Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sketch Book : Chameleon

I don't have a proper sketchbook (yet, I'm toying with buying one in honor of my upcoming vacation) but I do sketch quite a bit at work (on pilfered copy paper).

Most of the time it's just advanced doodles, nothing that will ever become a stuffed toy or anything more than a drawing (sometimes I re-create the drawings on index cards that I send to some of my online friends).

But after making the sweater alligator I got a wild hair to make a chameleon.  A quick google search (to see if a free pattern existed--hey, I'm lazy and will take a free pattern) I didn't find any free patterns but did see a few felt/plush chameleons other folks have made.  Some were super complex and/or knitted/crocheted (damn my lack of crochet skills!) but one was exactly my speed.  It was a simple little felt item.

And that's what got me off and running to try and design my own chameleon pattern.

Preliminary doodle/sketches.

I never really thought about how much chameleons look like dinosaurs.  I still adore dinosaurs (and might be making a felt one right now--but more on that later).

So the basic shape is pretty easy (if you're going for a cartoony feel, which is my taste).  And the limbs are really just spindly dealies with two toes sprouting off the end.  The big trick is in making sure the top of the leg (rear in particular) don't take on too much of a chicken leg shape (yes, that's what one of the notes says "less chicken leg").

To get rid of some of the pillow style feel of it (to make it more dimensional) I'm thinking it needs a gusset on the belly and one at the top of the head.  That should make it able to stand on its own (as long as the limbs are stuffed tight enough and/or have wire and the feet are placed correctly).  And with a gusset on the head it will make it easier to attach horns (if that's the style of chameleon I want).  (that's what that funky triceratops looking thing is in the bottom right corner--trying to see if a forehead gusset is necessary--it might not be necessary).

The tail, which you'd think would be the hard part, might not be that big a deal now that I've made that octopus.  The hardest part will be making sure the pattern is wide enough so the felt doesn't pull apart (and cutting it out--that's going to be a pain in the butt).  But the sewing of it shouldn't be that hard, just stuff as you sew.  (and yes, I want to make a curled tail and tail up/walking style--same body only with tail/leg variation).

The eye may prove the most tricky.  To get the classic eye look I'm thinking two circles of felt (one slightly bigger than the other) the smaller of which with a hole cut for the eye bead to slightly poke through.  Sew the eye bead to the base circle then the top circle over the bead and base.  Lightly stuff to get the bulgy-ness.  Then attach to head.

Yeah, I think this might be something I can actually DO!

Perhaps I can get a rough cut pattern trimmed out today.  That is my goal.

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