Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

A Bag, A Bear, and A Dead Bird

Assignment 5: Textiles 

For assignment 5, we were tasked with creating two objects during class and one outside object. Object one was a simple drawstring pouch that sewed only using straight lines. The second object was an embroidered patch of our own creation. Finally, we had to combine the two skills we learned to make a textile object of our own.

The final object had to have at least 4 colors embroidered. This requirement seemed arbitrary to me since to complete this I would just have to choose a random spool of thread instead of doing two white sections. I embroidered an eye, so I feel that I should not be docked points for not stitching a red pupil on my chicken.  

We may have been doing this assignment for three weeks, but this assignment offered the least amount of time to work. This is troubling since the out of class project needed more than three work days to complete. Because of this, I only have the head of my plush to show. Also, sewing machines are insanely inconsistent. The project became much easier one the idea of perfection was thrown into the sun. 

Assignment One: D`rawstring Pouch

This pouch was the product of the first time we learned to sew. To start off we had to cut out two cloth outlines twice. Once cut we could fold one outline on the other and stitch them together. Finally, we had layer the two halves onto each other and stitch them together. Once we folded the bag in on itself it was complete. ez pz. 

Assignment Two: Embroidered Patch  

In this assignment we had to create a patch using the digital sewing software (I forgot the name of the program :/ ). In preparation for this assignment we had to find a picture/logo that we would be able to process as if we were going to make a sticker in silhouette. Instead of using edge detection, when tracing the bitmap in inkscape, we use the color re-scans. The number of color re-scans will be the same as the number of colors on the patch. Once completed we can export the .svg to the sewing software and start to stitch.

This patch was supposed to look a ton better but I spent more than an hour of class time debugging my sewing machine. I do not remember why, but my thread kept on clumping and getting jammed under the metal plate. One issue I vividly remember is having to re-thread the bobbin. I’m glad I had to figure that out since I had to do it again during my individual project. Kind of glad I experienced these problems, navigating a sewing machine is easy now. Only issue now is understanding why thread just clumps, seems really random.   



Assignment Three: Torso-less Mythical Chicken

Ok, so this actually kinda cute plush chicken head was far more stressful than it should have been. The sewing seams just worked, I was bewildered at how it just came together. The guide was great, easy to follow. The reason why I’m astonished that it “just worked” was because everything else about this project was annoying.

To start off, I spent about two hours just cutting fabric. Of course this plush had more parts than just the head. A lot of little parts. With there only being one good pair of fabric scissors, cutting took some time. Next was the issue of embroidery. Embroidery most of the time just didn’t work. In the picture you can see the blue oval and how crappy it looks. I don’t know why it did that, it just did. Also, embroidering one face took about 30 min. Finally, was the issue that I printed two left faces lol. Instead of making a proper right face I inverted one of the left faces. so now, the right face looks ugly but I saved time. Overall, the development process was crappy but I feel that I produced a product that is indicative of my skill level. 


Overall I feel that the challenges I faced in this assignment were not “real” challenges but more of ones of happenstance and poor planning. I’ve already stressed how much I dislike the randomness of the sewing machine. during assignment three that was almost the only issue with sewing, inconsistency.

The other fake challenge was how, in my opinion, how poorly this assignment was scheduled. I had a total of 7 hours available to work on this project, that was not enough. We could not really start the assignment until we learned embroidery. Since we learned that the week before spring break, and the assignment  was due the week we come back, This only allotted me three possible times I could come in during the FabLab. This minute amount really impacted how I felt emotionally about the assignment. I didn’t care about my final product, I just wanted something I could turn in. I know scheduling is hard, especially for this semester, so I understand that one project was going to go poorly.  

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