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Friday 20 November 2009

Domestic Sluttery pester Jacki from Plush Off

You might not think you need a soft toy shaped like pancakes or a sleepy marshmallow, but visiting Plush Off brings on a major case of the wantsies. We chatted to founder and Chief plush-maker Jacki about why those plushes are just so darn cute.

When and why did you start making plushes?

I started making plushes out of necessity really. It was 2006 and mass recalls were happening to a lot of toys that contained lead. Quite a few of my newborn's toys were recalled as well as those belonging to my friend's children. I went on a 'made in China' boycott and tried to think of what I could do to still spoil my child. My extreme beginner sewing skills came to mind, and what better way to get better at something than to practice!

So I went and bought a sewing machine, loads of felt and end rolls of fabric and away I went! I started with the sunny side up egg, and my son loved it. I love anything and everything anthropomorphic so faces went on everything I made! I keep doing it because it enables me to stay home with my son who has Autism; between sewing and teaching him I am kept on my toes each and everyday, but I wouldn't trade it in for anything else in the world!

You have plush versions of everything from french toast to safety cones! Where do you get your inspiration?

Mostly from everyday life. Foods that my son and family love and everyday objects that catch my eye. The pylons came from my sons love for cars and race tracks, I made them and set them up all over the house and he went crazy with excitement - so I knew they would be an instant hit.

What seems to be the most popular plushes?

My top three are pancakes, carrots and Bed Bugs.

Do you have any other craft-y hobbies?

I love to cross-stitch in my down time; though I am more fond of obscure and cutesy designs that you can't just go buy a pattern for in stores. I tend to find pictures online that I like and make a graph of them in photoshop and go from there.

If I could pick a new craft to learn I would have to go with crochet! I want to learn how to crochet so badly; mostly so I can make amigurumi.

Finally, what are your favourite plushes?

My all time fave was an OOAK (One Of A Kind) that I made of a plush version of Genital Warts (pictured left). He turned out so unbelievably cute I couldn't of been happier! My favourite of the regular day to day plushes is definitely carrots; they all seem to have their own personality with their faces and the way their stems are shaped and how they stand and fall.

Check out more of Jacki's adorable plushes in her Etsy store.

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