Tuesday, January 27, 2009

As winter rolls along...

Well, the days are gray and cold here which is to be expected considering time of year. Yesterday, however, what did a see out my windows but a whole flock of robins and other birds flying around my house, singing away as if spring were already here. I stepped outside to snap a few pictures of them silhouetted against the grey sky, but as soon as they heard the front door open they all flew off and it was too cold out for me to wait around for them to return to convenient photo taking range. The cats had a blast though, going from window sill to window sill, tails twitching as they planned how to get the birds (being as they don't really get to go outside no song birds were harmed in this episode). Anyway, just to have a little something to show off, I took some pictures of my first soft toy. Presenting, here on our stage for the first time ever. . . drum roll please... Monkey.


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He was made using a scrap of upholstery fabric for the body, some brown velour type fabric for his legs and tail, and felted wool for the face and some of the same wool (not felted) for his arms. I embroidered the face on and used vintage fabric scraps for his polka dot ears and jaunty neckerchief.
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Some of the things I learned in making Monkey. First, the upholstery fabric and fabrics I used for his arms and legs don't have much stretch and so the finished stuffed parts came out a bit smaller and skinnier than I thought they would. I do however like the curl I managed to get into his tail simply by cutting out the tail shape in a rough spiral, no need for a wire to keep the tail that shape. Secondly, I need to practice on sewing on the face shape with the satin stitch as my curves are a bit wonky. Also, the non-felted wool frayed a bit near the top of his arm and so I had to mend that seam a bit. However, I am proud of the fact that he came out so cute, and he would be safe for any age of kid to play with as there aren't any buttons to chew off (the limbs and tail are sewn into the side seams of the monkey's body and the face doesn't have button eyes). Also I love the texture of the felt on his face and was really pleased with how expressive his face is considering the minimal features. Here is one last picture. Silly monkey has a empty spool of thread perched on his head. I better watch out, who knows what monkey business he'll get up to in my studio when I'm not around.

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