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Category Archives: Puppet

Reflections 2019 w23

The path at the allotment is two slabs, yet to get, away from being finished. A little bit of planting to do, and that is the plot design finished till later on in the year when I complete the greenhouse, if it does not get swapped, hence the no rush approach.

My sons happy memory toy, the opposite of his worry monster, I did not like the idea he had only an unpleasant memory storage system, has been finished and passed onto my son. His design on paper became an actual thing.



I know it’s not a perfect match, but he was warned it was my first time doing a zipper, along the belly, and that I was going to do Hop in one go, no prototypes to alter the pattern.

It was a strange creation, where I learnt a couple of lessons about batting and sewing machines. The zipper was not perfect (the belly), but it works, that is all I was asking of it.I kept it straight as it was my first one.

Skill will come with practice.

So, onto the next project…Another experimental piece, for someone at group. Thankfully it is a painting this time, with a twist.

One has also scheduled more poems, this take me up to September now.


Reflections 2019 w08

The fox draft excluder prototype was finished yesterday evening, all parts fit well together and are sized appropriately. And having done the physical build of the idea, my concept has changed. No longer will it be done in all fur, it will attract too much dust. It would look good, but it would be impractical, not good for a practical object.

Fleece will be the main body and the tail only will be out of fur, this will look better fluffy.

The lady who runs the art group has seen different parts being built as models in platercine, covered in masking tape, and drawn into sections and cut. Even with a quick sketch of the idea she could not see the whole. One can understand that as prior to learning to make puppets from scratch I had no idea of the process. It’s art, but built in 3D build made up of 2D patterns. Even when you see the pattern being created it’s still looking at a 3D jigsaw without the picture of the completed model.

I have decided that one will have to make a new pattern template that includes all the parts for the right and left side of the parts. One got awfully confused when placing the parts together as one side of the head just did not register, hopefully different coloured cards will help. Also with this head I altered the ears and incorporated them into a couple of seams, this worked better than I hoped.

The new sewing order worked better than the last so therefore it will be the standard from now on.

This is a part that until the sewing is done, is unknown as to wether it will fit together or not. Sewing in the incorrect order alters the size of the piece for the next join. This in turn can throw out the pattern. And the sewing process has to be followed exactly on the oppposite side to balance out. Of course this build did not have the complexity of the final build as the same material was used throughout, one did not have to remember the colour of the piece to be cut out.

One will have to see if this helps or hinders the process in the future.

But for now I am happy with the outcome. An idea, became a sketch, became a model, became a pattern, which got cut out, sewed back together and reassembled as a whole. But only ‘became’ the fox when it got stuffed.

Reflections 2018 w51

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, 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 and the owl plush.