Hand sewing some rabbits

Hand sewing some rabbits

Recently, the Chinese celebrated the arrival of the Year of the Rabbit. How very fortunate of me, then, to have a couple of rabbits to hand stitch!

I had initially bough this Briar Bunnies kit for my mum, to keep her entertained during her Christmas stay with us… in 2021. My mother started making them, but lost steam somewhere along us all catching Covid and being flabbergasted by how messy our place was (if only she knew we had tidied up before she arrived!) After she left, the poor duo was stashed somewhere in my studio and completely forgotten, until recently.

Unfinished hand sewn Briar Bunnies, a kit by Cool Crafting

This is how my mother left her bunnies. The blue pen markings were done by me with a heat-erasable Frixion pen. The ink would guide the stitches and would disappear once I ironed the fabric after sewing.

You’ll notice there are two pairs of ears and arms. I had suggested mum make two bunnies at a time to avoid what in the knitting world is called “second sock syndrome” – when you’ve knitted one sock and don’t feel at all motivated to start all over again and repeating the same steps to make another… Once I took over the project, I followed my own advise.

The pattern expects you to machine sew the bunnies, but in my mind that would completely defeat my notion of enjoying the making process to the full. Machine sewing these bunnies would mean I’d be done in a couple of hours, not nearly enough time to be mindful of even having held them! Hand stitching was much better for that.

Two hand stitched bunnies, with striped leggings

My hand stitching skills are mediocre at best, but slowly I saw the rabbits shaping up. One of them has wonky ears and her leggings don’t quite match in the front, and I love that about her. It adds personality!

Two finished hand sewn linen rabbits with coordinating red and floral garments

Here they are all finished. Those dresses took me ages to make! I can’t tell you how long exactly, but a good amount of an audiobook kept me company whilst I slowly stabbed the fabric and, once or twice, my fingers. The bunny on the left was supposed to have a bow made with the same burgundy fabric as her dress, but after almost losing my mind turning the other bow inside out, I decided to go for a red ribbon instead. It’s not cutting corners, it’s being creative…

Have you hand sewn anything lately? Do you love or hate the notion of slow stitching? Let me know your thoughts.


23 thoughts on “Hand sewing some rabbits

  1. Love the little bunnies Leonor. So cute. I’m sewing a bit at present but on the machine as I have tons of fabrics and need some new clothes. That said, I did some mindful sewing as part of my blog post for later in the month. Thoroughly enjoyed the experience, so rewarding and absorbing.

    1. Thanks, Hélène! After finishing writing this blog post (yesterday!) I went back to my sewing machine to make myself a new pair of trousers. Being reminded of hand sewing made me want to machine sew – who knew mindfulness could work this way? 🙂
      Looking forward to reading your blog post!

    2. Super Leonor Enjoy your new project.
      My machine is my favourite piece of equipment.
      Helene x

  2. The bunnies are lovely Leonor! We agree that wonkiness does add the sweetest character 🙂

    Maybe when you’re used to machine stitching you’re over critical about your hand-stitching? Anyway hand-stitching is creative and relaxing (most of the time).

    1. Thanks, ladies! Wonky bunnies for the win 😀

      I wish it was being overly critical, but I really am a bit rubbish at hand sewing. Having said this, I did notice that I got better as I progressed, so it’s definitely the good old adage of “practice makes better” (not perfect, we don’t want perfect!) 🙂

      Thanks for reading!

  3. Those bunnies are so cute, Leonor! The small differences are what says “Handmade and hansewn!” so I think that they are perfect.
    I personally hate sewing, and I only do it if I can’t get away with some other creative shortcut, and sometimes longcut! I’d rather embroider my seams than sew them, honestly! That is why I respect handsewers no end: it’s a magic feat of ingenuity and craft! From fabric to rabbits, voilà!

    1. Thanks! I love how whimsical they are. I’m not sure I’ll let my mother keep them now 😉

      Haha, I’m glad you think sewing is a feat of ingenuity, I feel the same about embroidery! I’m so bad at the latter that if I were to compare my hand sewing and my hand embroidery, well… my hand sewing would look perfect 😀

  4. Wonderful bunnies and the wonkiness add such character. If your mom doesn’t want them, you can bring them when you drop by Montana 😉

    I don’t usually hand stitch things together but I do a lot of slow stitch embroidery. It’s hard to get started sometimes, but once I get going, it is very relaxing.

    1. Thanks, Ruth! I’ll bring them along when I come knocking on your door 😉

      Isn’t it interesting how hard it can be to start a mindful project? But then once we get started, we’re glad we did…

  5. I love both your rabbits Leonor. Hand stitched friends are definitely better that machine stitched.
    It was great to stagger (literally!) home after a day’s painting Panto scenery to find a new post to read, especially about quirky rabbits.

    1. Thanks for reading about my quirky bunnies, Ann! And, now I want to know all about that Panto scenery you’re painting 😀

  6. Love these bunnies. Such characters. And yes hand sewing can be so deeply satisfying. I recently purchased the book “ Making Luna Lapin “. A felt bunny. Still needing to purchase the felt and then will use whatever else I have on hand to make some of the clothes. She recommends putting some light to medium fusible interface in the ears to give them a bit of “Umpf “. My word. You know standup, substance. I quite like your wonky ones. I might experiment with some pipe cleaner to give malleability.

    1. I’ve made a few Luna Lapins! Two full sized (one was Luna, the other her brother) and one half size from the remnants. It was a lot of fun! Cool Crafting sells the fabrics for their makes if you don’t feel like shopping around…
      Yes, the fusible interfacing really helps, because those bunnies are a lot larger than these Briar ones. Pipe cleaners could be interesting, you’d need to tweak the pattern to make the ears fit but the extra movement might be worth it 😀

      Thanks for reading!

  7. They are utterly gorgeous, and the hand sewing was worth it for the cuteness factor. I would rather handsew than engage with scary sewing machine.

    1. Thanks! I really do love the way they turned out.
      “Scary sewing machine” – oh no, have they disappointed you in the past? It took me a couple of tries (and finding the right machine) to finally fall in love, but once I did, I’ve rarely bought any ready-made clothes since 🙂

  8. I love the bunnies. I am glad they are a little wonky it says they were made with love by a real person. I have been flitting here and there lately. I did the practice stitched tree branch but haven’t done the other one. I did help my grand daughter make some felt small stuffies from a kit. its a beginner one with pre-punched holes in the fabric.

    1. Thanks, Ann. Wonky isn’t the best when it comes to clothes, but bunnies do have an extra character when they come out more “home made” 🙂
      I love those kits, they’re great to get someone started into the world of felt! I hope your granddaughter has been converted 😀

  9. Love those characterful little bunnies, Leonor and their clothes are gorgeous. I really like hand stitching but do so little of it you’ve made me think I should get started on something. It’s the kind of thing I’d enjoy picking up in the evening.

    1. Thanks, Lindsay! I’m sure your hand stitching would look much better than mine, and you’re absolutely right, it’s the perfect project for evenings in front of the telly 🙂 Don’t forget to share with us if you do get started on something!

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