Thursday, February 25, 2010

An extraordinary penguin indeed

A month or two ago, when I was sketching up a bunch of stuffie ideas, I of course had to include a penguin, as they are obviously some of the most cuddly and happy animals to stuff-ify. Naturally, I excitedly showed m my newest sketches. When he got to the penguin page, he busted up laughing. I asked him what was so funny, and he read aloud to me the notes I had written:

“Maybe make him an extraordinary penguin like dressed up as another animal (dinosaur?) or with different accessories like cape/mask, etc.”

We both had a good laugh and decided that the extraordinary penguin must come into being. Here he is:

The pengiesaurus may look fearsome at first glance, but all he wants to do is run around flapping his wings, nibbling on goldfish crackers and drinking juice boxes all day. All of this play tires him out quickly, though, so he’s a great napping buddy too.

Making a naked penguin was quite simple, as he is a basic “sandwich” pattern, like the first stuffie I ever made adapted from this pattern from Amber Dusick (perhaps I’ll do a post on him later). I had also made an owl for my mom that had the same concept: one piece for body/head with attached wings and feet. Simple!

The more challenging part was making his little dino costume. I’m finally getting confident with making clothes from scratch rather than hacking thrift store clothes, so I just sort of jumped in and made a pattern, figuring I’d have to make some adjustments as I went along. I couldn’t figure out the shape of the hood, so I searched the internet for hoodie patterns and found the basic outline. Once I cut all of the pattern pieces, I pinned them on my pengie and trimmed the excess fabric to create the perfect fit. I then sewed it all together, installed a zipper in the front a la Gir, and cut wing and foot holes.

Pengiesaurus remained in his baby blue onesie for quite a while…I loved him so much just like that, and I started in on other projects, but eventually I knew he needed his dino-spikes. I had at first thought I might use the same technique of rolling up felt to make his spikes like Whally’s horn, but when I tried that, it was a lot of work and the spikes were too skinny, even when using quite a bit of felt. So I tried plan B, which was to make them kind of like the hearts for my Love Nimbus: I cut out 2 triangles, then blanket stitched them together with contrasting embroidery thread, stuffed them, and sewed them onto the onesie.

I learned the hard way that Pengie should probably take his dino outfit off before I stitched on the spikes. When I sewed on his tail, I accidentally sewed it to his butt! Even though not having a substantial thing to sew onto was a little fiddly, the spikes turned out great and now he is a fierce looking extraordinary dino-penguin indeed! Grawr!

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