Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ellie Mae, A Little Toy Elephant

MAIDA dolls group is having a spring challenge.
This one's called "Attic Doll Finds".
When I gave some thought to what I might find
in my Grandmother's attic, I realized their weren't
many girls on my father's what would
I find in an old trunk or tucked away in a dusty corner ?
 I made Ellie Mae from a 1905 Ladies Home
 Journal Pattern, originally priced at 10 cents.  I reduced
the pattern about 40 percent, she's a whopping
4 1/2 inches tall.  She's the perfect size for a dolly's toy
or little pin keep.  The pattern called for shoe button eyes,
 but I made french knots in a more appropriate size.
She's hand stitched from an historic gray wool and
stuffed with wool roving.  The pattern called for canton
flannel which is very different from the flannel you buy
today.  Canton flannel would have most likely have
been made from wool.  Besides that's what I had in
my fabric stash- make do.  Her little blanket is cotton, edged
with some aged tiny bells.  The pattern called for a gold braid
 trim.  I didn't have any, so I left it plain.
My favorite thing about Ellie Mae............
the saggy fold in her little butt.
How cute is that?

Working with an old pattern presented a couple of
problems.  To begin with, the instructions are slightly vague.
Their is no mention of nap, and some of the markings are
different than on a modern pattern.  A beginner might
find the directions somewhat confusing.
I took photos along the way.
After I traced these 2 pieces onto the
fabric, I flipped the pattern pieces over
so that I would end up with the "right"
sides of my wool on the out side of Ellie Mae.
  Tail, footpads & ears.
 Cardboard for inside the feet.
Markings for darts.
Adding the foot pads.
The 2 bottom halves sewn together with the center section
 left unsewn to finish stuffing Ellie.
The tail is basted in place and the feet are done.
Turned to finish sewing. I added some gathers at the tip of
the trunk to give it an upward curl.
Because I was working with wool that was
thick, I actually enlarged the ears and only used 1
dart, for ease in turning right side out.  I also
wanted larger ears.  Next time I will not use
such heavy fabric on this small of an animal.
I put my shiny tiny bells in a cup and covered then with
straight bleach, a day later they were aged.  So 
aged, the teeny clappers completely disintegrated!  Oops,
I probably left them too long.
I actually aged this wool with walnut ink but it
doesn't show much in the photo.  I think I will do
some further aging.

 Perhaps somewhere, safely tucked away in a dusty trunk, long forgotten
by her little owner is an elephant just like Ellie Mae made from this
very pattern.  Wouldn't that be a wonderful attic find!
Happy Sewing!


  1. nice find this elephant's great.. Bravo

  2. Adorable littile elephant, I really like the size.

  3. So cute and so little. You did a wonderful job making the little elehant. elephants are among my favorites too.

  4. Love this...I have a later version of this, and have made some up out of calico. The saggy butt fold is a classic.

  5. What a little darling! You are onto something really special with your little animals.

  6. Thanks Ladies, The animals are a different path for me right now, and loads of fun. My head is full of some pattern ideas. Can't seem to get my heart back into my dolls right now.


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