Monday, March 29, 2010

Meet the Maker Monday: Jefita

Jefita (alert: the J sounds like an H) crafts a full menagerie of sweet, felt animals.
Visit her shop and amazing hand-stitching at

Where did you learn to make plush?

Making plushies started out as a fun afternoon project that turned into a full time obsession. I've always been a crafty person. I pick up tidbits from books, friends, family and the Internet, but I also make up a lot of techniques.  Sometimes I end up a bit over my head, but it's totally worth it.

Tell us about your process of making plush. What materials do you love?

Usually a character or creature gets stuck in my head and I have to make it.  I make lots of sketches and agonize over how to put it together.  Making a new item sometimes takes several iterations until the pattern is just right.  Felt allows me to work on a small scale and I like being able to see all the stitches.  I also love working with fleece because it's just so cuddly.

Describe your workspace.

I have a big L-shaped desk with my computer on one side (having kickin' tunes or Hulu nearby is important) and all my felt and sewing materials on the other.  Lots of little proto-creatures keep me company. I like seeing all the different colors and materials at once so I know what I have to work with.

I have a problem with collecting tools. I have a more pairs of scissors than is probably healthy for one person to own! 

Half of my bedroom has been converted to nefarious sewing purposes too for things that require a sewing machine.  It's looking more and more like a muppet crime scene these days. 

What inspires you?

I love cartoons and children's books so I like an element of the whimsical in my work.  My friends and family give me all sorts of great ideas, too. 
I was thrilled to join the Plush Team because so many of my heroes are already in it!  It’s inspiring and encouraging to see what you can accomplish with a needle and thread and some dedication.

How do you fit plush-making into the rest of your life?  

I used to have a part-time job, but now I make plush full time.  I'm lucky that my husband can provide most of our income and that he’s supportive of my self-employment. I love the freedom to arrange my schedule. The hard part is knowing when to stop working.  Sometimes I work through my weekend before I realize it's gone.

Describe your dreams for new designs or projects.

I always have too many ideas and not enough hours in the day. I'm trying to develop some people-plush and I’d also like making more one-of-a-kind pieces.  I've been considering a pattern book for some of my little animals.

What advice can you give makers who dabble in plushiness?

Practice!  Don't be discouraged if you're creations seem wonky at first.  Some of my first plushies looked like mutant rejects, and not the cute kind.  Even now it may take me two or three tries to get a pattern that looks how I want it to.  Keep at it all the little things, like your stitches and how you stuff things. If you’re short on funds, felt is a great material!  It is inexpensive and great to work with.  Don't forget to hit up the remnant bin at your local fabric store.  You can find all sorts of neat tidbits that are half price. 

Where else we can find you and your awesome plush?

 and twitter:


jollysofttoys said...

OMG Jefita's crafts are sooo cute and amazing. I guess they are like me in the sense they love cute and cuddly soft that look like they where whipped right out of a childrens book.

A+ for design Jefita

Felicia said...

I think my favorite thing you ever made was the Tardis. So awesome!

And, um, I'm pretty sure I go give you a run for your money in the owner of the most scissors category. I own dozens of pairs. Really. I tend to use them in all my various projects boxes and then leave them there or lose them. Yet, ironically, every time I need a pair I can't find any! LOL As a joke, for Christmas last year Santa brought me several new pairs. Looking around the house the other day I could only find one :)

dingogirl66 said...

That little bat is to die for!!!

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