Archive for March 2012

I Am Not a Committee!

Here’s another amazing lady I got to recreate in plush form. On top of being a princess and a rebellion leader, Leia always has the most kickass hair. She can be refined and diplomatic or fiery and sarcastic and this is one damsel that doesn’t wait around for somebody else to rescue her.

Leia’s style is elegant, but still practical for space adventuring. Her original outfit in A New Hope was always my favorite and comes coupled with the best hair. If you can’t find the perfect dress, a large turtleneck shirt and some tailoring would probably get you close. Obviously I had to throw in some galaxy print tights, it is Star Wars after all. Tall boots with a low heel are pretty and practical for fleeing the Empire or going on diplomatic missions. A Rebel Alliance pendant and princessy crown earrings match with her silver belt. Cinnamon roll hair goes without saying.
In related Star Wars themed crafting, I had to share this little Gamorrean Guard. It was great to get him as a custom order since I’ve been wanting to make one for awhile. I had a feeling Gamorrean’s would translate into plush really well and they totally do! Just look at that fugly little pig face and tell me you don’t want to give him a big hug.

the only downside is that he had to get mailed off to his new home. I hear he is being well loved though.

Fireball!

Custom orders are done and it is finally time to throw myself head first into sewing dolls for conventions! I love custom orders for all the different and interesting requests, but I’m excited to take a break to work on some new designs and old favorites. Plus making multiples of things makes me feel super productive.

One of my goals for this year was to offer a wider selection and more original plush characters. I always have fun sketching new ideas and playing with designs, and I’m looking forward to offering some different things this year. Since this will be my first year selling at Dragon*Con, one of my first thoughts was obviously cuddly baby dragons! Since I happened to take some in process pictures while making the dragons, this is going to be a kind of behind the scenes look at my doll making process.
Any new character starts with a sketch, like the one above. I get the basic idea down and figure out what pattern pieces I need to create.
Since dragons are well known for their treasure hoarding, these little guys needed some sparkle. That meant one thing: sequins! One online order and lots of excited squeaking later a box of various colors was on the way.
I work from the same basic pattern for all the 18″ dolls; this pattern is modified or added to as needed for each character. The baby dragons needed a diffent head and a modification to the body pattern to get the cute little tail and dragony rump. They also made some little wings and two different options for ears. Once the new pattern pieces were drawn, I stitched up and stuffed a protoype.
This is the little dragon prototype, and he is super cute! Pleased with the look, it was time to move onto my favorite part: selecting colors and combinations. Lizardy greens and yellows were an obvious pick, along with fiery pinks and reds and some black and deep grey to recall the dark caves where dragons make their homes.
When making multiples, I usually sew and assemble the basic body first and add details later. I didn’t plan out which color got matched to each set of wings or ears; I like to fiddle and experiment with color combinations. Once the basic bodies were done, I just started putting pieces with them until I was happy. Playing with the sequins was definitely super fun, so sparkly! Each dragon got two different colors of sequins in several clusters of three or four.

Finally, here are some of the completed baby dragons! All the little eye decorations were cut freehand and each shape is unique. These little guys will be joining me at conventions and a few will be available at my Etsy shop. Time to move on to the next batch!

Contest Winner!

And the winner is…..

Kitty Michael!

Thank you to everyone who commented, liked and followed! Remember to keep checking back for future contests, news, and giveaways!

I Love My Captain

This was a custom order I was really excited to do! I love Firefly and Serenity, and Kaylee is one of my favorite characters. (It’s so hard to choose a favorite on this show, everyone is so fun and rounded out!)
I think what I like most about Kaylee is that she can be girly but doesn’t mind getting dirty either. She loves her job as a mechanic and the adventure of being out in space with the crew, and her skills can get her a lot of respect. (One of my favorite scenes is her surrounded by admirers while discussing the pros and cons of various ship components, especially since she had been snubbed by the fancy girls for her store-bought dress.) Kaylee is sweet and positive and seems to be able to find the good in people even when they have trouble seeing it themselves. She’s a good balance between the feminine and refined Inara and strong and always self-assured Zoe; naive and unsure at times but not treated like a child.
The doll was based on Kaylee’s outfit in the pilot. She has a floral top under her removable jacket. She also has a little stuffed strawberry, no doubt snuck from Shepard Book’s payment. Her coveralls have a teeny teddy bear applique. Her hair is done in two little buns.
Since I had so much fun with this doll, I wanted to something else as a little homage to Kaylee.

I started with Kaylee’s everyday mechanic outfit, trying to keep the theme with the utilitarian jeans and roughed up boots. Since Kaylee has her girly side too, I added the frilly top as a nod to her over the top gown in Shindig. (That dress is hilarious but a little much for everyday wear). I added a jacket similar to the one Kaylee wears on Persephone in the pilot episode to incorporate some of the Chinese influence through the show. I also like the contrast of the floaty floral jacket with the slim pants and boots. Being the mechanic, of course I had to add a little wrench ring.

I have a few more cute plush ladies I want to feature, so check back for more cuddly dolls and outfits!

Everyone Loves Free Stuffs!

So who is ready for a contest! It’s easy peasy and you could win a $40 gift certificate to my Etsy shop to put toward a ready made doll or a custom order of your very own (customs start at $50)! Here’s how to enter:

Like my Facebook page
Follow me on Twitter
Comment on this post!

Super easy, right? But there’s more! You can get an extra entry by tweeting about Handmade Stuffs (make sure to add @HandmadeStuffs so I know you did) or by posting about Handmade Stuffs on Facebook and tagging the page. One extra entry is allowed for each site, so you can have a total of five possible entries. If you already follow me or like me you’re automatically entered. Make sure to stick around after the contest is over too; you’ll be automatically entered in future contests.

The contest will be open until Sunday, March 11th and I’ll announce the winner the following day. Good luck!

Tree Hugger

It’s just barely March and I’ve fulfilled two of my New Year’s resolutions, yay me! This weekend I checked off “get some of my stuff in local stores” when I dropped off some cuddly and eco-friendly Saplings at Eco-Licious in Charlotte, NC.

These little Saplings are 18″ tall with jointed arms and a head that can turn. They all have cute leaf hair and each doll features three leaves in a unique combination of fabrics. My favorite part is making their little “branch” noses from felt, so cute!
Ready for the enviornmentally friendly part? The body, stuffing, and felt are all made from recycled plastic water bottles! Plastic water bottles can be melted down, made into thread, and used to make fabrics that would otherwise be made from new plastics. How cool is that?

If you’re in the area and would like to grab one, Eco-Licious is located in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood at 1916 Commonwealth Ave. There’s additional information on their Facebook page. If you do stop in, I highly recommend the Raz-dillos (vegan twinkie-style treats covered in raspberry and shredded coconut).

February Make Out – Let’s Pollinate!

No, it’s not what you’re thinking. Get your mind out of the gutter! This Make Out is a free monthly craft session organized by Crown Town Handmade, Charlotte’s group of crafty entrepreneurs. (Of which I am a proud member.) Make Outs are the last Thursday of every month and are open to all ages. Crafty fellas are welcome too!

For the February Make Out we brought a little color and cheer to the cold, gray winter with fabric flowers. Tsunami kanzashi flowers are made by folding small squares of fabric into petals and then joining five or more together to make a flower. The flower can then be attached to a pin, hair clip, or sewn directly onto another surface. Or just carry it around to demonstrate your awe inspiring ability to turn little squares of fabric into pretty flowers. Only really cool people can do that.

The flowers are pretty easy to fold, but do take a little dexterity. It helps to starch the fabric or iron on a lightweight interfacing, but we used untreated fabric and they came out fine. It does take a little finagling to get those petals positioned. Luckily the center gets covered with beads, buttons, or a bit of fabric so any imperfections are pretty easy to hide.

We all worked dilligently, by which I mean we mostly screwed around and chatted and got distracted by all the pretty beads around us and made inappropriate jokes. Getting to visit with other crafty people is one of my favorite things about the Make Out and we always have a total blast.

Here’s everyone with their creations.

If you want to make your own, feel free to print out or save the instruction sheet below. We used 3″ and 4″ squares of quilters cottons to make our flowers.
A big thank you to Beadlush for hosting us at the last minute and to Rachel for taking pictures!