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1  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!
2  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.
3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / New Incognito Underpants Squirrels - Incl. a ZOMBIE!! on: July 07, 2008 02:55:27 PM
Evidently, squirrels like to hide in the bushes - they seem innocent enough, unless you happen to see one sporting a disguise! You could have an Incognito Underpants Squirrel on your hands -- a breed of deviant squirrel that is prone to creepy behaviors whilst clad in underpants.

The pallor of this particular I.U.S. suggests mass consumption of hard lemonade - the prefered diet of this breed of Incognito Underpants Squirrel.

Also recently spotted, a ZOMBIE Incognito Underpants Squirrel --

This Incognito Underpants Squirrel lives underneath my radiator. Instead of brains, zombie squirrels prefer the gooey inside of chocolate Ding Dongs and can "de-shell" a Ding Dong in seconds. How? I don't know! And of course, to keep his identity secret, this zombie squirrel sports a moustache of some distinction.

(apparently the pictured pastries are actually called "Hostess Cupcakes", but I think "Ding Dong"; has a nice ring to it, har har har!)

Here's another pic of the Zombie Incognito Underpants Squirrel:

As per the suggestion of a Crafster user, I have been working on a nemesis or counterpoint for the Incognito Underpants Squirrel.  It is called "Angry Housecoat Cat".  I also want to make a version of the Incognito Underpants Squirrel that comes with a range of moustache types that can be changed and affixed via Velcro. Soon, yes, soon.

PS- These are easy to make.  The body is four pieces (body back & front; underpants back & front).  Closed by hand-sewing the tail on.  Fleece and velvet-type fabrics work well.  All sorts of trims can be used for the underpants.  I used "bobbles" on these, but also have done floral trims for girlier underpants on my "Lipstick Underpants Squirrels".  The stache is made from two pieces of felt hand sewn together.
4  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / "Hideous Birds" Rock Vintage Fabric on: March 11, 2008 08:35:57 AM
I'm all about making "hideous" items cool again.  In this case, I took the fugliest materials I could find and rocked them out in parrot form. 

The art is in the fabrics not the pattern, I think.

It's weird (and awesome) that slight accidental variations in the faces/beaks make each parrot have a unique personality. 

I have 25 more in production (I cut enough pieces for a crap-ton at a time so I can mix and match the fabrics on an adhoc basis).  It's my hope that they will find a home together in a massive antique bird cage.  In the meantime, they are decorating my apartment and hanging out with my little kittyzilla, Pylon Ladonda (See the fat orange thing in the photo below.  My roommate posted his wedding pictures a while ago if you're wondering why he looks familiar!)

5  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Incognito Underpants Squirrels on: March 10, 2008 12:07:13 AM
Squirrels like to hide in the bushes. Squirrels like to hide in trees. Squirrels like to hide in bird feeders while they eat all the bird seed.

Natural selection and evolutionary pressures have therefore produced the "Incognito Underpants Squirrel"-- an advanced and highly civilized squirrel cleverly able to disguise itself . . . and wear underpants.

I was inspired by old Russian cartoons and the taxidermy squirrel my parents gave me for Christmas.

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