If you read my last post, you’ll know that my sewing took a back seat last year. But entering this year and the final arrival of a new Spring, I got the irrisistable urge to make something. Of all the projects that vied for my attention, this one kept bobbing up and nibbling away demanding to be made! It was seasonally appropriate, I guess haha!
Meet my take on Luna Lapin, that cutest of Heirloom Hares! In retrospect, I can see why I reached for this project; Luna embodies a wistful nostalgia; a vintage character that harks back to the sepia toned memories of childhood – I adored the likes of Hartley Hare and Bagpuss as a kid. I’d also been binge-watching The Repair Shop on TV and fancied making something that my daughter could potentially still cherish in 50 years time! So I made one for the both of us.
Luna Lapin is the brainchild of Sarah Peel and all the patterns, instructions and inspiration for Luna, “…a quiet and kind rabbit with impeccable taste”, can be found within her first book ‘Making Luna Lapin’. The book contains both the patterns to make Luna as well as a wardrobe of clothes (they’re nicely detailed – evidence to the authors’ background in pattern drafting and costumology). The book also contains the pattern for a rather fetching little armchair, which I really want to make; I’ve all the supplies needed bar one – the plastic lid off the tubs of chocolate we all binge on at Christmas. I rue how many of the blasted things I put out for recycling in January! The book is a little treasure; it’s beautifully photographed throughout and contains some sweet stories – it would make for a great present!
The beauty of this project, for me at that time, was the amount of hand-sewing involved to make the hares (apart from the ears which are done on the machine). It is recommended that Luna be made from wool felt; I bought ours and the stuffing from Cool Crafting (the shop owned by Sarah Peel). She sells lots of little fabric kits to make either Luna or the other soft woodland characters from the accompanying book ‘Sewing Luna Lapin’s Friends‘. I’ve also got some wool felt put to one side to make coats for both our Lunas; which features sleeve tabs and faux pockets. But, for now, they’re quite happy in their coordinating dresses!
For the inner ears, the pads of Lunas feet and the coordinating dresses, I used this “Floral Passion” bundle of 6 fat quarters in shades of mauve and taupe, which I thought nicely in keeping with the ditsy and retro vibe.
Once the head and body were made and attached (and trust me, you can get away with packing in quite a bit of stuffing!), it was time to add the arms. These are constucted in such a way as to remain articulated – so Luna can be dressed and re-dressed easily. You’ll need a long darning needle for this and I found it helpful to secure the arms to the body with an elastic band to keep them in place and aligned.
Once the eye buttons were on and the nose stitched (with embroidery floss), I sat down to the first bit of real sewing I’d done in a while … and it was bliss! I thought sewing such weeny little outfits might be a bit of an ordeal – certainly with my old machine there’d have been some … wrangling … but with my Pfaff all went so well! I particularly loved being able to do a teeny weeny mock overlock stitch to the seams – pin head for reference, just look how smol they are, haha!
Instead of adding ric-rac to the pockets and sleeve cuffs, I added some micro topstitching – can you tell by this point I was having waaaaay too much fun?! (I used a strip of Scotch tape to stop the stitches dragging the fabric down into the feed dogs).
And, at the risk of sounding a bit…wierd? … can I just say there is something oddly comforting about holding Luna…the way she fits into your hand!
My daughter, who usually needs prising away from her electronic devices with a crowbar, absolutely loves dressing her Luna. I think its fair to say she’s not a toy, as such – more a well-dressed companion.
Mine sits near my sewing machine (she really needs that armchair, haha); a happy reminder each time I sit down that using my hands to make something is the best tonic in the world – when your sewjo is at an all-time low, making something different to break that cycle can be just the tonic!
My son, realising I was happy to be sewing again, popped his head around the door and asked if I could sew him a waistcoat for his birthday…
…in the style of Dr Who in the 1970s, he added.
But of course I can, I said!
Until next time, happy sewing!
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