Sewing Stuffed Pigs: Oinkers, Doink & Sidney

Sewing stuffed pigs comes with responsibilities. This triple bill of Porcine Perfection is known as Oinkers, Doink and Sidney (or Sydney. He can’t spell.)

Oinkers, Doink and Sidney - three stuffed pigs made of purple wool. One is large and two are small.

Porcus Majoris is reasonably tractable, but the two porcus minorus are liable to cut up something awful if you leave them unchaperoned.

A stuffed wool pig with embroidery on his side faces the camera

All three have been sent to keep company with the new baby of a very good friend. They used to be my very favorite purple sweater.

a small purple pig with embroidery on his bottom faces away from the camera.

Then the sweater got felted. I didn’t know much about felting before it happened, but I’ve done some research since: one takes wool rovings, or knitted wool fabric, and through the application of detergent suds and agitation and hot water, one turns them into felt.

It’s a highly specific process, prone to balling and piling, but the best results are achieved through the use of a centrifuge in conjunction with very high heat. (You want shrinkage to squash the knitted fabric into felt.)

About a year ago, I accidentally ran this sweater through a hot wash layered between two sheets. The washer and dryer in our old house in Adelaide uses water at about six billion degrees centigrade and spins the water out of the clothes with a small medical-grade centrifuge…

The sweater came out sixteen sizes too small, fully hypo-allergenic, and perfectly felted.

It was a freak of perfect circumstance, and I have not been able to duplicate it since. And I have ruined a few thrift shop sweaters trying!

So I sat down and began sewing stuffed pigs instead and embroidered all over them with silk ribbons. But for the love of heaven, if you use this pattern, chop the noses off. Poor Porcus Majoris looked like an anteater. Even after some serious lopping he looks less than porcine. With the three porcus minoris, I cut the snout back almost to their front legs- now they look like pigs.

the side panel of an embroidered wool pig lies on a table

Originally the two porcus minorus had major embroidery on both sides, but I sort of forgot to leave room for an ear and eye on the really busy side and had to unpick everything but the french knots. Le sigh.

a purple stuffed pig faces the camera. In the background, a second pig shows his embroidered bottom.

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