Do you love handmade toys? Perhaps you’re partial to spending your days surrounded by fabrics, thread and your trusty sewing machine? DIY Fluffies is a creative project of mum of two, Mariska from The Netherlands. Mariska is passionate about handmade design and creates a range of toys and patterns for like minded souls. Today we review the DIY Fluffies Whale Softie.
The DIY Fluffies Whale Softie is made from soft fleece (you can choose from a range of colours) and his eyes are stitched on with thread, making him safe for infants and young children. He is very well constructed and has a whimsical shape, with his tail flipped up towards the sky and a slight curve on the front seem which makes him look like he is smiling. My little assistant for today’s review, Master-five, commented… “he looks like a bubble, so that will be his name!”
This whale softie is available ready made for $37, or as DIY sewing kit (containing all the materials you need) for $28.
The verdict… Modern design with a burst of whimsy!
Seven years ago, Mariska purchased her very first sewing machine and created a small plush star. This little star was the first in a long line of softies, which began to draw praise from family and friends. As the collection grew, Mariska no longer had room to house them all and decided to try her hand at selling a few. Two years later (in 2008), she quit her day job to focus exclusively on her own business.
These days, Mariska runs her business part-time in conjunction with her busy roll as mum to her sons, who are 3 and 5 years old.
Mariska draws inspiration from her love of Japanese toys and characters, and also from her boys, who both love toys. She says, “The youngest one loves all my toys. The oldest one only likes the dragons and whales, and is especially fond of everything that lives in the sea.”
When creating her DIY Fluffies, Mariska works with a variety of fabrics. She explains, “When I first started making toys I used a lot of fleece. Fleece is easy to use and very forgiving. It’s a great fabric for beginner sewers. Now a few years later, I use 100% cottons. There are many patterns and colours available in cottons. Picking out fabrics is a great part of toy making. Although it is something very difficult to choose!”
Here’s three fun facts about Mariska (in her own words):
I used to work as a 3d modeller for a games company. My 3d modelling experience helps me in creating my toys.
I love to travel and can’t wait to take the kids to Japan when they are older.
My hobbies are cooking and baking, pottery, reading, and jewellery making. I like trying out new things.