Wednesday, January 4, 2012

how (not) to make Mike Wazowski...

This post is kind of a tutorial... maybe an anti-tutorial?  Mostly I hope you learn from my mistakes, or are just smarter than me to begin with!  While the Mike Wazowski I made for Jack for Christmas turned out pretty well in the end, it was a long road getting there...

So here are some tips that apply to sewing in general, and some specifically to this project.

Tip #1: Don't try to hurry!  If you do, it will just take you way longer than it would have if you'd been slow and careful to begin with.

I was trying to hurry with this particular project so that I could actually get it done in time for Christmas.  So in my hurry I decided I could just kind of figure things out as I went.  Big mistake.  I ended up having to completely start over.  Which of course took way longer.

Tip #2: Always plan out the whole project before you begin.  Especially before you begin cutting things out.

If I had done that, I definitely would not have cut out the arms/legs and hands/feet separately.  I would have done arm-hand pieces, and leg-foot pieces.  But one reason I cut them out separately goes with my next tip -

Tip #3: Make sure you have extra fabric just in case.

I actually bought this fabric to make dinosaur slippers (post on that coming soon, if I ever finish them), but decided to use what was left for this project.  And I would have probably had plenty if I hadn't had to start over... but then I was just trying to use any little usable bit of fabric that was left, and had to cut out the little hands and feet separately.  
Which led to difficulties later, such as how exactly do I stuff the hands and feet prior to attaching them to the arms and legs?  And have everything be right side out without all sorts of weird ugly seams?  

The answer - I kind of didn't.  I managed to kind of tuck under the edges and cram the hands and feet down in there and then stitch over it.  It's a little ugly, but hey, my 18-month-old doesn't seem to notice or care.
So make sure you've actually planned everything out, and you have enough fabric to cut out the pieces you need.  It's probably common sense, but when I get an idea for a project, I tend to just dive in without thinking everything through first.  And often half way through I have to go to the store to get something I realize I need and should have had in the first place.  Maybe some day I'll be more organized.

Tip #4:  If you are in a hurry and doing something you've never done before, use a pattern.  Don't try to make your own pattern.  Especially if you don't like doing math.

These are the pieces I cut out from the pattern I found on The Purl Bee.  They turned out much better than my first attempt, which was more of a weird lumpy polygon than a sphere... Like I said, I don't like math. And I was trying to hurry. 

Lest this post leaves you thinking I'm completely incompetent, not just mostly, I'll show you the finished product (because I think that actually turned out pretty well, in spite of everything.)
See?  Looks mostly like the original.  :)

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