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Friday, 24 June 2011


Before going to France for the Easter holiday I decided on a very quick project. I was going to visit a friend who's a real fan of the "Barbapapas". For those who would not know them, they are characters of an old French cartoon (originally books published in the 70's), check out part of the first episod (in French) .
Barbapapa married Barbamama and together they have seven children: Barbibulle (blue), Barbotine (orange), Barbouille (black and furry), Barbalala (green), Barbidou (yellow), Barbabelle (purple) and Barbidur (red).

Anyway, this friend of mine has a lovely baby girl and I tried to make her a toy Barbamama. It had to meet one specific requirements: be washable!

 I chose to use fleece instead of felt. It is equally soft, if not softer and it is easily washable.
I drew the Barbamama shape and then cut it twice in the fabric.
 I first tried to make the eyes with the sewing machine but did not manage so I went for hand embroidery instead. It still wasn't great because I am not used to embroid on fleece. I need to work on that in order to improve it.
 Then came the arms, just two small rectangles sawn together inside out then turned and finally stuffed.
 Assembling everything was not very easy. I had to think of putting the arms inside (and be careful when sewing!!) and I also wanted to fix the red band on the head. In theory I should have made flowers instead of a band, but the size being so small I didn't feel like making it so complex.
One thing to remember: keep an opening !!
 And here it is, ready to be stuffed. I used washable wadding (which is also what I used for the felt food). Once it is nicely stuffed according to one's taste, there is only left to close the small opening.
 Here is a close-up of the head, I just had to make yellow-ish dots to imitate a bit the flowers. This was meant for a small baby so I refused to use pretty beads and did some more embroidery instead: French knots it is called apparently. That did the trick.
 Final result: not too bad. I need to think of the pattern again though because Barbamama looks a bit flat when I wanted her to be quite round.
Washed by hand she takes ages to dry... next time I'll try the washing-machine.

My friend looked quite happy and so did her daughter despite trying several times (and eventually succeeding) to throw it on the floor.


  1. How lovely! And wow... you thought of making of fotos... although you haven't a blog yet! I always forget to make some! Great. I like it a lot. And the details on the face are super cute.

  2. I have always had a tendency to take pictures but usually of final products. This time I thought of photographing the different steps because the idea of a blog was already on my mind.
    I'm glad you like the details. For my part I am actually not that satisfied I do think there is room for improvement.
    Have a good weekend