Monday, May 18, 2009

Some of what I've been doing

Poor blog. You are so neglected. The primary reason for this is because I have been out doing things and living life, rather than writing about it. So, what has been filling my days? Hopefully in the next few I can show what I've been up to lately.

First, in the crafting realm. I have been asked to do a very interesting craft project. The story goes something like this: Once upon a time, my friend Ann caught me in a moment of weakness with regards to a central park hoodie (CPH III on ravelry, for those who care about the details). As she was sporting her new sweater atone of her studio homes, co-worker Scott inquired about my ability to develop patterns from scratch. My ability? Just fine, thanks. I was asked then if I would be able to create one of these:

Now, I've done some pattern drafting here in NC, but nothing like what I was doing in Texas. Haven't had the time, the space, the energy, or frankly, the need to develop anything. So this is a very welcome challenge. Spaceman MINI (that's his name) truly is mini--he stands about 3 inches. The mini I'm creating currently stands at 15 inches. That's what...400 times bigger? After discussions about colors and materials, I laid my hands on some fleece, pulled my muslin out of storage,and have set to work making a mock up. The results so far have been..interesting. Something of a disaster, I'm afraid. I actually hesitate to post this on the internet. Then again, maybe it's for the best, as it will dispel some myths from some of you about things springing forth fully formed from my fingers!

At any rate, the biggest challenge is his face. The embroidery part will be interesting enough on its own. I'm going for "Silk and Ivory" needlepoint thread for that. Gorgeous from my perspective, and, in my imagination, fully capturing the character--Scott's requirement! But the edge of his space suit, the fact that it's recessed, is proving to be a very interesting structural challenge. After a lot of thought, I came up with the idea of building a triangle-wedge-donut around his face. See the angle? If that's the hypotenuse of a triangle, then dropping down a piece of scrap fabric vertically around the outermost edge, and extending the plane of the face horizontally would make a triangle inside him, that I could fill independently and keep that shape. So the theory went. Not so much...well, here's the results:

Looking all flat and innocent. I wasn't thrilled with my skill at aligning the face to the grey part to the body..but was willing to let it go for the time.

Frankly, I think the poor guy looks like a giant tooth. The white doesn't help. This, I think, can officially be termed a design fail. The likes of which I haven't done in a long time. Like I said, I feel bad sharing this one with the world, and frankly, I hope the intended recipient doesn't think any less of my skills for this one! Ha! As a matter of fact, this one was the second attempt. The first one went straight into the trash--I must have been tired, or overly arrogant, because the first results were so bad I had to simply throw them away without a second glance.

So what's next for the MINI? Well, I have another design in my head, which I didn't really want to do because it will be more complex and difficult to assemble, but I'm fairly certain I'll get a decent result out of it. I'm going to extend the plane of the face (and the fabric it rests on) out to the side seams, and then build the front half of him outward from that. The challenges include having three pieces of fabric along the side seams (rather than just two), and turning is from wrong-side out to right side out, as well as attaching the grey part of his suit to the face. My ideal situation is to use a zig-zag stitch to get the black lines, but it's also a fairly heavy stitch. And a bitch to rip out. So, on the real thing, if I make the tiniest error, I'm utterly screwed, because I'll have heavy-duty zig zag sitting right next to a hand-embroidered face. I'm terrified of having to rip that seam back--I don't think the face would survive it very well at all, and it'll take hours just on its own. Oh, and I'm going to try to stiffen the grey portion with glue-soaked gauze. Because it's not complicated enough yet.

The glue is finally dry, and I'll attempt the mock-up tonight. Wish me luck!

ETA: for those of you who want to see Scott's other artwork, you can go see his blog here.

1 comment:

Goes by the name of Anna said...

Admittedly my sewing skills are hardly anything to write home about, so perhaps I'm less discerning than you, but I thought your second attempt looked kind of cute... I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the next version!

(also, your friend does some very cool stuff!)