The Serendipidippo

I'm a fan of hippos. Not so much the real ones as the soft toy version. When I was younger I had a hippo pyjama case - he's called Mud and he still lives with me although is retired from pyjama storage duties:
This hippo, purchased in a charity shop a few years ago, lives in our living room beside the TV. I think he's handmade. He's called the Suspicious Hippo, for obvious reasons. Poor thing has had his tail destroyed by the cats and his ears pulled by the baby so no wonder he's got that sideways look.
 The first thing I made for Baby Kestrel was a knitted hippo:
He's since acquired the name McManus and has the voice of a Scottish football manager.

And so, meet the latest hippo to join the family:
The Serendipidippo aka Psychadelic Hippo. My Current Husband is a big fan of creating compound words, the stupider the better, hence the Serendipidippo.
 The pattern I used was Mary the Hippo from the Sew Cute to Cuddle book by Mariska Vos-Bolman.
The patterns are at the back of the book and are printed full size, which is handy if you don't have access to a photocopier as I've found that book patterns often require you to enlarge them. The seam allowances are not added but this is not unusual although I do find it a bit of a pain. I just estimated these so that probably explains why things didn't match up perfectly. This didn't make much of a difference to the end product though.

The instructions were clear and it wasn't hard to make. The most fiddly thing was sewing on the bottoms of the feet. Patterns like this are ideal for using up fabric scraps. I didn't have quite enough so for his stomach and inner ear pieces I used a light chambray left over from an old project. I also already had the turquoise felt in my stash too. The main fabric is a piece from a vintage bed sheet, which came from a lot of assorted pieces of vintage bedsheets purchased from eBay a couple of years ago.

The project felt like a great meeting of pattern and fabric - very serendipitous, don't you think? What was even nicer was that this little hippo helped me out of a sewing rut too. It was an enjoyable project and now I feel ready to get started on something else.
I used felt for the eyes instead of plastic eyes, to make him child-friendly. I also reinforced the tail by sewing over it a few times as no doubt he'll get hauled around by the tail. I should have done this with the ears too as Baby Kestrel is quite taken with him and has yanked his ears more than once.
I think my hippo could have done with a bit more stuffing but he's nice and squishy.

This post is part of the Sew Cute to Cuddle Blog Hop. You can buy the book as a regular book, ebook or purchase the patterns seperately. Check out the other blogs involved in the blog hop as some are also doing giveaways:

Fri 1st – Mariska Vos-Bolman

Sat 2nd – Messy Jesse

Wed 6th – Boolah Baguette

Fri 8th – Ordinary Lovely

Mon 11th – Sewing Is for Girls 

Fri 15th A Spoonful of Sugar

Wed 20th Emma Lamb 

Fri 22nd Kestrel Makes 

Sat 23rd Feeling Stitchy

Tue 26th – SCC

 Dot investigating the new arrival
K x

Disclaimer: I received an electronic copy of this book for free for review purposes but no other payment. All opinions are my own. I did it 'cos I like hippos.


  1. Oh, I love him! (And the others) :-)

  2. He's gorgeous, I love him! He reminds me of the toys I had as a baby in the 1960s. xxx

  3. Oh wow, I love him and would love to have a better look at the book - will definitely follow the tour!

  4. Oh! So cute! He is gorgeous, and I love the word serendipidippo! I'm sure he'll get lots of love from the wee one.

  5. This is so cute! Dot looks pretty suspicious...

  6. Looks great! I've got a similar hoppi (I meant to write hippo - dylexia strikes!), in orangey browney 70s colours, which I found in a charity shop. It lives in Milo's toy trunk, but maybe I should put it out on display again.

  7. Gorgeous! I think my grandma had bedding like that!


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