Initially, I chose the Toothless/Light Fury bag as How to Train Your Dragon is my favorite animated movie of all time. I had picked fabric that had dragon scales. Also, I did not want a felt material because I felt it picks up lint and other dirt. I wanted to include eyelashes (like the ones you see on cars), but I found that we did not carry the materials necessary for this. Lastly, I wanted the bag to be a small, handheld purse. I wanted just Toothless’ head as the body.
Next, I wanted to embroider the item using the embroidery machine and the design I chose had a 4 hour rendering time so I could not complete it during the open hours. I also tried to use the technique that Duncan suggested with embroidering both sets of eye (the outer and inner) at the same time. Unfortunately, I forgot to set up in the embroidery software the appropriate settings, which led to the felt material getting eaten up by the machine.
Subsequently, I tried to work on the strap of the purse and I did not think about the placement and had sewn the zipper for the purse into the strap. I took a seam ripper to the strap to salvage the zipper. I had almost succeeded when I had cut the zipper to the teeth accidentally.
Unfortunately, I had to re-think this assignment. I realized that the Toothless bag might be a great iteration activity as it is much, much more complicated than I realized for my skill level. As a result, I revised my assignment and decided to do the OWL Plush instead, due to it’s lower level of difficulty (which was still a learning curve). I went with linen because felt, as aforementioned, attracts a lot of dirt and lint and with my severe allergy/sinus problems, I did not want to make my room more of a germ factory than it already is.
With this assignment, I realized that I have the dexterity of a toddler. I had a hard time making decent circles and shapes with the chalk on the material that I chose. I think the linen was not heavy and sturdy enough, which would have kept it from moving as much as it did when I tried to trace. Also, I had a hard time making hand stitches that did not pull apart. The original plush is full of small holes from where my thread fell out as I had made knots, but they were too small for the holes. I think that I was not using a small enough needle and the needle’s hole was too large for the thread because it continually un-knotted itself. This was a major source of frustration. They were coming undone even after I had watched a tutorial. However, I found another tutorial that suggested a different method that worked better for me and seems to have kept the stitches intact.
I decided to re-do this as my hand-stitches were not even and the holes, in my opinion, were distracting. I also did not do well with the cutting of the material so I have re-drawn these pieces.
Overall, I made three different attempts. The second attempt would have been better, but when I was trying to trim the excess fabric, I over-cut and ended up with too little of the material to stuff and sew. The final product is okay, but I needed more stuffing to fully round out the linen. I also made too many threads and it looks messy, which was not my intention as the final product was mostly completed on the sewing machine. Nevertheless, I did have to sew the eyes, feet, beak, and wings on by hand. I definitely think my hand-stitching improved. I incorporated the dragon scale fabric into my finished product as I had originally intended to use it for the purse and I felt it would be a cute design element in this piece. In addition, I had cut out the wings before I understood how to flip it inside out. Therefore, the wings are really bulky as they are three pieces of the dragon-scale fabric, instead of the required two, and thus, they are really thick.
If I were to do this over again, I would need to figure out a better technique for cutting and sketching the fabric. My cutting skills were very weak and thus, the fabric was not evenly distributed, which is why it is pretty lumpy. This does not look like an owl, but it does look like an Animaniac, specifically Yakko. I am proud of myself for completing the task, even though I failed several times and my product does not look professional.
First sewing assignment during class
the failed zipper strap sewing activity My hand-stitchingthe original attempt’s front
The back of the second attempt after I had cut too much fabric away.
The front of the owl on the second attemptThe final product, with the open back of the second attempt behind it.