One day, whilst dragging LittleBear around the sewing department of John Lewis (I can't now remember why) we found a sewing kit for making a felt dinosaur. It said aged 3 and upwards, and it was a dinosaur, so we bought it. It was wholly inappropriate and far too advanced for my particular 3 year old (and really, does anyone know a 3 year old who can do blanket stitch?) So I made it.
|Dinosaur number one, named "Iggy"|
And, having made it, I vowed never to spend money on a kit again. This was a walk in the park! Two simple outlines, sewn together with no fiddly hemming, some extra bits tacked on the outside and glue-on eyes. I can do this, I thought.
My next effort revealed some of the weaknesses of this plan...
|First in-house design, supposedly a stegosaurus|
I hadn't really appreciated the need to seriously exaggerate the features to take account of the loss of volume with blanket stitching and the effect of stuffing. So my stegosaurus has a particularly small head and plates, even for a small-headed tiny-brained creature.
After that, however, I think I hit my stride with my therapods:
|This one is known as Button T. rex. I think you can see why|
|LittleBear wanted a big black T. rex, so a big black T. rex he got|
In fact, the big black T. rex is made of fleece, which is even more fun to sew with, possessing the same property of not needing hemming. Hooray! He now, however, is variously known as Multi-rex (geddit?) or Jelly-o-saurus. I haven't fathomed why, but that's just the way it is. And yes, in case you were wondering, I do find it hard to keep up with the ever-changing names of LittleBear's dinosaurs, and am frequently subjected to sighs and rolled eyes as Idiot Mother gets it wrong again.
Emboldened by my success, I branched out and tried to design 3D creatures that weren't simply two pieces of identical fabric sewn together. I'm particularly proud of these two...
I took a break from dinosaur making for a few months. Given that (at the last count) LittleBear was the owner of 72 dinosaurs, I think that was a reasonable decision. (In case you're reading Janet, yes, it was only 67 when you saw LittleBear, and yes, that was only a week ago, but the household has acquired another 5 dinosaurs since then...)
And then one day, LittleBear asked for a toy snake. Rather than forking out real money on even more plastic tat, I thought I could probably make a fabric tube with a mouth, so I had a go. This time with "real" material, that required real seams. Curses. At least I have a sewing machine for making a 1 metre long snake...
|Apparently this is not just a snake, this is a Titanoboa|
And then finally, this weekend, the crowning glory in LittleBear's collection, that allows his twin passions of dinosaurs and vicious marine predators to coincide. Liopleurodon.
Now that I have assembled this catalogue, I realise that there are no big sauropods in it. And I have my heart set on making an ichthyosaur too, so it's clear that my work here is not yet done...