This mighty fine fellow is “The Glamorous Giraffe”, made from a felt sewing kit by House of Zandra. Designed by Sandra Wright, I discovered House of Zandra at the Stitching, Sewing and Hobbycrafts show at Birmingham’s NEC. And what a discovery! Hands down, for me House of Zandra has some of the most charming and original felt kits I have ever seen. All the designs have a unique and instantly recognisable style which is perhaps best described as “enchanted fairytale”. Sandra Wright is one talented lady.
I was torn between The Glamorous Giraffe and The Tea Tippling Toad, in the end opting for the former. The kit costs £20 and contains everything you need including, quite unusually, the stuffing.
Another plus point is the pattern is complete – instead of providing one piece and then saying “cut 2”, there are actually two opposite pieces. This may take slightly longer to cut out, but I think is helpful when putting together the lay plan on the fabric, particularly when there is not any margin for error in the amount of fabric available. And speaking of lay plans, a diagram is also provided detailing exactly how to place each piece in order to not run out of fabric.
Unfortunately though there are also many negative points about the kit that need to be mentioned. The first is the kit presentation. Everything is just loose in the box. Considering some elements are very small, such as the needle threader, the needle and the felt balls, they are almost lost in such a big box. It would have been better if these items had come packaged in a smaller bag within the main box. The pattern and instructions are printed on A3 paper in black and white, which doesn’t feel very professional, and contain a few spelling and grammatical errors. There is even a spelling error on the front label – ‘KIT CONTAINES’ . This makes the presentation look sloppy and amateurish.
The second flaw is the instructions, or what little there are of them. With no photographs or diagrams, the instructions consist of 11, very short numbered points. Some of the paired pattern pieces are not symmetrical, such as the foot is wider at one end than the other, but the instructions omit which way up it should be inserted into the leg. There is no guidance marked on the pattern either. Another instruction point mentions matching up point C, but point C does not exist on the pattern piece in question. Some instructions are missed out altogether, for example nowhere does is state that you should cut out 2 pupils from the small piece of black felt and sew them onto the eyeballs. Luckily I’m experienced enough a sewer that I could figure out most things for myself from the picture on the box, but I imagine this lack of detail could be quite daunting for someone that had little experience.
Despite its shortcomings I would still give this kit 8/10. This is because the design itself is just exquisite and utterly unique. If the kit was presented just a little more professionally, with the errors corrected and the instructions expanded, preferably with accompanying illustrations, then I would have no hesitation in giving it 10/10.
To get your mitts on a House of Zandra kit visit: http://www.houseofzandra.co.uk