I’m a textiles recycling enthusiast.
Or, as my partner sees it: I am incapable of throwing fabric away.
Seriously, I have boxes and bags of scraps that I just KNOW will come in handy for some project someday that will need just a teeny tiny scrap of that ONE fabric. So, I keep it. In addition to keeping fabric scraps, I even save thread clippings. I’ve used thread scraps in the past for stuffing small plush creatures, so I’ve just continued saving thread bits for years and years. I told you I’m a textiles recycling enthusiast: recycled thread guts.
I’ve been working on some plush creature patterns lately. The first one I focused on was a super chubby beaver. Now I’m SUPER glad I’ve been keeping all these scraps for years, because it takes alot of guts to stuff a super chubby beaver. (I meant that sentence in the G-rated version.)
While I’ve been patterning clothes/accessories/costumes for years, plush creatures are real, real hard for me to pattern. I think it’s because I don’t necessarily have a brain that works three-dimensionally. Sure, clothes are essentially soft, three-dimensional sculptures worn around a body, but I have learned the shapes, curves, and contours of these sculptures. The starting point is always human body shaped, so I’ve been able to spend years figuring it out. With my plush creatures, there’s not really a starting point. My brain panics. I decided to dive into this project despite my “holy cow…..what?!” mentality.
While I still have some fine-tuning on my pattern, it definitely turned into a chubby beaver body. When I use the recycled textiles, I tend to stuff them fairly tightly. This gives the plushie some weight and they feel pretty dense. I happen to like this, but not everyone does. Some people prefer the super soft and squishy type. Personal preference, no judgement here.
Now the fun part: details! You all know how I love to get caught up in details.
A soft leather nose, suede stitched teeth, mop of furry hair, a quilted tail. Yep. Details are definitely my favorite.
Over all, I’m reeeeeeeally excited about the outcome of this side project. While I love making clothes, I’ve always wanted to be a monster-maker. Okay, so a beaver isn’t a monster…..but if I can make a beaver, I can make a monster, right? Plus, I love using up the scraps from all my other projects. The beaver was stuffed using scraps from my sugar.skin.circus clothing collection. A beaver with circus guts has got to have a destiny of serious awesomeness. I think I have enough scraps to make a small army of creatures. Since I’m constantly sewing clothes for clients, I’ll be continually creating guts. Really, my studio has created a great cycle of sustainability as far as guts goes. Textiles recycling winner! And chubby-beaver-maker winner!
You know what they say: If you can’t make friends….MAKE some friends.