Sew Geeky: Episode Two // Wampa Play Mat


It’s Baaaaack! May is turning out to be the geekiest month ever. Earlier this month I teamed up with the Sew Geeky duo of Max California and Sew Chibi and shared my bow tie fighter tank, and now I have something probably even more geeky than that for this “Creatures of Star Wars” themed episode…….

Wampa Play Mat!!!!

wampa play mat by girl like the sea

wampa play mat by girl like the sea

Β It’s super snuggly too. JUST like a Wampa. And yes, I made a bloody monster playmat for my 10 month old to play on. It’s just how we roll!

Violet, the three year old, has always been more attracted to the beastly creatures in Star Wars – The Wampa, Rancor, and Chewbacca are her favorites. Sometimes she sleeps with a big Rancor toy like it’s a stuffed animal when she’s feeling lonely. So a “creatures of Star Wars” theme worked out perfectly for us.

At first I was planning to make a little Wampa hoodie for Violet, but the weather here in Virginia took a sweaty turn for the worst and I just couldn’t do it.


Mr. Wampa – The inspiration

wampa play mat by girl like the sea

I had this half yard cut of the most incredible Pickering bamboo fleece from Finch Sewing Studio….I’m not even sure how to explain how this stuff feels. It’s like lamb fleece…..The other side feels like sweatshirt knit, and the fleece side is really fuzzy to start with. But once you wash it, it pills up (in a good way) to feel more like sherpa. I can’t stop touching it. For a sensory activity, I put together a little fabric swatch matching bag for the girls and included a few extra scraps of this stuff. Just for another excuse to touch it. Haha.

It’s backed in Kaufman Essex Yarn dyed linen in black. Also from Finch

Back to the Wampa.

wampa play mat by girl like the sea

If you’re not familiar with the Wampa, he’s a creature from Empire Strikes Back who lives on the ice planet Hoth. Basically a big toothy abominable snowman. Luke has a bad encounter with him in the beginning of the movie and winds up chopping the Wampa’s hand off with his light saber. That’s why ours has a stump on one side.

wampa play mat by girl like the sea

Hoth Luke doll action figure is here to show you a reenactment…..

wampa play mat by girl like the sea

Technically I made this for Hawthorne, but everyone seems to love it. He’s fond of sitting on it and beating the Wampa’s bloody face with a loud battle scream.

wampa play mat by girl like the sea

Speaking of the face, I cut all the pieces out of the linen and a bit of muslin, all interfaced, and machine appliqueed them onto the fleece before sewing the backing on. It was pretty difficult to keep everything on straight though because the fleece kept warping as I was sewing, even though the applique pieces were interfaced. So it’s all slightly wobbly but I still love it. The bloody bits were all marked on with red fabric sharpie and then sewn over with red thread.

wampa play mat by girl like the sea

Β wampa play mat by girl like the sea

wampa play mat by girl like the sea

THIS BOY. He’s a real heart stopper. Don’t be fooled by his hair in this shot though. It’s the warm light coming from the window that made his hair look so red.

He looks like he’s about to find out how smelly that taun taun is on the inside

wampa play mat by girl like the sea

You know, as I was considering my options for what to make after I decided to skip hoodie sewing until Fall, I thought maybe a Wampa pillow with this fleece would be nice – and it would for sure – but making pillows really freaks me out! If you sew something for the kids, it needs to be removable so you can wash it. You have to figure out closures. And then there’s getting a pillow form for it, which seems really expensive if you do it at a craft store….or you can just use an old pillow for it but we don’t actually have any rogue throw pillows. And your cover has to be the right size, but not too big or it’ll be saggy. Not too tight either.

And then even if it’s kinda ugly, it’s supposed to be out on display all the time because it’s a pillow. Sitting there. Forever shaming your sub-par home dec sewing skills with its weirdness. Is that overly dramatic? Am I just being ridiculous?

wampa play mat by girl like the sea

I think Hawthorne is glad I’m afraid of pillows. This is being branded as a playmat but really it could be a great blanket too. It’s not padded with anything. Just a nice soft and warm surface to sit on, which is nice when all the floors are being transitioned to hardwood.

wampa play mat by girl like the sea

wampa play mat by girl like the sea

This is probably the point at which I’ve shared too many photos. But I’m not done yet. Sorry.

wampa play mat by girl like the sea

As I was trying to snap a few pictures of Hawthorne in the 15 seconds before I knew he’d come crawling towards me and off the Wampa, he darted away towards the whole family who had just arrived in the room. Seriously. Like ten seconds to take photos. Violet moved in with her trooper and started playing (SO CUTE). Clover dragged a chair over to the AT AT to do some organizing inside its body. In other news, I’m totally loving the kids room now that the hardwood is going in. The light in that room is really nice, and the wall color is pretty (Martha Stewart – enamelware)

wampa play mat by girl like the sea

There’s totally no Wampa in this shot, but you have to see it anyway because…..just because

wampa play mat by girl like the sea

And MY VERY FAVORITE PICTURE FROM THE WHOLE PHOTO SHOOT…omg. This three year old is in a hilarious and confusing stage of life. So much acting out and tantrums, and then bursts of creativity. She ran off and grabbed the pants that match Hawthorne’s and her trooper shirt so she could match the theme. She wanted to join in, which was great! But then she started acting like she’s a mean little thing (she’s not) with her “rotten” face, pretending to be planning to light saber Hawthorne’s head. Every time she makes that face, I can’t help but start laughing because she’s so obviously trying and failing to look BAD.


I’m not buying it, Violet.

She kept asking me to call her a mean girl the other day, which I wouldn’t, and it made her even more mad that I didn’t cooperate. Sorry, dude. You’re an affectionate and sweet girl who is also super wild and crazy.


Ok, that’s it guys. I’ve overshared and now I’m done. Hawthorne says bye bye and invites you to come witness his wombfire looks again another day.

FYI I’m kinda planning on posting a tutorial for this playmat soon! I took photos as I was making it because I knew the world was dying for a tutorial on a bloody faced mythological creature playmat. I know you are!

Go check in at Sew Chibi and Max California to see what they have going on in their own little weird corners of the internet.




  1. says

    Fun! It looks just as soft as you described it. Tegan was standing here while I was reading and when the pictures of Violet came up she shouted “Hey, I know her!”

  2. says

    Where do I start?! First off thank you for being SUCH an awesome guest for us and making such rad things for Sew Geeky and your critters!
    A few things:
    Hawthorne is the Prince of Wombfires. Seriously how does he even exist?! I can’t take it!
    Violet with the saber looks just like the Coppertone Suntan girl but with 100 times more moxie! I just love the composition of that shot so much!
    The mean Violet slays me OMG. And the family photoshoot bomb is hysterical… and familiar around here too, hahah
    Favorite part is the reenactment with the mini figures!
    And I disdain throw pillows too. You’re right: they are SO judgmental πŸ˜‰

    Love this all in such giant spoonfuls I actually think I need to come back again to take more of it in! I’m filled to the brim with geeky cuteness right now!!

    – <3 Kat

  3. says

    Fuzzy, bloody goodness. It’s so great to come here, Tara, because I could never, ever guess what you are going to come up with next. Love the bloody stump arm and your darling Hawthorne. Also, go Violet – get in there!
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  4. says

    Just brilliant. My husband and I were laughing away, the arm stump is hilarious. Love a macabre, bloody play mat monster over a Disney character any day! Bravo. I’d back my 3 year old daughter’s “death stare” over your daughters “rotten face” in a mean face-off! too funny.

  5. says

    Holy crap I love this. My 3 year olds are just starting to get into Star Wars and they love the hairy creatures and darth Vader more than anyone else. Should I be worried?! Haha

  6. says

    I’m totally jealous of all your Star Wars toys. I think I need to start collecting them for the boys birthdays and such! Also pillows are nothing to be afraid of! Envelope closures, man. That’s what I’m talking about. I have discovered the perfect combo- ikea down pillows (cheap but good quality) and covers made 1/2 inch smaller than the pillow form so they fit nice and tight. So easy!

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