Category Archives: Inspirations

LIVE CALL 4. Add-ons for a memory bear, bunny, wings, weighting and waistcoat!

Posted under A day in my lifeBlogCompetitions & GiveawaysFFF NewsInspirationsUncategorized on 2019-09-28 14:35:49

We had such fun on the last LIVE call of our FREE Teddy LIVE SEW-ALONG today.

The fourth LIVE CALL was all about pattern hacks for Keepsake Bears ~>


I wanted to END BIG so… I planned LOTS of wonderful things for us to make with the basic Calico Bear Signature Bear Pattern – ALL beginning with ‘W




Wabbit (as in Bunny!)

and we had a Wonderful surprise…



Our first ”W-thing’ we sewed was some angel wings for our keepsake Bears. A lot of my customers that sew lovely keepsakes with my Calico Bear Pattern have told me that they have added WINGS to make an angel bear as a keepsake when a child or baby has passed away. It’s a way to bring a little bit of comfort at such sad time. 

*** I have put together a PDF file which I will send out to everyone who joined us on the SEW-ALONG with the FREE Wing Pattern.


free wing pattern



The next ”W-thing’ we talked about was WEIGHTING. We discussed how to make a weighted keepsake toy. Weighting can be added to the exact birth weight or just to give the toy some added weight or just to help your toy sit up better.

how to make a weighted keesake bear



The next “W” thing we discussed was a teddy bear WAIST COAT pattern! Lots of the Club Members have been asking me to design a waist coat for Calico so we did this LIVE!!!! Talk about putting me on the spot! LOL 🙂

teddy bear waist coat pattern


WABBIT/ Bunny!

Our last ”W-thing’! Our much anticipated Calico Bear Bunny Pattern Hack! A pattern hack isn’t a NEW pattern, it’s just an adaptation of the Calico Bear Pattern. We made some extra long bunny ears from dimple Cuddle fabric and added a pom-pom for a tail…

AND… there you have it – a bunny pattern!


Keepsake Bunny Pattern


The other EXCITING news is you can have the pattern for free as I will be sending out the FREE Keepsake Bunny Pattern pieces (as an ADD-ON) PDF pattern!!!


Calico Bear - Bunny Pattern Hack




AND the SURPRISE? Winners!


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Soft Toys sewn in batik fabric range ~ City Culture 2 by Bella Nonna for Island Batik!

Posted under A day in my lifeBlogInspirations on 2018-04-30 23:32:31

I love the funky ‘textures’ of the City Culture 2 batik fabric range designed by Bella Nonna for Island Batik!


Jayme Crow and her daughter Megan are the fabric designers behind Bella Nonna and they live in Washington USA.

Jayne and Megan CROWBella Nonna

This colourful fabric range would look amazing made up in most of my toy patterns…. BUT look how cute Ozzie Octopus, Larry Lion, Stu Sea Turtle , Alice Alpaca, and Ellie Elephant turned out!!!

Funky Friends sewn by CalicoJoan


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It’s time for our TOY CLUB again!!!

Posted under A day in my lifeBlogFFF NewsInspirationsOther crafty stuff I love! on 2018-04-29 11:59:35

I have been invited to join in with Toy Club 2018 which is a funky Toy Sewing Club being run by my fabulous friend Kylie from the Voodoo Rabbit Fabric Shop. I am so excited because I get to hangout with her and play with all the fabulous fabrics she has in her really cool fabric shop while we make up the TOY KITS for the Club!

Look how cute the toys look

in the fabrics

from Voodoo Rabbit Fabrics!!!

Toys for Toy Club 2018

So what is Toy Club?

It’s a Subscription Sewing Club for people who LOVE to sew Funky Friends Factory Soft Toys in SUPER-COOL fabrics! Over six months you will get 6 Toy Kits made up with Funky Friends Factory toy  patterns combined with awesome fabrics and necessary notions from Voodoo Rabbit Fabric – it’s a match made in toy-making heaven!

How does Toy Club work?

This year we’ve decided to spice things up EVEN MORE because a lot of you have a LOT of my patterns already (Thank you!) and we want you to have the option to get some totally NEW Toy Kits!

First up, you get to choose 3 of these 8 existing KITS that we have already prepared…


 ALL toy KIT choices

Why ONLY 3 you ask?

Well, this is the exciting bit – you will also receive 3 ‘surprise’ KITS!!! These kits will have brand NEW (never before released) Funky Friends Factory Patterns…. that’s right…. 3 totally NEW, NEVER BEFORE RELEASED toy patterns – pretty cool huh?!

You get 6 Toy Kits over 6 months

Once a month, for 6 months you will get a Toy Kit. These Kits will be the 3 you selected plus 3 brand NEW ones. ALL 6 Toy Kits will come with the Pattern and all the fabrics and notions you will need to complete the toy which will be posted out from the ultra-cool Voodoo Rabbit Fabric Shop.


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Maybe you’re curious why I’m going BIG this year?

Posted under A day in my lifeBlogFFF NewsInspirationsOther crafty stuff I love! on 2018-01-28 22:27:06

I want to get a little bit serious (just for a change!) because I want to let you in on the reason behind this big thing I’m working on.

You might not believe it
but it’s taken a long time for me
to become comfortable telling people that I design soft toys for a living!

I trained as an optometrist and in comparison, sewing toys seemed a rather silly (even childish?) thing to do for a job! Often I think that there are so many awful things happening around the world, how can designing fluffy toys be a worthwhile thing to spend your whole life doing?

announcing toys eyes in da house

BUT over the years, having people tell me how much my toy patterns have meant to them… has meant so much to me!

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Have you joined the Free MONSTER SEW ALONG?

Posted under A day in my lifeBlogFFF NewsInspirationsOther crafty stuff I love!Toy-making TIPS & TUTORIALS on 2018-01-24 11:37:23

I was only going to tell my newsletter subscribers about this HUGE, BIG, exciting project that I am working on because I was a little nervous about how it was going to be received. My newsletter subscribers are my biggest fans – they’re always keen to hear from me, they love it when I release a new pattern and I think they generally (genuinely?) love what I do. So  THEY would be the most forgiving audience, which is very important when you’re trying

for the first time!!!


It seems… they are LOVING the LIVE CALLS… and I am having such fun!




So I want to let you know – there’s still time for yout come join us! As a grand kick-off celebration for the Sew Many Funky Friends Club… I’ll tell you more about that later, I’m hosting a

FREE online

The sew-along centred around my easy monster sewing pattern – The Mix & Match Monsters pattern. It’s a quick, SIMPLE toy sewing pattern so you can ALL come and sew with me! AND guess what – if you come and join in for the MONSTER SEW-ALONG you will get the pattern for free!


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