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1  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Re: Hideous Reclaimed Fabric = Hideously Fabulous Birds on: November 20, 2008 05:50:40 PM
Are the wings socks, ties, or just fabric?

The wings are made from all sorts of fabrics.  Just two ovals of fabric sewn together and pressed.
2  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Re: Hideous Reclaimed Fabric = Hideously Fabulous Birds on: November 12, 2008 08:23:39 PM
I have this pattern as well and am actually doing a little visitor swap with my green one Cheesy Did you still use wire in the feet or just suff them tight? I think they are way cute with the bigger feet!!

No wire in the feet.  I just stuff the feet and "legs" with as much polyfill as possible (I sort of jam it in there using the blunt end of a knitting kneedle, lol).  With the kind of polyfill I use (Eco-Fill made from recycled plastic), the legs are stiff enough to keep the bird in an upright position - for the most part.  They are still have a little problems standing on account of being oddly balanced.
3  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Re: Round Shabby Chic Pillow With Bobble Trim on: November 02, 2008 09:35:51 AM
Hey Cool!
 is the back one solid piece or does it look like the front?

Exactly like the front!
4  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Round Shabby Chic Pillow With Bobble Trim on: November 02, 2008 07:51:53 AM
A while back, I found a really neat round pillow at a thrift store (the pink pillow in the picture below).  To complement it, I decided to design a round pillow of my own!



All three fabrics are vintage.  I am a bit of a vintage fabric freak, and love projects that put patterns and textures together in unexpected ways.

How to make one:

I cut out 8 rounded quadrilateral shapes of fabric for each side of the pillow and sewed them together to form a circle.  Then I used darts to bunch together each of the 12 seams at the center of the pillow.  Using cardboard and quilt bat, I made 2 upholstered “buttons” (one for each side) and used them to cover the gathered area.  The two buttons are anchored to each other through a hole in the center of the pillow and tightened with string.  Around the outside edge, I used a bobble trim.  The pillow was stuffed with ecofill batt – but any kind of craft batt will do. 

Thanks for looking!
5  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Re: Hideous Reclaimed Fabric = Hideously Fabulous Birds on: October 31, 2008 09:37:57 AM
Simplicity pattern #3691
6  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Re: Hideous Reclaimed Fabric = Hideously Fabulous Birds on: October 31, 2008 05:13:46 AM
I altered a kinda lame looking Simplicity pattern (#3691) to make them. It's not a very hard pattern -- the only annoying part is that there is some hand-sewing involved.
7  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Hideous Reclaimed Fabric = Hideously Fabulous Birds on: October 30, 2008 08:30:59 PM
About a year ago, I came up with a way to put my collection of vintage polyester shirts to good use.  I’ve been making “Hideous Birds” ever since.  Here are some of my most recent Hideous creations —



When I started out, I was very new to sewing (I learned how to sew so I could undertake this project!), so I used a Simplicity pattern.  Yes, you can make your very own Hideous Bird too!  I just altered the pattern a little bit to make the birds more “cartoonish”- mainly by enlarging the heads and feet. 


Matching-- or maybe I should say “un-matching”-- the reclaimed fabric in unexpected ways hasn’t ceased to amuse me yet.  Un-matching fabric confuses and pleases they eye all at once, I think . . .


This most recent batch-o-birds is made from some very “fideous” muumuus I found at a local thrift store.

Anyway, thanks for looking.  In the spirit of DIY, I wanted to conclude with a few tips for finding and using reclaimed for efforts of debauched “plushery”:

(1)  Ask your local thrift shops if they have any torn garments they’d like to unload (at a reduced price, of course).  Give stained, ripped and worn clothes a renaissance of hipness in the form of an amusing plush creature.

(2)  Polyester is your friend!  I’m not sure why it has a bad rep-- polyester doesn’t fray very easily, and it is durable and a little stretchy—absolutely perfect for a stuffed toy!  No interfacing required.

(3)  Thrift items with lots of fabric like muumuus, dresses and skirts.  Most of my fabric works out to be about $3 a meter…  10 times less than that fake-retro designer stuff.
8  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Re: Buzz Lightyear Sock Monkey on: July 08, 2008 02:19:12 PM
How cute!  Very nicely done.  I love the "toothpaste commercial" smile.  So perfect for a monkey hero!
9  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Discussion and Questions / Re: How can I antique my stuffed animals? on: July 08, 2008 07:49:31 AM
Cool idea!  Dyeing should work for any natural fiber.  I've never tried tea, but I bet a dilluted conventional dye would give a similar effect.  I find that the more natural, eco-friendly dyes create fabric with a more rustic look - which I guess makes sense, because old fashioned dyes would also be more "natural". 

I have also seen people make dolls out of white cavas or linen and use shoe polish to antique it.  It wouldn't be furry though.

A third suggestion is to use vintage materials.  Vintage lace and crocheted objects might be a neat touch.  Also, I love yo-yos - those fabric circles used for quilting http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=sr_list_5&listing_id=13179919 

Lastly, I saw this book at the bookstore recently--
http://www.amazon.com/MaryJanes-Stitching-Room-MaryJane-Butters/dp/1400080487   Seems like it could be inspiring if you want to pursue a old-time look.
10  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Discussion and Questions / Re: Stuffing a 2-d toy on: July 08, 2008 07:32:58 AM
Hmmm... clip the edges if you didn't - that might help with the wrinkliness.  Using heavier, stiffer fabric might help.  I tried making stuffies out of old pillow cases and had the same problem - switched to a heavier cotton and they look a lot better.  Hope it works out for you - these are really cute!
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