Sewing and textiles with Ann
Meet Roger rhino, an idea conceived at 6 a.m. one morning when Roger came visiting at Chitwan National Park in Nepal. A real rhino came visiting; although you may find it hard to tell the difference! Roger (male human) was in the room next door, and joined me on the balcony to take pictures – hence the name.
I spent some time after that searching through tourist ‘tat’ to find a one horned rhino. Rhino memorabilia is nearly as rare as the animals themselves. And every time I found anything, I consistently thought ‘ I can do better than that myself’.
I adjusted a pattern for Nellie the elephant which appeared in Love Sewing sometime in late 2017. I made a large Nellie out of a fat quarter, and my niece loves it.
So I just re-drew the head and adjusted the body and legs a little bit, using Roger’s photo as a guide. I’m really pleased with the result. I pondered how to stitch on the ears, but I think the solution of just using a zigzag to stitch them to the body was an easy and workable solution, although having pinned them back so that I could stitch the head sides together, even with a zip foot it was quite hard to sew past them. There is hand stitching between the ears…..
I expected trouble turning the horn, but the result is suitably proportioned. I have a device for pushing out corners, and with some assistance from fingers and pins, it finally produced the required shape, and is lightly stuffed as well.
The elephant instructions have you stuff the animal from behind its ears, but the rhino ears are attached differently, so that wasn’t an option. I just left an opening in the inner leg seam when attaching it to the body, and stuffed through the gap. I think I did the same with the elephant.
Note that the real rhino has a prominent back bone replicated by sewing the top of the rhino WST using a zig zag. In fact, when I make its brother and sister, I may widen the zigzag stitch at this stage.
Felt is more robust than cotton, so I think that the rhino stands better than the elephant, and allows for some pretty narrow seams (and straightforward hand sewing where necessary).
Thanks to John, one of my travelling companions, for traipsing round the shops with me in Kathmandu. I told you I could do better myself! You will be suitably rewarded when I get some more toy stuffing!