Kate's birthday's coming up. She wants a party. I haven't planned it. Am I panicking? Nope. I'm still in post-Singapore DullLand - you know, where everything is slow and I react slowly (if at all) to craft stimuli and stare slowly out the window at the snow in disbelief. But - and this is how I know my body has been hijacked by aliens - I'm doing all these handmade gifts for her, when I swore never to do handmade gifts for my children because I go insane trying to finish them in time for their birthdays or Christmas.
So Exhibit A: Handmade birthday gift #1 = that fake corset dress (photos later - am feeling slow now).
Here's Handmade birthday gift #2: Bunny.
Kate has been asking me for a bunny for some time.
"You already have a bunny." I say. "Remember? It's Baby Bunny (that's its name). She was mine (a student gave her to me years ago) and I gave her to you."
"Yes, but she's flat. I want a puffy bunny."
"What do you mean - 'flat'?"
Kate takes Baby Bunny and lets her flop on her belly, all four limbs splayed out. "See?" she explains. "Flat."
"So what's 'puffy'?"
Kate vigorously makes scrunchy fingers in the air and declares, "Like... not flat!"
Eventually, through an extremely thorough interrogation process, I managed to extract enough information to understand what she wanted. Flat animals, apparently, are those designed to lie down on their tummies a la bearskin rugs or stand on four feet e.g. dogs. Puffy animals are designed to sit up on their bottoms e.g. teddy bears. Who knew?
So Kate wants a Puffy Bunny that sits on its bottom. Someday I want to make the kids a squid but for now, I can do bunnies. Stuffed toys are easy to draft up because there are principles for toy-making, just like there are principles for bag-making and clothes-making. Takes maybe an hour to cut everything out and sew a muslin to test the roundness and relative proportions of parts and so on. Then there is tweaking. The tweaking takes some time because every tweak affects some other part and needs another muslin to test out. And then the muslins must be stuffed and tested for balance. This is an interesting aspect that's absent from clothes-making or bag-making: Does The Stuffed Animal Sit/Stand Properly Or Does Its Gargantuan Head Cause It To Fall Flat On Its Face? Like what happened when I made Chicken long ago and the first muslin did a face plant on my work table. It took a couple more versions before it sat squatly and stably.
But back to Puffy Bunny. Here she is.
She's about 16"? 18"? long, stretched out from the top of her head to her tippy toes. She's made of some weird woolly-feeling stretchy fabric that I bought from JoAnn Fabrics years ago to make a lamb (never happened). It might've been from the Fake Fur aisle or the Minky Fabric aisle - I don't remember now. It's so woolly that it required very little stuffing to make it puffy.
Here are some more photos of the Important Bunny Bits - ear lining
And her round head, of course.
Kate hasn't seen her yet - a miracle. Let's hope she doesn't read this blog before her birthday.