Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas 2016: Plush Trucks

First be prepared.  Today you are probably going to get hit with the rest of my Christmas gift posts.  I want to post them in time for people to be able to use them for inspiration (if they can) and also I'm finally done with Christmas gifts (well except for some handkerchiefs, but that won't take me long to make) and am so happy about it I just want them over and done with *laugh*.

So, this is next gift up is a gift for both my nephew and my son.

I found a pattern for .25 at the used store over the summer, a Simplicity pattern, and it was probably from the 80's.  You could make a stuffed car and camper, a stuffed train, a stuffed phone, a stuffed clock or a stuffed monkey (the monkey still throws me in that mix).  I thought, "Oh this will be great!" as the camper and car I could see could EASILY be converted to a big rig and I really wanted to make one for each of my young nephews, and of course my own little guy.  And converting it did work really well.

I burned out after two of these.  Not to mention ran out of batting.

Anyone who has used patterns for a while will usually tell you, "Oh, that whatever-it-is-you-are-making is going to turn out smaller than the pattern looks.  Trust me."  I can't even count the amount of times I went to make something that looked huge on the pattern and when it was all sewn together I looked at it and went, "Huh, it looked bigger on the package."  In this case the trucks actually came out really big compared to what I figured they'd come out like, which wasn't bad, just unexpected (thus they blew through more batting than I thought).

And then there was the pattern itself.  Pattern was fine, cutting instructions weren't but you could figure it out.  But the sewing instructions?  Downright terrible!  If I hadn't had experience making some stuffed animals in the past I would have been doomed trying to figure the instructions out.  They were not in depth at all, assumed the person involved knew what things like darts were and quite literally skipped steps (like telling said person that they needed to flip the cab pattern around so you'd get your window on the right side when you went to sew it together and things).  Thus why I'm NOT sharing the pattern here as I refuse to give it any type of publicity.  I was not impressed.
I did finally get the trucks together, taking my step mom's suggestion and assembly lining the process, which worked REALLY well.  As I'd make a mistake on one and rip it out and do it over again, it would still be fresh in my mind for when I did that step on the second truck.
The only place the trucks deviate in construction is that the original instructions called for buttons to be sewn onto the trucks for hub caps.  I wasn't keen on that idea as my son would just immediately chew the buttons off to swish them around in his mouth and my nephew is young and has younger kids yet in the house, so putting any choking hazard onto a toy was out for me.  So, one truck I made the hub caps by embroidering them on and the other one I used some white fleece I had and traced a button onto it and cut out the hub caps that way.  Both ways, I think, turned out pretty well overall.

By the way, if you have older kids in the house that might like to build things, there are, I found some really cool free paper model kits you can print off to build all kinds of things.  Might be a neat thing to search for and print off (just use photo paper or card stock to print on) for a cheap last minute Christmas gift for the boy in your life :).

Total Time to Make Gift:  Six very long hours, which includes cutting time.  The embroidered wheels also took an extra hour to get done on the one truck.

Total Cost to Make Gift:  Nothing.  I had the material in my stores and I had the thread.  The batting ended up being the inside of a big pillow that a friend gave us that we never used as it was just too oversized and not really bulky enough to use as like a body pillow.


  1. Those are awesome! Wish I could do that!

  2. Those are really cute, Erika. I can see giving something like this to a boy instead of a stuffed animal, especially if they love trucks! Great gift idea!

  3. I am very impressed! Thanks for showing us!

  4. Your trucks are so nice! You amaze me with you how you truly make do with very good results.
    I know just what you mean about frustrating patterns. I'm 59 and I've been sewing since about 12. I remember making a dinosaur costume for my youngest son that used a pattern labeled something like "quick and easy". Well, it was neither quick or easy and it left me so frustrated. I did get it finished and he loved it- and then I threw that pattern away 😱

    1. Yeah, this pattern I'm going to keep and wade into frustrating waters one more time to attempt to make the plush train pattern, but I'm definitely going to be making correction notes along the way *laugh*.