my ugly 1st attempt at soft sculpture

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  • #1631634
    pipsxlch
    Participant

    Here is my scary 1st attempt at making a soft sculture/art doll… meet Leemu Emuraptor. Inspired by commercials and a terror bird exhibit at a museum. He’s meant to look comical but scares my daughter lol. Obviously I have NO talent in this department. He was fun to make though, just did him on the fly without making a pattern or anything. Fabric scraps from Joanns, a wire frame wrapped around a rock to hold him steady, felt bits, plastic doll eyes and human false eyelashes. Sorry if I give you nightmares! Really he’s a friendly guy.

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    #1631639
    VS
    Participant

    Ack, no pic visible! Please show a pic, it sounds awesome! The false eyelashes sounds ingenious!

    I made 2 soft sculpture dragons (from a couple very different sold patterns, one being a firelizard of Pern) plus a couple smaller of my own design in the past as a kid. I figured out how to make great eyes with simple beads and movable limbs with wire and hidden buttons. Plus how to sculpt a face with small stitching, and how to weigh down with a bag of beans or rice. I kept one new simple small design dragon but never actually made him. I only kept 2 dragons and the rest were gifts to friends, and just have old pics of them but no others if you ever want to see. If you want to discuss tricks and tips, let me know!

    But tell us more, show us more! This sounds very intriguing!

    #1631640
    Ela_Hara
    Participant

    Hey VS – show your pics too!
    I’ve had in the pipeline to do teddy bears for years and years, like from 2009! I have some patterns I was going to use and even got the fabric together and some info on doing ball/socket joints. Haven’t gotten any further than that though.

    *~*~*~* Ela_Hara: The DragonKeeper *~*~*~*
    SEARCHING...for a Red-eyed Razorback Boar! I'd love to Trade, Buy or... Let's Make a Deal!
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    *** Come visit me on deviantArt at http://ela-hara.deviantart.com

    #1631641
    pipsxlch
    Participant

    Ack! I remember attaching the pictures…

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    VS, I’d love to see your undoubtedly more professional dolls! He was a bit of work but still fun to make, I’m open to making another doll. Your tips would be welcome!

    #1631645
    Ela_Hara
    Participant

    OMG! That is so weird that your photos are now actually on the first post you did! They magically appeared after you added your new post with pics! LOL!

    Your Emu-Raptor is Great! Especially for a firs time. ^_^

    *~*~*~* Ela_Hara: The DragonKeeper *~*~*~*
    SEARCHING...for a Red-eyed Razorback Boar! I'd love to Trade, Buy or... Let's Make a Deal!
    SEARCHING...for the Red-Capped KS Adult Poad - please see my Classified Ad!
    *** Come visit me on deviantArt at http://ela-hara.deviantart.com

    #1631646
    etruscan
    Participant

    OMG! That is so weird that your photos are now actually on the first post you did! They magically appeared after you added your new post with pics! LOL!

    Your Emu-Raptor is Great! Especially for a firs time. ^_^

    That’s what happened when I viewed this also. No photos showing in the first post until they were posted again, then photos in both places. He’s a very cute critter.

    #1631647
    Mika
    Participant

    The body looks really good! It’s a great base for a flightless bird doll.

    #1631653
    Bodine
    Participant

    hahahaha that’s cute!

    "Perhaps we should all be examining what we think we know."D.Stormborn
    (Wanted:ANY HEARTH)

    #1631660
    Stormbreeze
    Participant

    I LOVE HIM what a good boy!

    Keeping an eye out for fantasy gryphons and test paint dragons.
    #1631662
    merrillannwhite
    Participant

    Love the eyelashes.

    #1631667
    VS
    Participant

    Omg, I love that crazy cute smile he has! And the eyelashes make me think ostrich family. You did absolutely awesome on the toe claws too!

    Mine were the prototypes. I gave away a more professional looking blue version of the brown guy, no mane, and a couple smaller variants I wish I took pics of first. Oh well.

    Green is an actual “soft sculpture” pattern I bought online. The mane is curly embroider thread done in rows. The eye and button system was the artist’s own but gave me ideas you will see in the brown. The tail has a bag of dried beans to weigh it down. The wing claws have pipe cleaners in them and the legs have floral wire in them but only into the middle toe. I embroidered the wing lines and toe lines. And to shape the face you do small stitches to pull in towards a seam and hide your anchor stitch to the seam. Great for shaping a nose! Eyes are a big round bead with just eyelid sausages attached, lol.

    She slumps unless you fluff her limbs by the buttons. I solved that later with others.

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    #1631685
    VS
    Participant

    Brown was brighter originally but faded with sun exposure. He’s from a Dragonriders of Pern cosplay artist who sold finished firelizards for people’s shoulders as well as the pattern. Takes about a month to make one, trust me, and I didn’t finish this guy off because he was my prototype.

    It originally has an outside wire in cloth sausage sewn to the head and back of the neck, I hid his with a mane tho. Ones that followed I just sewed the fliwer wire into the seam all along the spine from head to tail and it was better kept internal that way. They had pipe cleaners in the toes but I went with more garden wire for better grip, and a little handstitching around it would hold those and the wing ribs better but I didn’t do it on this guy excelt on the upper wing edge. You could do a zig zag pattern over the wire to hold it down well, I’m sure, if you don’t feel confident embroidering.

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    They just sewed beads for eyes and pulled in nostrils but I prefered the eyelid style for bigger eyes.

    I don’t think the original pattern was meant to articulate beyond the sewn-in wire, but this guy has hidden buttons. You can see the outer button on the wings because that didn’t otherwise hold well, I actually have a loop at the end of the wire with one button inside his chest and the other was bare outside. The button string goes through the wire loop and the pressure of the buttons holds the wing in whatever position you move it. Then I sewed a little drawstring shower cap for the exposed button, put it on and drew the string tight and knotted it.

    But the arm is different.

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    For the arms and legs I left the stuffing holes open in the arm and body, maneuvered a button to where arm and body meet at either side, and sewed the buttons together. Its key to make sure you go in and out the same hole in the cloth but different holes in the button, and make the buttons tight. Then you use chopsticks to add filling and finish that little bit of seam up behind you, leaving nobody the wiser. There’s a drawstring style stitch that makes that easy to hide, too, lol.

    A good place to start is a foot or tail and and see what a single stitch can pull together. If it looks good, do more, if not try to put your needle back in where it came from to undo it. I did pretty good for a middleschool kid who just wanted a decent stuffed dragon and couldn’t find any for sale at the store.

    One thing I didn’t do to any dragon was use clothing paint to build up little horns and spikes on these guys like the soft sculpture dragon artist did on the ones she sold.

    I should have tried your eyelashes tho. That’s genius!

    #1631689
    VS
    Participant

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    #1631729
    pipsxlch
    Participant

    Wow, they’re beautiful! And for a middle school kid pretty darn great. I especially love the firelizard one.
    I admit I didn’t understand all the terms you used; I don’t really know how to sew. Haven’t got a clue how to use a machine, and never learned ‘real’ stitching. I just taught myself how to do the needful things; how to reattach buttons and mend rips and holes in clothes. No fancy stitching (I have taught myself a very little embroidery also).
    Leemu is all hand running stitch. I stitched all his various parts together inside out, slipped the neck and head over the wire (it was welding wire) and used a chopstick just like you to push the polyfill up. Same with the legs/feet and arms. The long fur hides a lot of ills.

    #1631730
    Celestial Rainstorm
    Participant

    Pipsxlch that fella is absolutely charming. And VS what great dragons there! Excellent work both of you

    Finding happiness again.

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