Monday, July 9, 2012

Introducing: Violetta!

Extreme closeup!!

Reminds me of the 20,000 leagues under the sea ride at Disney World (when that big ole eye comes right up to your port hole--even though you know it's fake it's creepy as hell).

Violetta (pronounced vee-o-let-a, preferably with a southern drawl) is not creepy.

It was miserably hot this weekend but it gave me nice light to get these pics.  Violetta hanging out on my gate.

Ever get that feeling your being watched?

Hee hee.  That's my dog (J.T.) behind her.  Yes, he's very well behaved, sitting and sitting and sitting.  Probably because he's made of concrete (but fools many a neighbor).  He's also at least as old as me if not older (I remember sitting on him as a wee kid).  He's named for my grandfather, who I inherited him from.

But this is about Violetta.

Get back here, troublemaker!

She scurried off along the chain link fence.  Naughty girl.

Now get over here, troublemaker, so we can do some size reference pics (boring!).

Once again I bring out the trusty Altoids' tin for reference.  You can see Violetta is much bigger than the octopi but most of her size is legs (which are fairly maliable--no armature in any of them, just stuffed tightly).

Violetta, you're going to be very disappointed.

That tin is empty, my dear.

(I assume squid are as smart and nosey as octopi and I've seen octopi open pop bottles and squeeze inside to check for food--so why wouldn't Violetta want a mint to freshen up her krill breath?).

Crafty chit chat:

This is an easy pattern but a bit tedious.  First you have to cut all those legs which takes a bit of time.  Then you have to sew them all.  The sewing is easy but it's slowed down because you have to stuff as you sew.  With there being 10 tentacles total (2 "arms" and 8 "legs") I got a great stuffing technique down by now.  Just stitch like the wind down one side of the arm, then as you go around the tip, stitch just a bit and then start stuffing.  I also found that my embroidery scissors work well as a stuffing tool (just don't push too hard or you'll stab out the seams).  Also, roll the stuffing into little tubes and then fold the tubes over.  Put the folded end into the opening.  Make the tubes thinner for the more narrow areas, thicker for the wider areas.

The head area stitched and stuffed very quickly and assembling the whole critter was pretty fast, too.

For future squid, I'd widen the head part (the pointed part) at the base (near where the eye area is attached) so there isn't as much of a pinched in look between the head area and the leg skirt (the legs are attached to a strip of felt which is then attached to the head).  Also, when stitching the bottom circle on, I'd do it a little different to keep the legs from splaying out so much.  I'd also be a bit more careful lining things up.  I matched the leg skirt seam up to one side bottom seam but I should have been more concerned with where the arms would land (with the arms on each side of the body).  Violetta's arms are just a tiny bit off in that respect (not that bad).

All in all, I'm happy with the results and feel it was worth the work.  I'd probably make another for myself (some day--I have a ton of other stuff I want to do first) and hope the person who asked about them (for a commission) likes this pattern (so I don't have to go find something different).

I thought about embellishing the legs (with sequins or some such) but really felt it would be overkill.  I think embroidered suckers would look cute (but be more than a bit time consumming--and would cost extra for a commission).

So, what's next?  I have a pair of placemats that are begging to become a hand bag.

(edited to add:  Find the pattern I used HERE.  It's for a giant pillow sized one but I just printed out the pattern image and used it for this smaller version.)


  1. LOL - this was a hilarious post. Thanks for sharing at our party this week. (do you know that you have word verification turned on? just thought I'd mention it if you didn't realize)

    1. Thanks for letting me know (the word verification annoys me so I had to get rid of it!)

  2. So I guess you won't make a whole . . . school of them? herd of them? But this one is adorable!