04
Mar
10

Stuffing


Cricket Doppleganger Cricket Doppleganger

For those of you who don’t know me well, I don’t have a great history with animals. I’ve been bitten by dogs more than once (once by my own dog) and I’m also allergic to most furry things  so we’ve never really had an opportunity to mend fences… it’s mostly a fear of dogs these days. Over the years, my relationship with animals has improved and although I no longer have panic attacks when dogs bark (yes, even the little tiny ones), my heart still does race when they do, so I don’t exactly feel any urges for a pet-and-sneeze session.

In the last part of Thing A Day, I discovered a great way to use up the little bits of furry fabric scraps I had and it propelled me into making animals. Call it therapy, if you like. I call it, “Maybe I can finally clear out all these little pieces of fabric I’m hoarding without having to throw them away (I am even using the remnants from my own cuts as part of the stuffing)”.

I’ll be honest – a couple of weeks ago, I made this mouse and when I stuffed the tail and was smoothing it out, there was a moment of creep factor that crawled up my spine and I actually momentarily dropped it before I realized that it was just fabric. Aside from the panic-and-run reflexes I’ve had to practice calming down, I’ve found that it’s actually a great exercise for thinking about making patterns 3-dimensionally (hopefully this will help when I come back to making clothes).

So, in this last project, I decided to see if I could imitate a dog I know. I found some pictures of her at varying angles and picked out a few of her distinct characteristics like her spots (hence the “black eye” on one side); the fact that she likes to rest her head on things – so, I made her head stick out a bit; and the fact that her mom says it’s hard to put a leash on her because her neck is about as big – or bigger –  than her head, so I tried to keep them about the same. I think I should have probably used a matching colored thread and there was a part of the belly that I didn’t quite have enough fabric for and I thought it would come out OK, but I do see now that it makes the legs look a bit too close together, but lessons learned for the next one, I guess.

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