The biggest and best thing I got in my "swag" bag of free goodies at the Blogger's Meet-up this past September (in Little Rock, Arkansas, hosted by Craft Gossip and sponsored by EK Success Brands), was this cute kit to make two plush raccoons. The kit contains everything you need to complete the project, including a needle and stuffing.
This is an "American Girl Crafts" product, designed to go with the American Girl dolls, so a girl can make a large raccoon for herself and a smaller one for her doll. It's a really cute idea! The kit comes with an instruction booklet with lots of pictures. The material is felt, which is perfect for this sort of project, since the edges won't unravel. Each piece has little holes punched in it where the stitching will go, so you just sew through the holes, like those big sewing cards you might have done in kindergarten!
As an introduction to hand-sewing, it's not bad. There are a large number of pieces to assemble, which might be a bit confusing to a young sewist (it is recommended for ages 8 and up), but the details are exactly what make these raccoons so cute, so with a little guidance from an adult I think it would go together quite well.
The circles on the tummies are open on top to form a small pocket--that's a nice touch. My favorite detail is the shiny sequins that are sewn onto the eyes, which makes them look alive. I love the overall design of the raccoons; the simple outline combined with the surface details makes them very appealing. I've noticed this kit in my local Hancock's fabric store; there is a small section of American Girl crafts, so the product seems to be widely available.
I made these raccoons for a special purpose--which I will tell you about in my next post!