Thursday, January 18, 2018


Dogs today.

The dog was one of the original animals Kate sketched when we first conceptualized Menagerie

At the time, I couldn't pin down a generic dog form because unlike, say, cats or horses, dog breeds are so varied that no single set of dog features could ever truly characterize Dogdom. Apart from the noses and panting tongues, I mean. Dogs come in such a wide range of sizes, for one. For another, some dogs have pointy-cat ears and some have floppy Snoopy ears and some are lean and equine-esque while others are furry and lupine or shaggy and stocky like rams and yet others are elongated, short-legged, whip-tailed teenies. So many varieties and cross-varieties and so many vastly diverse shapes and colors.

So I put this off in favor of other animals which were more easily stereotyped, and thus more straightforward to translate in fabric. But in the lull after finishing the first season of Menagerie and launching the sewing pattern, I returned to the dog idea.

And narrowed down the breeds to this beagle. Not anatomically precise, and dog lovers will possibly cry foul, but it's interpretive rather than representative.

I first made a mini dog, whose colors I thought were more accurate,

before drafting the regular size version, for which I'd run out of the caramel fabric for the lighter coloration and had to make do with this curry alternative.

Something about the ears bugged me, though.

Months later, Emily needed a birthday gift for another friend. Without realizing it, by this time I'd made a custom Menagerie animal for each of her favorite schoolmates except one. And this one loved dogs, had just gotten a new puppy and had specifically hoped for a Menagerie dog that looked exactly like that puppy.

So: smaller ears, a stubbier tail and white with light brown spots.

I think someday I will make a dog in fur, just to give the finished animal a more realistic texture. But this one, Emily says, still comes pretty close to little Charlie, her friend's puppy.

I'm also thinking I like the ears lying forward.

It's a simple adaptation of the base pattern: a thick pointed tail, a protruding tongue and doggy ears,

and infinite variations on markings and colorations.


  1. Oh wow!
    I don't think I'll ever get enough of your creativity, both you and your girls!
    These are adorable ^-^

  2. I am inordinately fond of Kate's marsupial pluralisation!

  3. So cute! I'm partial to the smaller felt versions, and actually inclined to make them even smaller and have the kids hand-sew them.


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