Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How to Make a Squirrel

I do not post this because it's my own original idea or anything extra special, but because I was so frustrated when the blog I was referencing had very little (er, nearly no) instruction or direction. I think that you could actually make a lot of different animals using some of these basic pieces, too.

I started this project hoping to channel my inner Lorelei Gilmore, being able to whip up my daughter's prom dress or an entire cast of costumes for Fiddler on the Roof without even trying...however, I'm finding for an "artsy" person I am hopelessly un-crafty.

For the Vest
I brought out one of Maggie's vests and traced a back and two front panels.

Then, thinking "it's going to be soooo cold, I need to make a liner" (???), I cut three more panels (using the outer ones as patterns) out of the same fabric I had for the tail. (Joann's had some amazing remnants...I really lucked out)

After ironing and pinning the panels, I began to sew. I made sure to go extra, extra slow because I cannot sew a straight line to save my life. I finished sewing the outer panels together and could not have been more proud of myself. Until I discovered that I sewed through the armholes. Awesome.

I then set out to sew the outer and inner pieces together. Feeling quite confident, I was just about beside myself when it came time to turn the vest inside out. Unfortunately, this was the resulting product.

No one told me not to sew the armholes before I flipped it right side out. (Consider this your fair warning!)

I ended up just folding over and top stitching the armholes in the end. I still have no idea if this is the right way to do things, but I didn't have the energy or brain power to figure out something different at that point.

The rest was fairly straightforward.

I sewed a spare snap I found in my sewing bag to the front flaps. I then made some little leaves (out of what is proving to be the most useful fabric I have ever purchased) by cutting out (just freehand it) two leaf shapes and sewing them together front/back. I trimmed the edges with my scrapbooking scissors so they looked nice and clean. I did the same thing for the little acorn that I put on her hat. My sister just hand sewed those onto the front of the vest, on top of the snap closure.

For the Hat
I'm sure there are a million ways to make a hat, but after all that I had been through with the vest, I just used one of Maggie's beanies that happens to be brown. We hand sewed the leaves and acorn to the front. For the ears, we cut out two half-moonish shapes and pinched together the bottom and then hand sewed those on as well.

For the Bag
I cut out two "acorn shapes" and sewed them together. I then cut some scallops from the green material again, pinned those, and sewed a brown grosgrain ribbon around the edge of the bag to "finish" everything and make a little handle.

For the Tail
Much simpler than it looks! We sewed a "tube" out of the fuzzy material by cutting a square and sewing up one edge and across the top. We then "cinched" the top of the tail with a needle and thread so it wouldn't be so box-y on the end. Once we stuffed it with polyfill, we sewed across the bottom to prevent fill from falling out. I think you could attach it in a variety of ways. I ended up stuffing the extra material at the bottom into Maggie's pants and then put two safety pins on either side attached to her vest so that the top sort of flopped down to make a question mark shape.

And that's how you (well, I) make a squirrel.


jacqueline said...

I think that would be me, who may have failed to tell you not to sew the arm holes! So sorry. But it still turned out great!!!

jacqueline said...

PS. I can't believe in the middle of all of this you stopped to take pictures of your sewn arm holes, etc.