In addition to creating clothing and accessories, I like to make creatures. Secretly, I want to grow up to be a monster-maker (okay, not so secretly). My passion is creating: clothes, costumes, creatures, whatever. When I interned at the Sesame Street Live costume studio, I went to work each day in a building labelled “COSTUMES & CREATURES.” So perfect.
A few months ago, I started painstakingly working on patterning some plushies. It’s hard for me to think three-dimensionally. I know patterning for clothing requires three-dimensional thinking and planning, but I’ve been able to figure it out after years and years of working on it. Plushies seems EXTRA three-dimensional (does that even make sense?!), so it’s super hard for me. Like most people, doing things that are tediously difficult is annoying. Most people tend to enjoy doing things they are naturally good at. But, if I had followed this model for my career, I’d be a mathematician instead of an artist/designer (not kidding, not even a little). But, I ENJOY designing and creating patterns even though it’s tough for me.
The first creature I made was an adorable, chubby beaver. He turned out really cute, but it took me quite awhile to get him there. I decided the next creature challenge was going to be a mole. Why a mole? Why not.
This mole was going to be sewn out of an old faux suede winter coat that was given to me with hope I’d turn it into some awesome. (Moles are awesome. Maybe not a real one that’s messing up your yard…..but this one will be awesome.) I really do love to recycle fabric. Actually, I ended up turning the lining of the coat, which was a nubby faux fur in the same color, into a second mole. (You can see the nubby fur in the picture below.)
I needed these moles to have some rockstar digging claws, so I brainstormed lots of different materials to make them out of: fabric, interfacing, felt, plastic, clay. Then I remembered I have a pretty stellar leather scrap stash. Leather claws would definitely look pretty gnarly.
When it was finally time for stuffing, I was so ready to see him. The anticipation was killing me. He also turned out SO CHUBBY AND ADORABLE! I was hoping to create a mole that looked sleepy, vicious and cute all at the same time.