Strawberries & Ruffles: A Kaylee doll from Firefly

January 22, 2012 § 1 Comment

Something about the character Kaylee from Firefly gives me the craft bug–last week I posted about the very first doll I made, which was a Kaylee doll, and a few months ago I posted about my friend Angela’s Firefly birthday party and the Kaylee cake that I made.

Well, I’ve been at it again, and here she is:

A new Kaylee doll! This time she’s wearing her party dress from the Firefly episode ‘Shindig’

In the episode her hair is down, but this doll was a Christmas/12th Night present for my friend Angela (yes, the same Angela!), and by special request this doll has her hair in buns.

This Kaylee doll is handsewn from felt, ribbons, sheer ruffled trim, and tiny buttons. I based her on Mimi Kirchner’s pattern for The Purl Bee, but I adapted the instructions as I went.

In the Firefly episode it’s never possible to see Kaylee’s feet, so I have no idea what shoes she might have been wearing under her enormous fluffy dress! I decided that she’s just the kind of girl who would wear her boots, though, so I made boots with pink laces–and left them untied, because how would you tie your shoes while you’re wearing an enormous fluffy dress?

This doll has actually been a long time in the making–Angela asked me to make her a Kaylee doll, in her party dress, with her hair in buns, and that was four years ago. Two years ago I was going to make her this doll, and even cut out most of the pieces for her…and then never got around to it. So this year I was determined to get her finished! I was still two weeks late for 12th Night (which is when my friends and I celebrate Christmas and usually when we exchange gifts), but oh well 😉

Happy Christmas, Angela!

This Kaylee costume actually belongs to my sister, but look! A handy doll carrying strap!

Perfection.

Advertisements

From the Archives: Plush Kaylee from Firefly

January 16, 2012 § 3 Comments

A craft from the archives! It is, of course, a little plush doll of Kaylee from the TV show Firefly. I made this doll four years ago as a gift for a friend of mine, and it was my very first doll making projects. I used a pattern and a tutorial that I found online, but I’ve long since lost the address and I haven’t been able to find it again.

I made a huge number of mistakes–I chose fabrics that raveled horribly, like flannel instead of felt (what was I thinking?) and a nylon fabric for the shirt that raveled so badly that I had to singe all of the edges in order to sew it together. I made the entire project so much harder than it needed to be! It was really a huge fumble, from beginning to end, but I was so proud of her, and proud of myself for making her.

Sometimes it’s easy to be frustrated with my own skills–nothing is ever perfect enough. My projects are always fundamentally flawed in some way, and it can be hard to feel up to par with an internet full of people who seem to produce perfect projects (which are, of course, photographed beautifully). Maybe it’s just me, but I’m often proud of my projects and embarrassed by them at the same time, which is why I find myself trying to show things off to people while pointing out all of the flaws. “Look what I made! Do you like it? Are you impressed? You are? Yay! Of course, this and this and this were all wrong, and this part was a disaster, and actually the whole thing was terrible I can’t believe I’m showing this to you, I’ll go away and hide now.”

Anyway. I made this doll. I still think that she’s really cute, and I’m still proud of her–but I’m even more proud of the fact that I can look at this project and know that my skills have improved so much in the last four years, and that if I made this doll again it would be a hundred times better. Perfect I am not, but that leaves plenty of growing room.

…now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’d better end this blog post before I start accidentally writing Hallmark cards 😉

Keep Calm and Carry On: A Bag

September 17, 2011 § 3 Comments

I keep promising myself that I’ll do more crafts, and take more pictures, and then post more, and maybe even get caught up on that craft project that I was doing….

….but I don’t. Because I am a bad blogger. On other hand, this blog is an exercise in vanity to a certain extent–it’s not like I have an audience depending on me for inspiration. So I try not to worry too much. And I’ve been working so many hours that it’s a miracle whenever I do any crafts at all, so. It’s an even bigger miracle when I take some pictures of my crafts, especially since I habitually make things in the middle of the night, when the lighting is terrible.

Oh well. I will just post bad pictures! Because I can, and I want to show you what I made. I made it at 2am, the night before I left to drive to Atlanta for Dragon*Con (I got an hour and a half of sleep–thank goodness that I didn’t have to drive at all! I had fourteen hours to sleep in the car on the way), because I was determined to have an appropriate bag to carry over the weekend.

And here it is:

If you aren’t familiar with Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog…well, 1) why are you here instead of watching it? and 2) you don’t get this bag. But in short, it’s a quote from Dr. Horrible, styled to reference the famous Keep Calm and Carry On poster.

Which, by the way, is a thing that I love. In fact I loved it before it was cool (/hipster).  Not only do I love the original poster, I love the many variation on it, as you can see by the poster hanging over my bed, behind the bag (it says ‘Keep Calm and Don’t Blink’, a reference to a Doctor Who Episode). There are three more in my room (the original, ‘Now Panic and Freak Out’, and ‘Keep Calm and Carry Yarn’). So when I saw this t-shirt I had to have it. Unfortunately it looked awful on me! It was designed to be displayed on a flat surface, which is something that I am…not. I have too much curvature to be a good display surface, so of course I had to find another use for my awesome shirt.

I actually have a whole stack of t-shirts that I want to make into bags, so I’ll try to make a tutorial next time–it was surprisingly simple! Except that I couldn’t find the cutting mat, and it was 2am, and I was using a cardboard box (which was just not the same), so it was actually difficult and frustrating, but it didn’t have to be. And it turned out okay!

It's 3am, I have my bag, my suitcase, and my real-clothes-that-feel-like-pajamas road trip outfit on...I wonder what I should do next?

And it coordinates with the patch on my bag! After much searching I found the perfect suitcase for me–almost. I wanted it to have a splash of color, something that would make it distinctive and easy to spot, and after glancing around my room, I knew what would be perfect.

It’s a Keep Calm and Carry On patch on a carry-on suitcase. It’s so brilliant that I will be laughing at my own joke forever.

The awesome patch came from the wonderful SteamPatchCompany, where the quality is high and the service excellent. Thank you so much, SteamPatchCompany!

A Parliament of Owls

February 4, 2011 § 6 Comments

If you knit or crochet, or do any other fiber related crafts, then you’re probably on Ravelry (and if you aren’t, then you should be! You’re missing out on a fantastic resource and community).  I spend most of my Ravelry time on the forum of the Folklore & Fairy Tales group, and every season we have a swap.  This winter’s swap was ‘Straw into Gold’, a theme that was all about creativity–we weren’t supposed to buy anything for our swap partners, and instead we were supposed to put together a package using things we already had (yarn from our stash, things that we’d made or happened to have, etc.)

My swap partner loves owls so much that they’re part of her screenname, so I made a couple of owl crafts for her:

First I made fingerless mitts, because everyone always needs fingerless mitts! I managed to improvise this pair, without following a pattern (so of course they aren’t perfectly symmetrical), with cabled owls that have been featured in several different patterns that I’ve seen–I don’t know where it originated, but you can see other patterns using it here and here, and in my favorite here (scroll down to find the pattern ‘owls’).

Do you see the owls?

They’re knit from a soft and cuddly angora/bamboo blend, with shirt buttons for eyes.

But you can never have too many owl friends, so I made a little owl out of wool felt as well:

He stitched up by hand really quickly–perhaps an hour or so.  I think that this style of soft owl originated in a Japanese craft book, but I was inspired by this tutorial.  If you follow that link you’ll find a template to download, but the owl is such a simple shape that I cut mine out freehand (…so of course he isn’t symmetrical either!).  It’s just a teardrop shape with the point folded down, and voila!   I used pinking sheers to cut out the red piece and the yellow circles that I added around his button eyes, and for a little detail I embroidered his chest.  I’m so pleased with how he turned out–I think he’s darling!

And he would, by the way, make an excellent pincushion.

A little T.S. Eliot

September 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

‘East Coker’, No. 2 of The Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot

“I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with stitchery at .