Go Handmade Anders Craft Kit
Posted in Projects on Tuesday the 9th October 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
I love a craft kit. They contain everything, or almost everything you need to complete a project, and are a great gift idea for a crafter, or for your own project stash. Perfect for those times when you want to make something, anything, as you’ve already got all the bits you need!
Go Handmade is a Danish company that produce a range of sewing, knitting and crochet kits that make up cute animals and dolls. They also produce knitting and crochet kits too.
I was delighted to receive the Anders Craft Kit, from Sophia’s Duck Collection to review.
I liked the packaging; a large colour photograph of the completed duck, with finished height and contents clearly listed on the front. The design is simple and fresh, and looks smart, great if you’re looking for a gift idea; this is a kit that aims to be something special for the recipient.
The instructions are in eight different languages; English, German, Danish, French, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, and Swedish.
They are quite basic, and are to be used together with the graphics on the other side.
The instruction sheet has several colour photographs of the completed duck, and others in the range. The photographs give the ducks character, and quite cleverly show how effective they look as a group, as well as solo.
After the instructions, I checked all the pieces were present. Please note: a needle is not included, neither is glue.
One additional piece which I thought was a lovely touch is a little wooden charm that says “hand made”. It’s an optional necklace or tag for the duck which is a sweet tactile medal for your hard work.
The kit can be sewn by hand or by machine; I used a mixture of both.
The pieces are all pre-cut, and ready to go. The first step is to add the eyes. The enclosed fabric is felt, so there was no discernible right and wrong side, so I only needed to make sure I still had opposite pieces once the eyes were inserted.
It wasn’t clear from the illustration which way the plastic washer went, but the rounded side should face you.
It took a firm push with both hands to click into place, and already Anders is there.
Before you sew the beak to the body, decide which way up you want it.
Make sure both beaks are the same way up! The beak is sewn onto the body, and then the two pieces of body with beak are sewn together, leaving a gap for filling. I used wonder clips to hold the fabric together, rather than pins.
I left a gap at the bottom as per the instructions as that’s where the legs have to go.
Turn the body inside out.
Five simple words, one awkward task! The neck is quite narrow, and there are two eyes to contend with too. I was also wary of damaging the felt, and came up with a plan b for if I did. Patience and time, and I did it. Twenty minutes it took, and there was a point when I was very tempted by plan c; to cut the head off, turn it right side out, and reattach it, using a ribbon to hide the join. Patience, and the belief that it would eventually turn, kept me on plan a.
Finally, there was a duck body.
The next stage is to bend the wire into legs. It’s not immediately clear from the diagram that there should be two legs, but I think the photographs and common sense should guide here too.
The instructions say that the bottom 15cm of the wire becomes the feet. I interpreted that to mean feet and legs, and a quick bend, shape, and check, left me happy with my choice.
I used 15cm of either end of the wire for legs and feet; I bent the 15cm in half, and foot shaped the middle, and twisted the rest together, but left it as a ‘U’ shape with the top end squished together. I could have twisted it together above the legs, and this would have worked too.
According to the instructions, the legs and feet are formed by winding the thin strip of grey felt round the wire. It is not clear how to secure them; I assume glue, but I wasn’t sure how reliable this would be if the legs were bent and moved.
A quick measure of the fabric, and I decided to sew the felt to cover the legs and feet instead. There was enough to make two leg tubes and two feet pockets. I sewed the leg pieces together along one long side, and the feet pieces together along one long side too.
Turning this seam inwards, I placed the leg piece round a leg, and sewed it together with blanket stitch. Grey thread is not supplied, but I have school aged children, so have grey thread in my sewing tin.
Once I’d sewn a leg, I took the opened out foot piece, and folded it in half across the seam, which is inside the foot. I positioned the leg cover so it came a little below the ankle, and the base would be coved by the foot cover. Again I sewed this with blanket stitch from the base of the foot, shaping slightly at the toes, and stitching to the leg at the ankle.
I repeated this for the second leg. If I’d thought it through properly, I’d have used grey thread for the whole of this process! I’m pleased with how the legs and feet look, and if I made another duck, I’d do the same.
The wire was inserted into the body so I could check that it still stood up, and the leg cover was long enough.
First, the wire needed to be wrapped in some stuffing, and fed carefully into the body and beak. I stuffed the beak first because it would be fiddly to stuff with the wire in. I didn’t manage to keep the stuffing wrapped round the wire at the beak, and I’d perhaps tie it on with a bit of thread if I did this again. You can’t see the wire in the beak, but you can feel it.
The rest of the body is much easier to stuff, and I added a bit extra from my stash, because I wanted a firm body.
I was slightly confused with this piece of body coloured fabric that wasn’t mentioned in the instructions.
From the diagram I inferred that ‘piece 3’ goes between the legs, and this is where I stitched it.
I wasn’t sure how to stitch it closed, and really should have used the provided body coloured thread that I forgot I had. It’s not my neatest work; I tried to do slip stitch, but it didn’t hide at all, so gave up and blanket stitched it closed. I stitched as close to the legs as I could without sewing them, and still allowing some movement.
The wings are not stuffed; if you lightly stuff them they’ll stand out from the sides of the body quite noticeably, so it depends how you want your duck to look. They are much easier to turn through than the body!
They are attached to the body by a button. The ones provided were two holes, whereas the ones in the picture are four holes. Both are adequate to hold the wings on; you can always use your own buttons.
The duck also has flip flops and boots.
These were quite straightforward to make. I was relieved that they fit my duck’s feet!
I hand sewed these with blanket stitch again for the boots, and back stitch for the flip flops, but I haven’t stuck the decorative blue dots onto the boots yet. I’m not sure if they need them, but I’ll add a photograph if I do add them.
This was really fun to make, and I enjoyed bringing Anders to life. I think an experienced crafty tween could manage this with a bit of assistance, and they’d be just as delighted with him as I am. I would happily make more from the duck range, and would try other kits by the same company.
I wouldn’t describe this as a child’s toy; it would however be fairly easy to adapt it to make it safer for a young child to play with. It’s very tactile, and the wire allows the duck to convey lots of expression and emotions.
Thank you to Minerva Crafts for the opportunity to review this kit; it’s been really enjoyable to make, and I had fun taking the final photographs; I hope Anders did too!
Thanks for reading,
Emma @ hotteaonahotday
Fiona Pullen said:
Looks a lot more fiddly and time consuming than I would have expected. Love the duck in the wild pics though. · 9th Oct 2018 09:55pm