Sunday, December 3, 2017

Making an elephant

Quite a while back, I mentioned how I was cutting up work shirts with the intent of someday using the material for a quilt.  When I cut apart the sleeves, I was a bit surprised to see how much they looked like an elephant (well, maybe an elephant as drawn by the narrator of The Little Prince).  Anyhow, here is one of the pieces of fabric (perhaps appropriately wrinkled).

In this case, the cuffs make reasonably good, if somewhat small, ears.  For the other shirt, they seem even smaller, and I'll probably have to figure out something else.

And here is the cut-out version with one eye stitched in (backwards naturally).

Now I have to sew on the ears and then go around the body of the elephant.  (I'm a bit worried about not leaving enough tail on this elephant.)  While I had tried to think of a way to sew on the tusks beforehand, I think the way that they stick out past the trunk means they'll have to be sewn on last.

The moment of truth comes when you have to invert the entire thing through the hole you leave for stuffing it.  (I think sea stars and even some species of squid can turn themselves inside out at least temporarily, and you get a real appreciation for their ability when you do this.)

I left the hole quite small and then realized that the ears were too big, but eventually I  managed to work them through.  This is how it turned out (and yes the tail area is definitely too short, but otherwise, it came out looking pretty good).

I ironed it a bit, especially the ears, then started stuffing.  I took a break from stuffing and extended the tail and added the tusks.  Then I went back to stuffing.  In the end, I probably used half a bag of the filler.  In some ways this is more like a pillow than a stuffed animal.  Here is the final incarnation of the elephant, though actually I am going to let it settle overnight and then add any last stuffing and seal up the two holes (one in the stomach and one at the end of the trunk).

Sadly, my daughter doesn't really like home-made gifts so I suspect in the long run, I'll either reclaim it or give it to my son, who would appreciate it.  It really was only about a day's worth of work, but I still don't think I want to get into the business of trying to make and sell these.  I have a few too many other things on the go...

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