A Whale of A Story

I don't sew. I would love to sew using a machine. I can't. And it frustrates me to no end. I am, by nature, a fairly creative person. I live a creative life, work in a creative field, and yet sewing machines mock me. I'm decent at hand stitching. And that's all.

I can vaguely remember constructing what was supposed to be a pillow in High School Home-Ec class.  I'm pretty sure it's hard to mess up when sewing a pillow. It's two rectangular pieces stuffed with batting. I'm sure I didn't cut my corners right before flipping it right sides out, though. I never can remember to cut the corners right.

My bestie had her first baby 2 years ago. He is a munchkin and a half, and I'm beyond proud to be his Aunt Jenn. After his first birthday last year I determined I would make him something with my hands for his second birthday. His mom adorably has his bathroom decorated with whales, so I started on an extensive whale cross-stitch project. There were a few problems that arose with that endeavor:

A. I created my own whale pattern (successfully) but drew it rather large on my cross-stitch fabric.
B. Whales are pretty plain. Solid colored body, and an eye.
C. I have no patience.

We shall never know the fate of Mister Whale, because a month before the second birthday party, this is what he looked like.

Sorry Mister Whale.

So, I got the hair-brained brilliant idea to sew the munchkin a whale plushie. I'm a glutton for punishment. I also love that kid, so I wanted to do something special for him.

I had successfully pulled off a completely hand-sewn animal earlier this year, and was really pleased with the result. I figured if I could make a rat plushie, I could totally do a whale. Remember, whale's are pretty plain!

I found a pattern I liked that seemed pretty easy, and headed out a month before the party for my supplies. I found some darling blue striped fabric that was extremely soft, and snatched it up. Add to that some dark navy embroidery thread for contrast, and this whale was in the works. I got everything home, got the pattern cut out and everything was pinned, ready to be hand stitched. However, I didn't even give a second thought to the too-soft fabric. When I hand sewed the precious plushie, I was using thick felt. It held the thick embroidery thread just fine. This soft stuff wasn't having it.

After frantically calling a friend for the use of her sewing machine (which she wasn't entirely sure how to use either) we managed to make this test run...

We're awesome like that! After some trial and error, and LOTS of help from my dear mother, Wilson the Whale finally came to life the day before the big party.

He's a little more squarish than I would've liked, but I think he's pretty darn cute considering I can't sew.

I've been told the birthday boy adores Wilson, and that's all that matters.

-Jenn (With 2 N's)


  1. You are a plush making queen! This turned out really cute!

  2. Why have I not commented on this??? Andrew LOVES Wilson the Whale!!! Seriously. I can't thank you enough for this!!! And I love how you put the tag on there! Best. Gift. Ever!!! :)
    And to those that don't know us, he really calls her Aunt Jenn. Pretty much everything he says to her starts with "Aunt Jenn..." He talks a LOT, so he says Aunt Jenn over and over and over and... ;)