Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hug Monkey

A month and a half ago, my sister asked me to create a monkey toy for a baby shower she was attending (for her boss).  She wanted something infant safe, easy to clean, bright boy-appropriate colors and, of course, adorable.  I decided to add a bit of quirky in as well when I was sketching him up.

Presenting, the hug monkey...

Hug Monkey says "hi".
I know, totally fun and adorable.  It's the fabric, stripes make the monkey. 

Weird how the stripes underneath show up in photos but not when you're right there looking at it.  Hmm...
Because this is going to a new baby, I didn't want any possible choking hazards, so no buttons or attachments or any kind.  I also used a narrow zigzag (almost a satin stitch) around all the face parts which were also fused down.  Probably overkill, but I didn't want it to have any possibility of falling apart with (I hope) the constant handling of a baby and small child.  If this toy becomes the favorite, which would be totally awesome, then it'll get gooed and drooled on, taken everywhere, the occasional bath, pulled and squeezed, and somewhat dirty.  This monkey is prepared.

Talk to the tail.  LOL
Hug Monkey's tail is a lovely coordinating green that's been fused and stitched down.  I thought about making it a free hanging tail, but decided against it as this one will be starting life with a baby and I wasn't sure a long tail would make it through childhood (and the more paranoid side of me thought it could become a choking never know with little boys).  Arms and legs are made from some PUL fabric.  I figured those would be the most handled parts (and infants often stuff things in their mouth when teething) so the choice of PUL was for easier cleaning.  If a fabric can hold up for diapers, then it should work for a toy just fine!  And that beautiful stripey fabric?  I found a fabulous set of infant/toddler sheets (with plenty of fabric for future hug monkeys).

Quirky face and a little heart makes him super lovable!
The fabric face and heart are made from quilting cotton.  The mouth was hand embroidered.  Deliberately different sizes and set at different levels, the appendages help add to the overall whimsy of this goofy fellow.  Hug Monkey is stuffed heavily in the body for years of hugging and has a little bit in the appendages for a nice squishy feel and easy grabbing for little hands.

Overall, I think this hug monkey fits the bill.  At the baby shower, the mom-to-be had to keep taking Hug Monkey away from the toddler sibling, so he'll definitely do as this new baby comes and grows.

Hug Monkey loves you!
Update:  Mom-to-be went into the hospital with labor Wednesday.  Future hug-monkey-lover is on the way!  Congratulations to the entire family!
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