March 28, 2011

Review: Big Little Felt Universe by Jeanette Lim

Big Little Felt Universe
This book is so cute it makes my teeth hurt..! If you like felt stuffies/softies/whateveryacall'em I think you will love this book a lot. Especially if you like your whateveryacall'em to be as realistic as they can be when they are made from felt.

A few facts:
Big Little Felt Universe by Jeanette Lim is published by Lark Crafts (they supplied us with a review copy, thank you!) 
There are 70+ projects in the book, most of them with 'life-size' patterns as it says on the cover. There are some 370 pages.

The ISBN is: 978-1-60059-675-9
Big Little Felt Universe
There are lots of fun projects, and there's something for pretty much any taste: a cake with several kinds of fruits (picture above), vegetables (further down), a laptop, tool belt, handbag and much more!

I don't think there is a single kid in this world who wouldn't love a few of these whateveryacall'em to play with. And probably quite a few adults too.

I thought I'd have a go at making one of the projects in the book - I think that makes it easier to do a review of it. Right?

Cake slice - made using pattern in 'Big Little Felt Universe'
The cake is fab, I love all the different fruits! So I had to make that. Well, a slice anyway! But I decided to do it a bit differently and change the colours. Mine is more of a toffee/chocolate cake. Nice. Looks almost good enough to eat.

I really like that most of the pattern pieces are supplied in their actual size. Especially for something like this, because it is pretty fiddly. The.. engineering of the pieces/patterns is really great. Because how do you take something flat like felt and make into 3D almost real looking pieces?

Big Little Felt Universe
Now. As much as I really, really like this book, there are a couple of things which puzzled me a little bit..

On the pattern pages, each template has a thin white outline outside the black outline. I was really confused by this, because where are you supposed to cut the template?

Some of the templates are large, almost the same size as the page, to make it life size, which is a good idea. But unfortunately, if the templates are as large as the one on the left hand there, it bends around the page, making it difficult to trace.

So here's a tip: if you get this book and decide to make the large projects, I would suggest tracing half the template and then drawing it on the fold when you cut it - most of the large templates are symmetrical.

Big Little Felt Universe
I didn't always find the step by step photos helpful. They're a bit let down by a dark shadow right where the most important part of the photo is, making it difficult to figure out what to do at times.

I was also confused at times because the thread colour disappears into the background. I wish a contrasting thread had been used in the step by step photos to make it easier to see what is going on. In the example above, for the raspberry, it's not really clear how you're supposed to 'stitch around the edge', and it's difficult to tell from the photo. I think I would have understood it so much better if it had said 'like if you were to make a yo-yo.. Or maybe it's just me!

Big Little Felt Universe
I really enjoyed making my slice of cake, but if you're looking for instant craft gratification, I don't think you will find it in this book. Ideally you should cut everything one by one. And everything is hand stitched, which takes time, even for someone who is a fairly quick stitcher. It probably took me some 7 hours to make that slice with all the fruits.

If you love hand stitching and felt whateveryacall'em, I think you will really enjoy this book. It's quite addictive, making these realistic objects. I'm already pondering which 'cake flavours' to try next! Although I am also tempted to make some of the vegetables. I think it would be especially fun to make some oversized red radishes or egg plants.

A few more pages from the book:
Big Little Felt Universe


Big Little Felt Universe

Big Little Felt Universe

13 comments:

  1. Aaah! I love it!!!!!!! Adding this to my wishlist. I would love to sew all of those, especially the little camppfire and logs! So cute :)

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  2. Those are so cool! I want that book now.

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  3. this book is too cute. the detail of the work is just beautiful. i teach preschool and these would be so much fun for the kids to play with. thank you for sharing it with us.

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  4. I made a bunch of felt food for my girls a few years ago from buggabugs patterns on etsy. They were sooooo much fun! And, yes, it is addictive. I even stitched a set for the neighbor's kid!

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  5. I ordered mine, and it should be here soon--just couldn't resist! This looks like so much fun! Thanks for showing some of the nice pictures! :-)

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  6. I've been drooling over this book ever since I saw it for the first time. :) I'm obsessed with things made out of felt!

    ~Kristin

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  7. Thanks for sharing - I think that book looks amazing. Also love your blog and am very inspired by your hand embroidery xx

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  8. I just love, love, love this! I've been doing felt for the holidays for awhile but would really like to branch out! I'm thinking as soon as the weather gets too hot to turn on the oven-I'm switching to felt sugar cookies instead!
    Thanks for a great review and tips!

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  9. hye, where can i find this book ?

    email me: denso_cute@yahoo.com

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  10. fazilzura - it depends on where you live. Try searching for the book online. You may be able to buy it through Amazon or BookDepository.

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  11. I bought the book after I read your review and I've been having a great time with it. I also got another one with all sorts of felt sweets, which proved to be also adorable. I decided to make a whole pâtisserie for my daughter, and it's still a work in progress. You can see some of it here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pavoreal/sets/72157626708572517/

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  12. Thanks for sharing this. I'm going to invest in the book if it's still available.

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