Some of my Sewing Projects.

I mostly sew animals, or other bizarre things. Sewing clothes is hard; they have to conform to the pattern, or they're not useful. With animals, if you make it wrong, it's .... well, just another sort of animal.

These are shown in roughly chronological order. There was a big burst of activity when I was avoiding writing my Ph.D. thesis in 1987-1988.

This teddy bear is about 1.5 feet tall, and has movable arms and legs. This is done with disk-and-pin joints. It convinced me to never, ever do another animal with movable joints.

This balloon bear was inspired by seeing similar things selling in stores for $30, and my being outraged at how expensive they were. This can actually be made fairly quickly, and is a great gift.

When my niece Laura turned 2, I made here a cube with the faces decorated with 'L', 'A', 'U', 'R', 'A', '2'. Again, this is a pretty easy thing to make, and is a great gift.

My Ph.D. years were the height of my sewing activity. Nothing like a dissertation to drive you to do anything else... One Christmas, I made a stuffed Panda, two stuffed lambs, and a travel crib. Here we see all of them together, and another picture of my Dad with the Panda.


Here we begin to see why sewing is a great hobby; it can be used as a form of merciless teasing, for that custom gift. Here, the gag is that the recipient had long ago done a science project where some baby ducklings ended up getting drowned by mistake. The project got an A, making me wonder about the academic standards at the institution. Nonetheless, I made a duckling with a life preserver.

This recipient was being teased about having called in a fire alarm at 6am. This caused evacuation of apartment building, and the smoke was later explained as merely smoke coming out the chimney, like it did most days in the winter. The other inhabitants were NOT amused...

Technical note: It's really hard to find spotted material! I ended up finding this at (believe it or not) a bridal shop. Can you imagine a spotted wedding dress????

One of my better projects: Big Bird (I'm sure the Children's Television Workshop could nail me on trademark infringement on this one). Anyway, I made it for Chris and Laura, my niece and nephew, and it's shown here with my brother-in-law, David.

This was a penguin for Chris and Laura. Turned out okay, but later didn't hold up real well under "heavy child-testing conditions."

A paisley car, made for a wonderful person who probably appreciates the wonder of living as much as any grown-up I know. Inspired by the question, "why are cars always solid colors; why aren't there any paisley cars?"

In this case, the recipient had a cat that, in my humble opinion, was treated *much* too well. It was so spoiled that not only would it only eat tuna, it would only eat Star Kist tuna. This required serious teasing; the kind only a sewing creation can do. And, although I don't have a picture of it, the cat sleeping on this 2-foot diameter pillow is a terrifically funny sight.

Technical note: here I experimented with a new technique that works really, really well. I began by photocopying and enlarging the label itself. I cut pieces for the background and foreground, and then (working with felt), sewed the smaller foreground pieces onto the background. This allowed for very accurate placement, as I put the pattern *underneath* the background pieces, making it a "direct placement" operation. Once the felt was glued down, I then sewed it, as the glue would never hold by itself. The result is a really nice effect; if you can match the felt colors to the colors on the emblem/logo/whatever, you can get the geometry perfect, and the result is quite satisfactory.