Friday, February 19, 2010

Plush Team Book Shelf: "The Cute Book"


I purchased The Cute Book by Aranzi Aronzo a couple years ago after stumbling across the title at my local book store. I specialize in amigurumi crochet, but I'm always interested to see how different artists do kawaii in other media. Besides, the supplies listed on page 4 of the book indicated that I would only need some felt, embroidery floss, needles, and glue -- items that were already plentiful in my craft room -- so I decided to give it a try.

As a former instruction writer, I was really happy with the clear and cleverly illustrated instructions. Each step includes a picture that illustrating the technique used (for example, back stitching) and the pages are filled with cute photos of the finished pieces that are sure to inspire.

Projects range from the cute cats (shown), birds, and frogs to more strange and sinister aliens, "bad guys," and kidnappers. the book also includes instructions for making felt accessories using the patterns, including key chains, hair bows, and appliqued tote bags.

The only issue I found with the book is the size of the finished items. I didn't think to photograph for scale, but the little black cat shown in the first two pictures is about as tall as my ring finger. While the tiny size definitely adds to the kawaii factor, it can make sewing the dolls super challenging.

For example, I started working on the frog design shortly after finishing my cat. I think I'm relatively dexterous when it comes to handling tiny things and while I'm not the greatest at sewing, I do have patience enough to try again until I get it right. But, my poor sad frog was never finished...

The biggest issue was getting my stitches to look tidy. Because the patterns are so small, the designs are nearly impossible to sew together with the wrong sides facing. As a result, all of your stitches end up on the outside of the finished object. Try as I might, my hands just aren't skilled enough to get the same looks that are shown on the finished objects in the book.

That said, the book is still a fantastic addition to my library -- both for the ideas and the techniques explained in the instructions. I will probably attempt more of the cute book critters in the future, but next time around you had better believe I'll be enlarging the patterns!


dingogirl66 said...

I love the Aranzi Aronzo books..I have all of them...They are so cute and fun..

abbydid said...

I have this book, too, and I LOVE it! These little designs are so much fun, and very easy to make. The little descriptions always crack me up.

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