The challenge I took today from Noah Scalin’s “365” book was to make something from a disposable bag. I (weirdly?) love the soft texture of produce plastic bags. I have a large collection of them in the trunk of my car to reuse when I go grocery shopping. Disposable plastic bags kinda drive me crazy with their wastefulness and horrible impact on the environment, but I haven’t found a replacement for my produce bags yet. So… I debated how to make a cat for a while in my head. I played with painting acrylic paint swatches on a produce bag, cutting them out and sewing them together. Which worked. Then I looked around on Deviant Art and Etsy at cute plushies to figure out what I did and didn’t like for designs and planned my cat. I decided I really only had time to do a stuffed kitty head. And these are the things I learned:
1) I like acrylic paints – good, fast coverage, bright colors and fast drying
2) acrylic paints don’t like plastic bags – areas with thick paint dried and pulled the plastic into some mildly distorted shapes & when handled, the paint flakes off. For this reason, I decided to put the painted side on the inside of the head, so the shiny plastic side would be the side people touch… which leads to point 5) a little later
3) produce bags are like tissue paper when you sew them – fragile and prone to tearing
4) I must pull in my designs far enough away from the edges to be visible when planning a very round head (the heart and stitch pattern on the back of the cat ended up kinda under the head, not on the back of it).
5) deciding to paint from the back side of a project can be tricky – I smudged some of the white paint, but covering it over with black paint from my side won’t help – have to clean the paint off
6) I need good lighting (a book light) and magnifying glasses to sew black thread on black plastic, wow I’m getting old.
7) make sure when sewing pieces together, the inside is really going on the outside as a finished project. I reversed them and had to pull a handful of back-stitches out, flip the pieces over and start again. no big deal but not a time saver, for sure.
Anyway, this project included lots of learning. And I actually do kinda like the final piece. I really do have a thing for gothic, cute, monster plushies. Anyway, here’s the project:
Sketched, cut and beginning to paint. (The right hand piece is the back of the head. I didn’t like the eyes and planned to paint it black.)
Waiting for the paint to dry.
Sewn and turned inside out. Lots of paint came off with this step. Now it’s ready to stuff from the gap in the right cheek. (Looks like a deflated balloon to me.)
Front view. You can see through the missing paint to see the other plastic bags stuffing him. I actually kinda like it. Gives it an old grungy feel.
Back side. Ooops, the heart and stitch pattern ended up on the bottom.
My mess when I was done, which is like a kitty of its own.
And now I need to find a place to keep him where Chaos the orange cat can’t reach him as Chaos is a plastic eating fiend! He loves both chewing or peeing on plastic. Ugh.