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Topic: A Tale of Two New Catrinas ***pattern added!***  (Read 27891 times)
Tags for this thread: pincushion , day_of_the_dead , featured_project , dia_de_los_muertos , catrina , pattern , tutorial  Add new tag
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« on: May 29, 2010 08:01:42 PM »

***Please scroll down for pattern.***

OK, not so much a tale... just some regular ol' photos.

I made my first catrina pincushion last year for a pincushion swap.  Later, using that same  pattern I'd saved from the first one, I made a second catrina for a personal swap:

The arms are posable, and the head, bodice and sleeves are the pincushion-y parts.  I used 1, 2 and 3 strand embroidery floss on felt, with mostly backstitching and french knots for the designs.

Scrap fabric, polyfil, more felt, and floral wire make up the upper body, and the underskirt part is a baby food jar (for storage.)  The removable apron is for keeping needles.

When I was finished, I threw away the pattern, not expecting to make another.  But then a very dear friend of mine asked me to make her one, so I came up with this version, drafting the pattern from memory....  It's not quite the same, but I actually think I like this one better.

Same basic design, stitching and materials as the previous two. . . .

I really did think about making a tutorial, but to be honest, a lot of what goes into making these pincushions is just feeling around, adjusting, making it fit, making do.... so a tutorial wouldn't really be practical. While I didn't make a full tutorial, I do have the pattern from the latest (and last!) Catrina, and I'd be happy to share it with y'all if anyone is interested.  
Questions, C/C are most welcome!
Thanks for looking!  Smiley


Pattern, and general instructions....

Printing instructions:
*** You can download the pattern here.  It's hosted on Box.net.  It's free, and safe.  If you know how to download it from Craftster, have at it!  Smiley
*** BE SURE to select "print exact size" before you print.
*** You may have to adjust your margins to 0" if your printer doesn't do that automatically.

** felt
** scrap fabric
** 2 pieces of floral wire, one 9" long (the arms) and one 18" long (folded in half for strength... the "spine")
** embroidery thread
** sewing thread
** polyfil
** small baby food jar (the smallest, "1st step" size)
** strong adhesive glue, such as E6000
** trim, beads, embellishments, if you like

Basic instructions (no pictures):

** Embellish the face first.  The dotted lines on the pattern just show the basic "boundaries" of the face.
** Gather the face (and bun and sleeves) by hand, using a running stitch close to the edge.  Stuff very tightly with polyfil, pull thread tight, and stitch closed.

** Trickiest part... and if you think of a better way, please use it!
** Center the felt hair piece to the face/head, and pin in place.
** Now, work the rest of the piece over and around the head, closing gaps, and overlapping in the front (at slits) if you need to.  (See why I didn't want to try to explain this?  Clear as mud!)  It's best if this piece is a little loose or baggy at the back of the head, as you will fill out the head by adding polyfil to it in a minute.
** Starting at the back of the head, stitch the hair to the head.  I used a blanket stitch for this.  Leave one of the gaps/slits in the back open.
** Through that last open gap/slit, stuff the head with more polyfil, until it's the shape, size and firmness you want.  Stitch the gap closed.
** Attach the bun to the head, using regular thread.
** You can now attach some trim or other embellishment to the bun with thread or glue.

** Fold felt arms lenthwise as shown on pattern, matching up edges.
** Stitch the long edge and hand area closed... a blanket or whip stitch, sewn very close to the edge, is best.  Leave the small, shoulder end open.
** Do not stitch arm joints, bones, etc. yet!

** Seam allowances for dress are a scant 1/4".
** Stitch bodice pieces, right sides together, leaving the bottom edge open.
** Turn right side out, press.
** Stitch sides of skirt pieces to each other, right sides together.
** Turn right side out, press.
** Hem the skirt if you like, and/or embellish the edge.
** Gather the waist of the skirt by hand with a running stitch; set aside for now.


This part is the hardest to describe, so if it doesn't make sense, I apologize in advance.  Basically, you are now going to put everything together on a wire frame, and attach everything together.  I'll give you the basic order of how I did it, and I'm sure you can figure this out!  Wink

** Cut a TINY (like, 1/16") slit in the bottom of the head, and in the center, top of the bodice.
** Put the folded end of the longer floral wire up into the head.
** Next, feed the free ends of the wire down into the hole in the top of the bodice.
** Twist the wire a few times tightly, from the head, down into the bodice just a bit.  (You just made a neck!)

** Now, poke the smaller wire into the bodice where you want the arms to be.  (This would be toward the lower angle of the "arm hole" area.)
** Push the wire through the two "spine"/long wires, and out the other side of the bodice to make the other arm.
** Make your arms as even as you can, and then twist the spine/long wires up to make the arm wire stay in place.  You should now be able to raise the arms up and down, but not side to side so much.

** Stuff the bodice with polyfil.
** You can now close the bottom of the bodice loosely with a few stitches, or close it with a scrap of fabric (which is what I did.)

** Now, slip the felt arms onto the wire arms.
** Stitch the felt arms to the bodice at the "arm hole" areas with just a few stitches.
** You can now stitch arm joints, hand bones, etc. with black embroidery thread.  It's tricky, and if you want to skip this step, I think the arms would still look fine.
** Place the stuffed sleeves on each "arm hole," covering the spot where you stitched the felt arm to the bodice.  Stitch in place.

** If you have wire revealed at the neck, you can now sew the small bit of felt around it, keeping the stitches in the back.  You can also attach the neck felt to the base of the head if you want.  You will probably have to adjust the piece of felt you use for this step... it depends on how long the neck is that you made, or if one even shows at all!

** Next, attach the gathered skirt to the bottom of the bodice.  I like using a whip stitch for this.  Be sure to try to hide any raw edges, gathering stitches, etc.  

** Poke a very small hole (~1/8") in the lid of the baby food jar.  
** You may now want to paint the lid, or cover it in scrap felt (which is what I did.)
** Feed the spine wire into the hole.
** Spread the wires, loop the wires -- whatever you have to do -- to make the body stand up.  It's not really that hard, and the body should stand fairly easily (unless the jar's hole is too big.  And in that case, you'll need a different jar lid!  Undecided  )
** Glue your wires to the lid with strong adhesive (E6000).
** You can cover the wires by gluing a scrap piece of felt over the wires with more E6000.  (This also makes it more sturdy!)
** Allow this to dry for several hours.

Aaaaand you're done!
Please feel free to ask any questions, and I'd love to hear what you think, and if you try it!  ((And please let me know if you can't download/print the pattern!  Thanks!))
« Last Edit: May 30, 2010 12:20:20 PM by barbolot » THIS ROCKS   Logged

crafty gurll
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2010 08:11:41 PM »

Barbalot those are GORGEOUS!!!  Love love love them to pieces.   Cheesy
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2010 08:31:32 PM »

Oh my gosh..I don't like sugar skulls and such but THESE! I LOVE them! Really wonderful work on these. These are seriously, seriously cool Smiley
Just love them Smiley

"This Rocks"!!!!!!!!

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What a piece of work is man!

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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2010 09:25:53 PM »

These are amazing! So much great detail! I'm wisting, and would definitely love to see the pattern.

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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2010 09:41:27 PM »

yep.  i concur.  id love to see a pattern.  these are so lovely!!!

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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2010 09:46:23 PM »

Oh man!!! These freakin' rock!! I'd love a pattern!
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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2010 02:03:15 AM »

These are so lovely! I can't imagine wanting to put pins in them, maybe in the sleeves of the first one. They're a great combination of fabric and embroidery, thanks for the inspiration!

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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2010 06:48:56 AM »

Thank you for your kind words, everyone!  Smiley  I'll retrace and clean up the pattern this afternoon, and get it posted for you.  I hope it's of some help/use!  Wink

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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2010 07:41:44 AM »

Absolutely amazing Barbolot!

I recognize some of the dress fabric. Wink

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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2010 08:39:39 AM »

Ooh I like! Can't wait to see the pattern, I may have to try this. BTW, where did you find Frida Kahlo fabric!?!?!

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