Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Swap Stuff: Patches and Stuffies and Bags, OH MY!

Time to show off two recently completed swaps.


(one of these hasn't been received by my partner yet but I have a few minutes to post this so I have to post while I can).

First up, a lone patch (this was already received):

The swap was a dictionary dip swap.  Just so happened, that was my idea for a swap, too (I don't host much, but I share ideas).  The dictionary dip is just like it sounds.  Randomly open the dictionary and put your finger down on the page.  The word you land on is the one you use as your prompt for your patch.

(I used to do dictionary dips all the time when I was deep into playing Sims 2.  I got some of the best names that way, including a Zweiback).

My dip word was "vacancy".  Ok, true confession, I did a best out of three.  I've always done dips that way (when I would dip for writing prompts, sometimes I'd do three and try to work them all into the writing).

This fabric scrap was PERFECT for that dip.  I just love having so much odd fabric in my stash.  Scrap packs for the win, y'all!

OK, next up is the swap that I just mailed out today.  I showed a few teaser pics of things on my instagram (@madameugly) but I'm showing it ALL here.

The swap was a Fandom in a Bag swap.  I like these but usually I wait to sign up to see what other folks have chosen as their fandom (the premise is, your partner tells you the fandom they like and you craft based on that).

For this swap you had to make a bag, two patches, a stuffie, and one additional item of your choice.

I got lucky.  My fandom was EASY (and something I also like!).  South Park!

For the bag you could just use the theme of the fandom.  (the example given was Harry Potter, and if you couldn't get Harry Potter fabric you could use "magic" themed fabric instead. . .or buy a bag in that theme. . .the bag didn't need to be hand made).

I was originally going to make a Terrence and Phillip bag (applique or some such) but I just wasn't in love with the idea.  While I was picking in my stash for fabric to make my original idea, I remembered I had t.v. fabric.  I knew I had to use it.  When I was looking for the lining fabric I discovered I still had enough of the punctuation fabric.

Punctuation = cartoon curses!

So the bag practically made itself (yup, used the Green Bag Lady pattern only a bit smaller).

Next up, the patches:


They fucking rock.

(yes, I'm modest too!)

Mr. Mackey turned out JUST the way I wanted him to.  Sometimes you try to make your own version of some character and they really look like "fan art". You know what I mean, they're just a tiny bit "off".  Good and all that, but not quite there.  I think this Mr. Mackey is as spot on as possible.

(the only "flaw" is he should have stubble. . .the episode where he gets high and thinks his head is a giant balloon, he had stubble. . .I didn't realize that until I was completely done with the patch and was just looking at some South Park stuff online.  I thought it would bug me that I missed that detail but really, this patch turned out so well I'm ok with it.)

Ok, I know I should be such a braggart about it.  It really doesn't take a genius to trace a image from the internet and use it as a template to cut out felt and glue it down to some fabric.  Then add some embroidery.  It's really just advanced tracing.  But even if it is "easy" like tracing, you have to be careful and pay attention to detail.  I think I nailed the detail pretty well (ok, now I'm sounding obnoxious. . .I'll stop).

The second patch is so simple it's almost criminal.

Just some hand lettering with heat set fabric marker.  I almost felt like I was cheating with that one, but I brought it with everything else that I thought it was ok to be "weak" with the second patch.

Next up. . .I'm not use if this is the stuffie or the "other item".  Doesn't really matter.

It's Mr. Hat!

(bonus of Gene creeping him like a super creepy feline creeper, even giving the stink eye. . .nice).

(oh, he does have his mustache under the hat rim, the pic is just weak. . .empty puppets are hard to photograph)

This was trickier than I thought.  I totally had a "that's going to be sooo simple" attitude so you know that means I had to make some mistakes and re-do some stuff.

First, I made the body in the wrong color.  Yup, straight up made a green body.

Second, the body shape was all wrong.  I made a classic "little kid draws a ghost" hand puppet shape with the arms up.  Mr. Hat is not shaped like that.  His arms jut right out from his body at right angles.

Third, I didn't keep in mind that he has flesh tone hands and face.

So the first run at the body was just all wrong (it was still a good generic hand puppet all in green, but useless for what I needed).

Once I had the right colors, things went smoother.  No issues with making the body.  Even got the had going fairly well.  But (as you can see) I hit a tiny snag with the rim.  I just could not get that bastard to lay as flat as I wanted.  Looking back I see two things I could have done.

One, make it two parts (and put the seams at the sides).  I did it as one continuous circle with is what caused the waviness.  I thought about trying to fix it after the puppet was completely done but that would have lead to there being a fugly as hell seam right in the front of the rim which I think would be worse than the waviness.

I also could have made the rim on cardboard.  That would have forced me to make the darts (take up the slack, whatever it's called) as I sewed and pretty much guaranteed a really flat rim but I knew I was going to work with cardboard for the other stuffie based item (and working with cardboard gets annoying. . .and it makes thing harder to ship because you don't want to crush the cardboard).

So, Mr. Hat has one major flaw but he still looks pretty good.

Last but certainly not least. . .


Gee, Naomi, you smell so nice and flowery!   (Naomi is my partner for this swap. . .my sister said my partner was going to hankey their pants when they saw this. . .that's the ultimate compliment right there).

Mr. Hankey was pretty easy to make.  I just got out my favorite shit fabric (yes, I've used this fabric to make a turd before. . and pretzels. . .but not a turd pretzel. . .ewww!), drew up a pattern and that really was that.  He's a turd.  Turd are easy.

The only tricky part was making sure the glue held his face to the turd fabric.  It's kind of slick pile and I had to do some touch up gluing after the first round (to make sure the edges were really down so the whole face wouldn't peel up).

You can't see it in the photo (because I'm a lazy photographer) but he does have a black mouth with a red tongue.  The pic kind of makes it look like he only has big red kissy lips but that is NOT true.

I wish I had shorter pile pipe cleaners for the arms.  They do make less shaggy pipe cleaners but I couldn't find them (and you know I waited until the last minute to work on this project).  I had one low pile pipe cleaner in my stash but the damn thing was white.  NOT acceptable.

I just poked a small hole on each side of the turd and threaded the pipe cleaner through.  Bend the ends to make a small bulge (and fold down any jabby bits) and then sew the mittens around the bulge (I knew glue alone wouldn't do it, so I didn't bother with glue at all. . .glue never holds on pipe cleaners).

That there mug is why I wasn't keen to use cardboard on Mr. Hat.  I made Mr. Hat first and KNEW this mug was going to be cardboard-tacular (it's fully filled with cardboard, side, base, and handle).  So I was saving my annoyance to get through this mug since I knew the cardboard would make the mug so much better (than just doing double layer felt).  It made packing the swap a little more challenging but I had some bubble wrap to fill it with and then took some scraps of the t.v. and punctuation fabric and made a little wad to support the handle (so it wouldn't crush).  I also packed the box tightly so there won't be a lot of shifting.

I LOVED doing this swap.  Everything turned out so well and I'm so proud to give every item to my partner.  She always makes great swaps, so she's worth the effort (and, as I've already established, I seem to enjoy bragging about my mad craft-tacular skills, y'all!).

Next up?

A bag swap and fluff sewing.  I have chameleons and cats in progress and puppies cut (but nothing more done on them yet).   I need to get caught up on Fluff!

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