I have a good friend at work who I’ve known for years now. We’re alike in personality in many ways, we laugh a lot, and we share a common love of chocolate (especially dark) and sweets. It was her birthday recently, and I decided to give her a gift card to Dairy Queen because she likes the Buster Bar Sundae or Blizzard…..whichever it is. But, I wanted to do something more personal as well. So, I decided to make a plush chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich.
That’s right! A cuddly little plush version of the yummy, sweet ice cream treat! I really didn’t plan much or put a ton of thought into it. As I was mulling it over, I tossed it around in my head as to how I would do it. The days went by and it got closer and closer to her birthday, so I needed to get on the ball and do some work. I figured I’d make it into three pieces: the top and bottom cookie which would consist of two pieces of fabric sewn together and stuffed just a little so they wouldn’t be too flat and then ice cream in the middle. It was this middle part that I knew would be a little tricky. I didn’t want to make it into two separate pieces which I would sew together because then I’d have a seam. Let’s face it; there is no seam in ice cream!! (Though that does rhyme, but I don’t know what that has to do with anything.) I envisioned a round, squished thing of white fabric that calls to mind the nice creaminess of vanilla ice cream.
As I felt the time pressing in on me, I decided to just start and see how it went. I knew that at its heart, the way I had it in my head to do, the plush would basically be just three circles. I found a cup that had the right size for the cookie, so I traced it on my sketch paper/pattern paper and started in on that. I was going to do felt since it might look more rough and cookie-like, but I didn’t have the right brown. I didn’t have any more brown fabric either, as I found out. However I luckily had some scraps which I could use, but I couldn’t make any mistakes and I didn’t have any extra to allow for the shrinkage that always happens once you make the stitches. I went for it and hoped for the best. I used scraps of black felt for the chocolate chips and tried to be intentionally random in both the way I cut the chips out so they wouldn’t be perfectly round and in their arrangement on the fabric. Unfortunately my natural instinct for symmetry and logic war against this creative inclination, so I asked Shawn for help on the last part. He placed them in a haphazard way on the fabric, and I pinned them down so I could sew them exactly as he had them. (Not exactly sewing at its most whimsical, but hey it gets the job done.)
When I was done with that, I sewed the cookies up and set them aside to work on the middle part the next day. However, when Shawn looked at them a little later I either realized or he pointed out that I hadn’t sewn them inside out. How stupid!! You stop sewing for awhile, and you forget what you’ve learned. They definitely looked better with the stitches on the inside, so I stood in my kitchen that night (stronger lighting) and ripped out all the stitches. I’d have to redo it the next day as well as do the middle to finish the whole thing in order to bring it to work that following day. As I lay in bed that night, irritated with myself, I kept thinking about how I was going to do the middle now given that it would be hard to sew the ice cream part to basically closed-off cookies. I tried using a needle that curves one time so it would allow me better access to making stitches through a small opening, but I couldn’t get the hang of it. I decided I would just go ahead and stuff the cookies, finish sewing them up and then be sure not to push the needle through both layers of the brown fabric. Even more hoping for the best!
Once I finished that after work the next day, I found the same cup I had grabbed earlier and used the larger end to make the circle for my ice cream filling. I wanted it bigger so I could kind of fold it over to attach to the bottom cookie. That way, I wouldn’t have a seam and maybe it would look like someone had squished that nice scoop of ice cream between those cookies. It was more difficult than I imagined, folding it down and making it work. Since the fabric was a larger size, I kind of had to fold it in as well as under to sew it onto the bottom cookie. It was a tad annoying, but in the end gave it a bit of that textured look that ice cream has in sandwich form.
If I had it to do over again, I would try to line up the places where I sewed the cookies shut and the spot where I closed off the ice cream after I stuffed it. That way all the messiness would be in one area which could be easily hidden from view. Inexperience once again shines large and bright! Overall though, I was pretty happy with my efforts. The glaring flaws are always hard to overlook, but the appearance was nearly spot on and it was certainly fun and interesting. My friend absolutely loved it and told me later in the day that she had to put it away in her bag because she kept reaching out to it thinking it was the real tasty treat! That’s not a bad compliment to get when you kind of threw it together on a whim.