April 22, 2011

I had a hankering for elephant

I wasn't looking for a new craft, I swear. I was happy with the 100 or so that I already have materials for. But this sewn soft toy thing is just addictive. It combines my desire to build 3D objects and my desire to create cuteness. I lie awake at night thinking of ways to add gussets to animals - it's ridiculous.

I am currently obsessed with the color gray, so earlier this month I decided to make an elephant. My goal was to make him out of several pieces so that he'd have as much dimension as possible.

I started my process by searching the internet for images of interesting-looking elephants. I came across a "Softie-along" from some time ago where everybody crafted an elephant and submitted photos of it. I found many cool looking elephants, so using several photos for inspiration I drew up my pattern. Much like the Dinosaur-making process, I made several paper patterns and taped them together before cutting into fabric. I draw my patterns on the computer, because that's what I do. But I do tweak the patterns by hand, then translate those back into my digital pattern.

Similar to the Dinosaur process, I made two fabric elephants (one by hand and one on the machine) as practice. Unlike my first attempt, I didn't even bother to finish the first two fabric elephants as I could tell right away that they were not right. But third time's a charm!

This little guy was sewn on the machine except for his foot pads and tail which I sewed by hand. I used three shades of gray (for visual interest, but also because I didn't have enough of one shade).

His eyes are black buttons that I bought from Fabric Depot, then I added felt lashes and lids (the buttons are really cool - I used them for this monkey, where their detail is more clear).

 A little felt crown, a la Babar

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