Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Meet Odd.

This little guy is my first attempt at a completely original softie made from shrunk, recycled sweaters (commonly known as felted wool. But as I discovered while trying to find instructions for shrinking sweaters properly so they don't frey, this is a misnomer. Felted wool properly refers to fabric made from previously un-knit wool. So now you know).

One of the things I'm really interested in doing is finding a way to make various fun things out of recycled fabric. So in my quest to do this, I bought a few sweaters and inexpertly shrunk them. Three out of my four selected sweaters worked beautifully. The fourth one had this great snowflake pattern on it. I had great plans for the snowflake pattern, but the snowflakes came out as matted messes. The three that worked, however, produced this really soft, snuggly fabric that doesn't fray, is easy to embroider on and keeps its shape quite well. It is thicker than the felt available in Saskatoon, but considering that he quilt shop charged me $4 for a 6"x12" square of fabric and the sweaters were $6 each and will produce a lot more fabric than that, I think it was a bargain.

Odd is the second softie I have designed recently (the first is a little doll I made for a doll swap last year), and the third softie I've desined that has a head. In highschool and early university I made a number of Absurd dolls -- stuffed birds, dragons and monkeys that were perfect in every way except they were lacking heads. But in recent times I have been following some of the fantastic patterns I've found online to make my dolls and toys. So, I designed the pattern loosely based on my doll pattern.

Odd was supposed to be a bear, but the felt is really thick and so when I flipped him right side out afte sewing him together I discovered tha this ears were all wonky. Andrew and I breifly considered making him into a kangaroo, but that would have required finding a way to stitch a tail onto him. Thus, since he was a bit odd looking, he became the first of hopefully a small troop of Odds. I considered stitching a contrasting face and tummy onto him, but decided I liked the charm and simplicity of the embroidered face. I felt he needed a bit more decoration, so I added the star on a whim, and, later, this little curly tail as well.

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