Today I had my first visit to a shop called Abakhan, and it has been the best material shop I have been to so far.
The quest was to get better fleece than I have, and look at their fur, also better than I have, and get a more puppet appropriate foam, than what my more local material shop has.
The shop is brightly lit, with loads of space, materials neatly stacked on repacks, and equipment down one large wall. The pricing one has come across with the local stores is by the meter, here it is also by the kilo. Kind of confusing for the novice, but the staff are super helpful.
I must have looked like I had wandered into the wrong store, as I was almost immediately greeted with a “hello, can I help you?”. To be fair one did go woah wen I went through the door. With it being my first time I asked where the items I was looking for lived, and they were either fetched for me or I was shown where they were.
I am so glad I went in with a list, as one already came out with more than what was on it. I suspect it would have been far greater if I had gone just browsing, as it was I overspent. And I know I am going back there often for more supplies.
The lovely staff member who had helped me was the one who served, and commented on my purchases as an interesting project so I showed her a picture of the done puppet, the now usual aaaah response was had. I felt that if I showed what I was doing, and if I go regular enough, maybe in time I go I won’t look out of place (as much) when my sewing prodgects expand and I go browsing.
One has been using the cheap fleece one has to practice with a sewing machine that is as old as me, if not older, I inherited from an aunt. It feels so natural to use one feels like one can try any setting. And one has gone through a few. Problems have been had, but that has been little more than pebbles to overcome, nothing has set me back with using the machine.
Except one plush teddy bear. My fat fingers, no instructions to go with the pattern, and limited space for sewing, I suspect there was no seem allowance on it either, led me to the understanding – one should not make a 5.5 inch tall (sitting) bear until better at using the machine. So I looked for more plush patterns and found a load at http://www.choleyknight.com, so I made a version of their owl.
So much easier with instructions…but I did not follow all, I altered to suit what I had and to practice new stitches with the machine. One never knows when appliquéing will be useful on a puppet. Now I have done it I may be using it more.
Soft toys may seem strange for a bloke to practice on, but they offer a wide range of shapes to get to grips with. If the charity shops can sell them – bonus. Later on the skills learnt could be creating clothing or equipment for walking/camping. A travel bed is going to be one of the first for Spot.
The puppet building will be looking better and better with each improvement, bellow is the puppet (base pattern by http://www.adamkreutinger.com/) and the owl plush.