Appa (ATLA) inspired Pajama set, Part 3

And here is part three, the final post on this project and right on time as promised. 

If you haven’t been keeping up with this project you should read Part One, and Part Two to get an idea of how I got to this point. I also have a post on making a matching Momo Hoodie for my dog that may interest you as well!

This was well on it’s way to completion in my last post, so this one will be significantly shorter. All I really had to do was make the front pocket and hood, the hood being the most complicated part of this whole project.

My one big desire with the hood was to make it without any stiffening! Even though I wanted ears that stuck up and huge horns I still wanted it to be cuddly and soft. Worrying about wire and boning channels wasn’t very an attractive thought so I did my best to avoid them.

It started out with a sketch. My plan was to make the hood in four pieces, each side would have a “notch” for the horns and then the ears would be sewn into the same seam. Then they could be stuffed and would hopefully stick up…that makes sense, right?

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I made a mock up for this (which is talked about in part 1) and fiddled with it quite a lot before deciding it needed ears. The ears were actually more difficult to draft then the horns!

It required a lot of sketching and then it eventually became a pattern.

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Which looked like so when cut out

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Each piece was sewn together, and then the backing of each piece was fused to a sheet of  medium weight (washable) interfacing.

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They were sewn right sides together and then top stitched, leaving me with cute little ear shaped pocket.

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The side with interfacing was then pleated inward giving them a bit of a rounded shape, and making them more bison-like.

Taking a break from those, I went ahead and cut out the hood! The hood ended up being 6 pieces (not including the ears/horns) the lining was made of two pieces, and the top was four. I borrowed my Merida hood pattern for reference since making these are really quite tricky.

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When it came to assembling the hood, I started by sewing the proper side of each horn on. For lining these up I just set them out the way they should look, then sew it right sides together, as per usual!

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The ears were  sewn on right beneath the horns.

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And then I sewed the adjoining horn piece onto the other side of the hood. Once that was finished both sides of the hood got sewn together

(this is really hard to explain my goodness)

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Then each horn was stuffed with a lot of batting!

The lining was sewn to the front, top stitched down the back and around the neck. Then I stitched around the horns and across the front.

And that was all, really. the horns and ears stuck up just the way I wanted.

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It was missing an arrow, which I drafted up an aligned with the center seam. This was probably the most frustrating/challenging part of the whole project since giant horns were in way and I couldn’t get the foot close enough to the base…

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Aside from finished hems, the only remaining thing to do was the pocket. I sketched out what I wanted and then created it in three different sized to see what I liked. In the end I went with the first one I made, so it was all a bit of a waste…

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I made them the same way I made my arrows, lined with flannel and topstitched on.

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I also hemmed the sleeves and sewed on a 2″ band across the bottom. It looked pretty cute if I do say so myself!

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And lastly, I sewed on the hood, which looks like so!

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The shorts were completed as well, a bit higher waisted then I would have liked, but perfectly wearable!.

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So that finishes up that project! It took about a week and was quite fun. I have a few other projects that are nearing completion, and I can’t wait to share them!

Thank you for reading, I hope to have fancier photos of this posted in the near future.

Momo (ATLA) inspired Hoodie

If you’ve been keeping up with my recent posts, then you’ll know about my current project – an Appa pajama set!

Well this is a side project to that project, which is also a side project…it’s uhm, slightly confusing? To make sense of it all, I would like you to meet Momo! Momo is a companion to the main character in ATLA and joins the entire cast as they go on adventures. Momo is a flying lemur whose main purpose is looking adorable.

When I was designing my hoodie I originally wanted the hoods to be interchangeable, allowing me to switch between sky bison and flying lemur.

This idea was trashed moments later when I realized the markings of lemurs in ATLA are entirely different then the sky bison’s.  I mentioned this to my brother and he made an offhand comment about making a Momo hoodie for my dachshund Guinevere.

It was a silly idea. The type that probably shouldn’t be taken seriously.

But I decided it was brilliant, and that my dog as in desperate need of a hoodie that would match mine.

I used this handy reference sheet created by Nylak on Deviantart for reference, since getting consistent photos is really challenging.

I did a whole bunch of marking sketches and sadly ended up having to drop the wings. I couldn’t figure out a way to make them work without looking silly.

My first mock up was made by cutting apart an abandoned dog sweater we bought four years ago and never used. The mock up was a big failure, far too tight, impossible to get on. Mock up two wasn’t much better – it was too big and there was way too much space between her legs, and the neck gaped like crazy.

I ended up tossing them both away and flat patterning it. I took a whole bunch of measurements and did a lot of guesswork on a sketch.

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Then I got out a ruler, some newsprint, french curves, and a pencil. Which is apparently all it takes.

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Eventually it ended up looking like this.

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Which turned into a relatively successful mock up. Sadly I didn’t photograph any of my mock ups, since they weren’t very exciting.

I made a few hood/ear mock ups, but this was the one I ended up basing my pattern off of.

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Fast forward an hour and I had a perfectly usable pattern for a lovely little Momo hoodie.

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Once cut out it looked like so!

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I started out by creating all the markings. I used the same method that is talked about in part 2 of the appa pajama project. Lot’s of pinning, sewing things right sides together, fliping them right side out and topstitching em’ down.

But it all starts with pinning.

DSC_0850Then sewing and trimming the edges.

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I took a moment to sew the legs onto the body of my pattern.

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And then the markings got topstitched down.

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The stomach piece was stitched up half way, then a zipper was inserted.

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I sewed on the brown neckpiece, then did a fit test. It came on and off with great ease and Guin didn’t seem *too* bothered by it, so that was good. On the downside it was too loose on the bottom, but I fixed this right afterward by taking in the side seams.

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Then I moved onto the hood. The ears alone have more pieces and are more time consuming to make then the entire body of this costume. It’s quite silly.

The striped bit of the ears are made up of 8 very tiny pieces of fabric.

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Which get sewn together to make stripes in the rough shape the ears need to be~

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Then the ear front gets stitched on. It looks like this in the in-progress stage.

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Then they get sewn right-sides-together onto a smooth backing.

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They are sewn into the hood, and loops of boning were added to make them stick up.

DSC_0989The tips were sealed with fleece so they wouldn’t poke Guin at all.

Once it was sewn on I had an adorable Momo hoodie! It isn’t fully complete in these photos, it’s missing the band around the hem, but that was finished up shortly after.

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A fun project if you have a few hours on hand!

I shall attempt a photoshoot with our coordinating costumes in the near future.

Thanks for reading!

Appa (ATLA) inspired Pajama set, Part 2

Onto the fun post, assembly! I announced this project on tumblr and a lot of people showed interest, so I tried to make this as detailed as possible. That way it could work as a guide, or tutorial for anyone who wants to make one themselves!

I talk about drafting in Part One, so read that if you are curious!

….

I  altered and used a pajama pattern from See&Sew, it’s pattern number is B4326 and it was very easy to figure out.

But If you don’t want to buy a pattern, there are quite a few tutorials on drafting your own online. You could even cut apart a sweatshirt (one you no longer need/want) and trace it to get a pattern.

In the last post I finished off the drafting process by copying arrows onto poster board. This was done so I could trace around them more easily.

You want to trace out all the markings and arrows onto the wrong side of  your backing fabric. I was using flannel, which I’d recommend for this task. I would also highly suggest picking a material color that either matches the color of the markings, or matches the base fabric. (mistakes will blend in better!)

Don’t be an idiot and buy what was on the fabric websites clearance page not like I did that or anything….

Make sure your material is pressed ahead of time. You don’t have to use flannel, but I would suggest material that isn’t slippery (NOT silk, satin, taffeta, peachskin, lining fabric, etc.) or thick (fleece).
Broadcloth would work just fine if you wanted a cheaper alternative. 

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DSC_0801 Make sure leave over a inch of fabric in each direction of your outline.
Then pin your flannel tracings onto the fabric you want to show, in this case i’m using brown minky.

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Once it’s cut pin the proper pieces together, make sure to remember the “right sides together” rule! The outline should be facing upward, and the soft side should be in the middle.

Then, pin, pin, pin! Make sure the material on both sides is flat and smooth,  and try to put the pins in places they won’t need to be removed/interfere with sewing the outline.  If you don’t you’ll run into problems later on.

Once you have carefully pinned the damn things you can sew.

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It’s slippery and annoying with pins, without them it’s hell.

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Then it was time to sew. I used a 2.5 stitch size and put a new needle on my machine to make things go a little smoother. Start at the top and work downward. Make sure to sew slowly and don’t stray from the outline~

 I would suggest starting with the easiest ones first, working towards the most difficult pieces.

DSC_0805Turn at each corned ensure the points are all right on and proper. These look really odd if you mess them up. Also, do not remove pins as you go! Leave them all in until the end.

(this was the first one I did, and I hadn’t discovered the importance of that just yet) 

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Once the arrow has been sewn around it can be cut out. You want the edge to be no more then a half inch, but no less then a quarter inch.

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Like so. You should also clip your corners so they look sharp! I did this, but I didn’t photograph it, for some reason.

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If the corners are being pain in the ass a pair of pliers and a knitting needle can help! I don’t like tweezers, they just went through the fabric and pulled out fluff. Pliers worked much better for me. If you choose to use a needle, be gentle.  

(I’m overenthusiastic and always poke through the material, destroying the corner)

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Then press the backs with an iron and that’s it.

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Then repeat with the more complicated ones

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For this one it had so many close corners I cut it from the back, working off the line I sewed rather then the original outline.

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When flipped, it looked so odd!

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It looked pretty odd rightside out, too, actually.

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For the bigger pieces I ended up making 3 inch slits in the backs, which is where I pulled the arrow heads through. 

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These curvy ones actually didn’t give me any trouble at all, it was a pleasant surprise.

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Once I was finished with the arrows  I cut out my pattern and began pinning the pieces on very carefully. One of the bonuses about working with minky (in addition to it fraying something awful) is that it’s stretchy! So pinning is important.

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For the back piece, I drew a line down the back and used that as a guide. I felt silly later on for cutting this on a fold when I could have just done a seam, it get’s covered either way!

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For the shorts I did things a litte differently, instead of sewing the crotch seam first, I did up the side seams.

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Which gave me something flat to sew the arrows onto, AND I didn’t have to add a seam in the middle of the arrow.

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Once again I started with the easiest arrows first, just to practice on. I did 1/4″ topstitching, but it varies in a few (okay a lot) of spots. I felt like this was a lot more difficult then sewing around the outline, the minky was really slippery and just a pain.

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I had to go quite slow, and every time I messed up I had to stop, rip it out, tie off the thread, and start again.
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Not sure how I completed it without breaking something, but I did.

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After this was taken I did up the front seam of the shorts, and made the waistband. I flipped over 1/2″ at the top, sewed it down, then flipped it down an inch so the raw edge was hidden. I sewed along the edge and then added elastic to the waist.

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I did the final two seams after this was taken, and then did a rolled hem on the bottom cuffs. Similar to the top, they were hemmed a half inch, flipped, and then hemmed an inch.

I moved onto the hoodie right after, sewing the arms onto the back.

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Then I sewed on the front, did up the side seams and I had two wearable garments!

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It still needs a hood, pockets, hemming, and a few other details, but it’s getting there! the next (and final) post should be very short in comparison to this, and it will be up later this week.

Thanks a bunch for reading! x

Appa (ATLA) inspired Pajama set, Part 1

I have started writing myself weekly to-do-lists with hopes they will keep me more productive. Last weeks definitely worked out well, as I took about 120 photos between two projects.

One of my weekly items is to write at least two blog posts a week and I hope to keep to that! 

 …

This project is a little different from anything I’ve ever made before, it isn’t made to be worn to a convention, and it doesn’t even have any ruffles!

The idea came when I was chatting with a friend about avatar hoodies i’d seen on etsy, and how wonderful and creative they were. As much as I liked them, I couldn’t imagine spending that much money on something relatively simple. 

Later that day I was in the basement and came across five yards of ivory, double sided minky material, which I took  as a sign to make my own. A few hours later I had doodled up a design inspired by my favorite creature from Avatar the last Airbender.

ATLA  is a series I really enjoyed, it’s funny and lighthearted and almost every episode makes you smile or laugh. Sadly  my favorite characters are either short, very tan, or male, and I don’t feel like I could do any of them justice. So this is what I decided to do instead….

This is Appa, who is a  Flying Bison. He serves as the main form of transportation in the series and has some comedic value as well.  

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 It originally started as a plain hoodie, but with how soft and lovely the fabric was (and how much of it I had) I decided it was better suited for a pajama set. So I doodled up a pair of shorts to match! 

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As you can I see I have my front/back sketches, and a bit of what the sleeve pattern should look like. 

As luck would have it, I had a pattern that would work perfectly hanging around. I bought it way back on a $1 sale at joann’s, but it actually retails for $2.50, so it’s quite cheap, even without a discount! The pattern was very basic, so much so that I threw out the instructions after taking this picture…

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I also tossed the pocket and hood pattern since I didn’t like either of them. The pants were cut into shorts, and the dress was cut into a top.

Then I pinned the butchered pattern onto some muslin and cut it.

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The pattern was ridiculously easy, assembly took less then five minutes since it is literally six seams to make the top, and five for the shorts.

I ended up finding the top too big, and the shorts too long. Both got taken in several inches until the suited me a little better. The shorts aren’t pictured since I neglected to photograph them.  

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Once it fit I got out a set of french curves, a ruler, and a pencil, which helped me draw out the arrows and iconic Appa markings!

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Once that was complete I traced them onto the other side, did up the sleeve arrows, and took a few pictures.

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I was really happy with it! I ended up running into machine troubles an called it quits. The next day I attempted a hood and horn pattern but it was kind of a fail? The hood needs a lot of work and the horns were pretty laughable. 

The left one is smaller, and I like it much more. I’m actually fond of the shape, it’s just too large. I also feel that the hood needs ears to balance out the harshness of the horns. So I really need to go through and re-draft this bit, hopefully it won’t give me as much trouble the second time around. 

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Instead of re-making the entire pattern from paper, I altered the one I had bought. 

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This basically required ripping apart the mock up, pressing it, and laying each piece atop the corresponding paper pattern piece. Then I just cut of the paper around each piece and it was fine. The alterations were really minimal, just removing a few inches at each seam, and changing hem lengths. 

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Once that was done, each piece of my mock up was cut apart. I cut out each arrow and traced them onto poster board. The reason for this shall become obvious in the next post!

I also remeasured and smoothed out any of the “rough around the edges” and made sure they were symmetrical and all that. 

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And with that complete, I was ready to move onto the next stage.

But you will need to wait a few days for that post!

Thanks for reading.