Thursday, February 11, 2010

"Aw, you guys made me ink!"

Continuing the showcase of my first menagerie of stuffies, I present to you: Speckle the spotted squidlet! Speckle is a little shy and startles easily, but once she gets to know you, she’ll always ask for a pat on the top of her spotted head. She enjoys lazily drifting through open water in the afternoons and dancing with starfish into the night.

When I was sketching up my little squidlet, I played with many cephalopod ideas, but I thought a simple baby octo would be good for a learning project. It seems octopi have been sort of “trendy” for quite some time now…I see them in tattoos quite often and I see this necklace all over the place.

I’m not usually one to follow trends, but I must say I have had some cephalopod fancies, including that necklace. Actually, I’ve been wanting to make one idea a reality for quite some time now but am not sure how to do it: I want to make an octopus necklace by softening two dinner forks and molding the tines to make tentacles. Then I’ll glue them together and naturally put a couple of googly eyes on them. I just need a means to get the flatware soft enough to mold. Any ideas, anyone?

Moving on from that tangent, I think my tiny squidlet was largely a success. As is my fashion, I used a technique from a pattern I had made before: this free felt toadstool pattern from Cathy Gaubert’s e-book, Fa la la la felt.

I just cut a circle in fabric, did a running stitch around the circumference in embroidery thread, then pulled it tight into a little drawstring bag, just like the toadstool head! Then I stuffed her head with stuffin,’ made her little stubby tentacles and attached them, and added a little pentagonal cover so her underside was smooth. After admiring my work for a bit, I realized that because I sewed on her eyes before I attached the tentacles, her eyes were a little too far down, so I had to take a few minutes to re-position them higher on her head. I originally only gave her the two eyes, but in my sketch, my squidlet had a shy little smile that I liked so much I decided it needed to be included. I’m glad I did it, but I feel like it would show up better if it was in felt instead of embroidery thread. Next time.

Thanks, Taty and Alison for providing the castoff clothes to make this little cutie! The spots are from Alison’s old pajama shorts and the grey underside is an old band t-shirt of Taty’s. I’d say 90% of the fabric I use is from old clothes, and most of that is from Alison and Taty. Thanks again for being my fabric source, guys!

And with that, I think I shall go play with my new spotted friend and work on making a few more stuffie companions. Check back soon…I’ve still got a backlog of stuffies to introduce to you!

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