Funky Friends Factory Blog

No one gets me?!?!

Posted under A day in my lifeBlog on 2018-06-07 02:50:14

Last week I opened up a bit and shared my personal experiences with you, of dealing with stress, and how my joy of sewing soft toys got me through some stressful times. After that blog post, I was so touched by YOUR comments telling me how my toy patterns helped you through your own difficult events like career changes and life-altering medical diagnoses. It warms my heart to hear that sewing Funky Friends toys helps you create a ‘happy place’ and gives you a sense of accomplishment! Thank you so much for sharing your stories with me and telling me how you feel! 😀

I want to keep this ‘behind-the-scenes’ conversation going by telling you how the Funky Friends Factory community has played a huge role in my own happiness, how it’s made my ‘happy place’ even better and bigger! 

Looking back, I can hardly believe the changes I’ve experienced since I designed my first toy pattern… and how things, thankfully, have unfolded in an incredible way – which I never expected! 

For instance…. NOW I have so many lovely friends all around the world who love sewing softies, that it’s hard to believe (even for me!) that…

 …for a very LONG time, I didn’t have
ANY friends that sewed!

I had friends, yes, but none of them could understand my love of fabric and sewing soft toys!

Crazy, I know! 😀

Pauline McArthur outside Voodoo Rabbit Fabric Shop

After I moved to Australia some years ago – (*ahem* let’s just say it was before Social Media was a thing!) – I realised I was actually quite lonely in a new place, having left all my life-long friends behind in another country!

I made friends through work but I didn’t have anyone I could talk to about my passion for sewing softies.

Of course, there was always my hubby and my family. They were all really supportive of my softie-sewing…

I even had my dear Dad folding patterns!!!!

Folding toy patterns


BUT what I was missing was having real SEWING friends…

Friends that truly GET that thrill of making your own soft-toy, you know?

Friends that understand the glee of finding perfect fabric, the importance of nose and eye-placement (so crucial!), the story evolving behind each toy, all that good stuff!

I was grateful to have loved ones who supported my passion, but totally GET IT? That just wasn’t happening…

Fast forward  a bit – the Internet took over and Social Media became a solid way of connecting with people. AND… What a relief!!!! Finally I was able to EASILY connect with like minded sewers ALL OVER THE WORLD, and create meaningful connections and special friendships because of it. Funky Friends Factory grew faster and bigger than I ever imagined and a whole community of toy-making enthusiasts gathered around it!

I don’t just “Like” you ~ I LOVE YOU PEOPLE! 😀

Funky Friends Factory on Facebook


Over the many years of building Funky Friends Factory I’ve made lots of fabulous sewing friends, and now I have friends I can talk to about sewing, friends who love to see all the things I have sewn, and even some local sewing friends who I can go fabric shopping with! 💃🏻🎊


Having these special friendships with like-minded softie sewers from all around the world  was an incredible support for me during that lonely time.

This wonderful online sewing community was such an important part of MY sewing journey and it planted the seed that has grown into a really wonderful online toy sewing community  – the Sew Many Funky Factory Club!

Sewing friends around the world

I want this Club to provide the same experience that I had for everyone and anyone who has been searching for that kind of connection, so they can also experience the fun of being a part of a friendly, welcoming, accepting (non-judgemental) sewing community… where everyone is on the same wave-length and just ‘gets’ that we’re going to be going gaga over sewing softies NON-stop! LOL 🙂



From the feedback I have had so far, it seems that people are finding this is a wonderful group to hangout in and chat to like-minded people and bond over our shared passion for sewing plush toys! I can’t WAIT to share this community with you! 😀

The Club will be opening again soon, for a short period of time in June, for the next intake of new Club Members. I will be having LOTS of fun sew-along activities to celebrate so you can come and check out the fun and be a part of our group of fun-loving softie-sewers!!!


Stay tuned by subscribing to the newsletter! You will receive all the announcements coming soon as well as ALL the fun sew-along activities!


Meanwhile, as we wait for the reopening, I want to hear from you! Have you had a similar experience?

Have you had a time when you didn’t have anyone around who you could share your passion or hobby with? Did it make you feel a bit isolated too?

Pauline McArthur
. .
Talk again soon
bye for now,



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  1. I don’t recall just how I originally came across Funky Friends years ago, but I am so glad that I did. I luckily come from a very “crafty” family, so people kinda understand my love for making things. They don’t “get” my serious passion for making softies, but they do get the crafting bug part. They don’t even shake their heads (anymore anyway) about the amount of material that I have available to make toys with. They may look at me kinda funny when I buy MORE materia, but they just nod and smile.

    I am so happy that the Sew Many Club started. I know that here I’m gonna find people that GET the crafting passion AND the making softies passion all rolled up into one!

    Comment by Lori Rodenbush on June 7, 2018 at 6:30 am

  2. Hi Pauline I met you at a stitches and craft in Brisbane as you were walking round with honey bear on your shoulder. I started out with honey bear then bunnies then elephants big ted and monkeys. My dog Bella gets the ones that don’t turn out and she’s very grateful for the seemingly unending supply of friends. It gets you in. I sell the toys sometimes, which pays for fabric, babies get them gifted and friends who may need jollification. I seem to sew in batches then let it be for a while. I always have a few friends stocked away for gifting emergencies.

    Comment by Jenny on June 7, 2018 at 10:30 am

  3. Hey Jenny! It’s lovely to hear you are enjoying sewing the toys and are making lots of lovely gifts for your firneds and family! 😀

    Comment by Pauline on June 11, 2018 at 11:47 am

  4. Hi Pauline!

    I’ve enjoyed your patterns very much over the years and your emails/blog has been interesting too. Then this particular blog question came about. I realized that,YES, I’d have to agree with you. For many, many years I felt I had to “explain” nearly all of my projects to everyone I knew 🙁 Even when I was asked to help the elementary school Christmas pageant with 18 angel gowns being the only person who could sew. Then, High School, making Renaissance outfits (serfs, the King, Jester etc.) and repairs to others for a few years. Still not meeting anyone else who sewed or understood the craft. Oh well. I had been sewing for YEARS but really didn’t have anyone I could relate to with my projects, successes, machine dilemma’s and shopping for fabric obsession! I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve had to cut my shopping time very short because I happened to be with a person who didn’t sew and they would sigh loudly while I tried to shop in a fabric store. Besides that inconvenience,I LOVED making stuffed animals and the occasional gifts and wardrobe, but still not meeting anyone close enough to call a sewing buddy.
    I realized that I had found my own solution a few years ago and thought I’d share. So, here goes: after more than forty years of sewing, I thought I’d try something new and joined a quilt guild. THEN I joined another!! I found that there are many different types of quilds out there. They are not all the same and they all have different goals. At the quilds I chose, I have met all types of friends!

    Before I even thought of joining either of these groups, I went to each of them to “see” what they were like by testing the waters. I wanted to see if I would fit in because I was concerned that my skills wouldn’t be up to par. Everyone was so welcoming and so happy with all that they were doing. I saw some sewing busily, others chatting as they were cutting fabrics and even others trouble-shooting a machine that had issues 😉 Well, I fit right in! There are so many different members and even more differences in sewing levels from beginners to advanced. The majority of us are in the middle. All of us help each other out as we learn together and I have been happily sewing with them for three years now.

    At one of the guilds, *besides making charity quilts (we are asked to make two comfort-sized quilts a year), and in the spirit of learning new techniques, we’ll do a project every two months. Our Teacher will be a member that volunteered to do so. So we have also learned how to make charity purses(for personal hygiene products), holiday wreaths, place settings, T-shirt tops, microwavable bowl cozy, etc. And in October, I am scheduled to teach our group how to make a Memory Bear.
    In the other guild, we have a “Tea and Company” event which happens every other month. One member will volunteer to have it at their home. The Hostess prepares a small dessert and sets out tea and coffee. All who want to participate RSVP the Hostess and brings their own tea/coffee setting to the event. We then have a chance to mingle and talk to each other, catching up on events in our lives without our sewing machines buzzing the whole time. We’ll even bring in projects we have completed or are in the process of making for a small “Show & Tell” 😉 We all have a wonderful time 🙂

    What I would like to recommend to everyone here is to check out your local City Senior Citizen Services and see if they have Senior groups for crafts, games (Our City has a group that meets to play board games and card games. I have gone to play my favorites, Euchre & Pinochle), sponsored outings to museums or places of interest, or sports—pickleball anyone?? Even the churches have Senior groups that have various ideas/goals that may be of interest. You never who you might meet! Your new sewing buddy could be right around the corner!

    Comment by Margaret Graczyk on June 7, 2018 at 4:00 pm

  5. You are most definitely not alone. I have a lot of friends who craft, but I have always been the only one who makes bears, and now soft toys!

    My experience of the club has been very positive. I’m recently retired from my teaching job of 20 years. I taught computer science and multimedia to 16-18 year olds. Sewing is just about as far away as you can get from building, fixing and taking apart pcs, and that’s the way I liked it – doing something different from the “day job”.

    The problem with a job like mine was that you spend most of your time with other teachers, and even when you’re in a social situation, the conversation invariably turns to work!

    It’s so good to find like minded ladies (we need more male sewists I think) all over the world. I’ve already met people who could become lifelong friends.

    My biggest problem now is that I can’t stop making horses now!

    Comment by Glynis D on June 8, 2018 at 12:35 am

  6. Oh Glynis… your comments made me laugh – I can just picture you sewing a whole herd of horses!!!!! 😀 AND it’s nice that no one in the Club would thnk you’re strange for that! LOL It’s lovely for me to hear you enjoy hanging out in the Club and are making great friends with the other toy sewers! 😀

    Comment by Pauline on June 11, 2018 at 11:45 am