The little elephants are know as felties in the crafting world. Obviously, they're made out of felt. I was first exposed to felties and DIY mobile here and here. And then I went here for further investigation and inspiration (that's one of the risks of putting things for sale on Etsy. Someone will look at your craft and think, "I can do that!." But for every one of those, there is someone who (1) doesn't have the time, (2) doesn't have the patience, or (3) doesn't have a crafty bone in their body).
The biggest thing I learned during the project? Sewing machines are HARD. And they take a lot of PRACTICE to master. And I definitely need a lot MORE practice. The hardest part was the speed at which it sewed. If there was a dial to slow the machine down (and there may be such a dial, but this machine is old. Like, really old. And the manual is ancient, but I surely did not take the time to read it. I'm a man like that), then I'd be a happy camper. In general, sewing machines aren't that complicated. Although, my bobbin is almost out, and doing another makes me super nervous.
I used the sewing machine for the ears. To prevent the fabric from fraying (and to avoid using the sewing machine anymore than absolutely necessary), we used a product called Wonder Under, or more affectionaltely known as My New Best Friend. We'll be seeing more of W.U. on another upcoming nursery project.
That's right people, you read that correfctly. I said "we." As in my husband helped me, WILLINGLY. He's been so awesome throughout this entire pregnancy. I really am a lucky lady. He drew the templates for the elephants (I can't draw to save my life) and the ears and he helped with the W.U. He also built the wooden structure and helped hang the mobile. Best helper EVER.
I hand-stitched the two felt piece together using a blanket stitch. I learned using this awesome tutorial. Seriously, what did people do before the internet?! Probably went to the library and looked at a sewing book. Yikes. The hand-stitching was actually the easiest part. It was also my favorite part.
Stuffing the tusk was a pain in the you know what. The first feltie was a struggle; but I developed a sytem and after that it was a breeze. The eye is a small black bead (Josh actually found them in the fabric store).
Adding-up all of the time we spent, I'd say the mobile took about 12 hours to complete. We spent about 3 hours the first day drawing, tracing, cutting, ironing (W.U.), sewing, and pinning. After that, I spent an hour or two here and there over the following week hand-stitching. We spent $27 on the felt, fabric, W.U., thread, and beads (the mobile that matches our bedding is $40 + shipping). I was geninuely sad when it was completed. I really enjoyed the process. But I LOVE the finished product. Hopefully L Bean will love it too.
And just for fun, here's a picture of Mr. H getting some Fiona cone love this past weekend. She is SO CUTE in her cone.