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 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.