewing the tail around the pipe cleaner is rather difficult. I even ended up sewing the feet shut only after they were turned right side out, as they are far too narrow to turn. I used a ladder stitch to sew the final openings shut after turning the parts right-side out.
However, I think the end result is really lovely. It is a very cute little mouse and it looks like a vintage toy rather than something that was just made yesterday. I would recommend these kits as well, as they are so cute, but only if you have a little bit of experience with making stuffed toys or animals as you need to fill in a lot of blanks in the instructions as they are very basic and don’t provide any additional tips or tricks (for beginners).
The pictures above show what Miette looks like when you have finished the kit.
As I really liked the cute scarf or cape Miette was wearing in the picture on the kit, I crocheted one myself. I used Moeke Yarns Elena Yarn from my stash to make the scarf. The scarf pattern is from Edward’s Crochet Doll Emporium but I made it slightly narrower (7 instead of 9 stitches to start) to match the size of Miette.
Hopefully, the patch will be added soon too, as I ordered some from Wolcafé.
I am really happy with Miette, and having gained some experience with these kits, I think I will pick up another one at next year’s show if I can be patient enough! Otherwise, I might just order one online…..