Posts Tagged ‘sewing’

On November 22 and 23rd, I’m going to be in Kitchener City Hall as part of the Altekrea show. I’m bringing the stuffies, the steampunk jewellery and a few other things I’ve been working on. There is going to be quite a mix of artists and I’m looking forward to it since I missed the festivities last year.
They’ve given us, the participating artist, an opportunity to talk about our works in advance on their blog and I’ve put together a short post discussing my favourite, recent creation, the Batterfly. (I know I shouldn’t have favourites, and I do love then all, but some just have that extra spark) Check it out and I hope to see you there!


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One of the things we really wanted to have done Exif_JPEG_PICTURE in time for the Medieval show last weekend was a period suitable outfit for Dad. I’ve had a selection of mixable pieces for myself but we were starting from scratch with him. Mother was working like a fiend on the sewing machine to get it finished in time but succeeded. We’re describing the finished look as a “merchant with aspirations”. Considering that my outfits are not quite as high end as his we figured that his character is reaping the rewards of our labour and moving into the middle class while his hard-working daughter still dresses mostly like a peasant. We’d done well, finding the fabrics so the shirt is a fine linen and the pants/hat are a mid-weight wool. The brocade that makes up img_5909 the tunic is also not too heavy and close enough to period that we were really happy with it. We’ve got some plans for additions to the costume, but a few of them will take a while to get done. I’d like to incorporate more aspects of the mutant stuffies. For now, all he had was this itty bitty demon bear, accenting his hat.

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I’ve got a number of shows I’ll be attending this fall Quetzalcoatl and have been working on some new stuffed creations. One I’d wanted to do for a while is a version of Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent. When we found this lovely, large snake, I knew it was a perfect base and got started right away. He’s all done and is ready to be shown for the first time this weekend! We’ll both be at the Royal Medieval Faire in Waterloo on Saturday, the 20th, so stop by and say “Hi!”, if you’re there. The gallery will still be open, if you’re coming through Shakespeare, but I won’t be there to do framing consultations.

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Up to now, all my spiders were done using bears. img_5758 They were the most likely to have suitable fur and body shapes that fit well to the adaptation. I also need a matched pair for them and early in my experiments in mutant creations, using any pairs for twins was a safer option. At this point, I’m more secure in my spider -building abilities and when I recently got a pair of red-eyed frogs, I figured it was time to try expanding into other species. It helped that the stash had four buttons in the perfect red, to match the eyes! This was also the first time I was able to salvage the eyes from the second donor since they were set into sockets that could be taken off and re-attached. I chose not to alter the body too much, it was just rounded out a bit in the back, to better accommodate all the legs. The legs seemed especially suited to the spider look and I love how the magnets in them attach to each other and metal things. I was tempted to take a picture of her climbing the map case, in the store, but resisted.

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This is another of the altered stuffies.

conjoined stuffed animal monkey twins

There have been a few matched pairs that I’ve found and when that happens they get made into conjoined twins of various styles. I didn’t expect to get a matched pair of the monkeys, but was pleased enough when the second one turned up. The faces are really cute and I like the hands so opted to join them at the hips, so both their heads and fronts would be kept. They joined together well and I was impressed with how photogenic they also turned out to be. (it can be hard to figure out how to shoot them so they show well) I’ve put a few of the more interesting mutants up in the etsy shop and these guys are among them. We’ll see if anyone is prepared to deal with the shipping!

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This is another of the new altered stuffies. I call this style the Demonic Bears.

Demonic Bear with red wings and horns

They got started when I ended up with a few high-end bears who were jointed. The movable joints mean that they don’t come apart very well so I choose to go with altering them more than combining with other stuffies. Part of that choice also was that most of the bears are more cute than realistic and I think that some of what makes the merged critters so much fun is the mad scientist element of the animal combinations. So what I’ve been doing with them is attaching assorted batish wings and some of them get horns. (the other way I’ve been dealing with them is making Fairy Bears with what butterfly wings I can find) A couple even got tails. The wings are wired so they are fully posable and it surprised me how much personality can be expressed by wing position! This guy has a pair of red bat wings and the most dramatic horns I’ve done so far. He’s a bit bigger than most of the mutants and I have listed him in the Etsy shop.

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I managed to lose track of the dates and missed that V-day is almost upon us!

custom shirt detail, red ribbon heart

Typically, it’s quiet here since we’re off season, so I don’t tend to do much in the way of holiday decorating or crafting. (I did get a card/collage done however and I’ll be showing it off tomorrow) There are some hearts that I will wear all year round however. This is another case of a fairly simple modification personalizing a plain piece of clothing. This was a good quality, fitted ladies white tee. I really liked the cut of it as well as the neckline, but plain white is more than at little boring, as far as I’m concerned. Painting on it was a possibility, but it can be a little high risk, since accidents can happen and there is no starting over when working with paint on fabric. That’s why, while I like playing with paint, I tend to stick to doing it on less expensive pieces to begin with. I also didn’t want anything that was too cute since I wanted something that would end up as suitable for work wear in the warmer months. The design is simple, a red ribbon heart that is overlaid with rough black stitching. Selecting the right ribbon was important since it needed to be able to survive washing without bleeding or damage. I went with a fine acrylic satin that is just over a 1/4” wide. The folds and rutching that make up the heart shape were all laid out in advance and pined into place, (there were very many pins!) before sewing. Again, a good quality satin finish black thread was used since it makes up part of the finished design. I then carefully sewed the ribbon to the shirt in harsh black passes, pulling the pins as each bit went down. The result is a slightly abstracted but strongly graphic design that gives the whole piece some personalized drama. (the nicest compliment I ever got on it was when I wore it to a seminar on artistic property laws and the lecturer was talking about logos and trademarks. He assumed my heart was one and asked which company it belonged to!)

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