Sewing the seeds of a good life.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Meet the Bad Piggies!

Yep. Long-time, no post.

There has been sewing going on -- though not as much as when Mitchell was tiny.

But here's some stitching of a different kind.


Angry Birds are really big in our house, right now - and have been for the past year. And Mr M. was really keen to have an Angry Birds party for his 6th birthday.

Google is my friend.  So searched out some cool ideas for party invitations, table-ware and games.

I had an idea for collecting together cardboard boxes and making piggies for the kids to kick balls at and knock down.  And then I came across this site.

Great pattern, but I needed them to be bigger. So I enlarged the pattern, and made a few alterations in the method. But the basic pattern is taken from Obsessively Stitching.

Found some lovely pale green minky at Spotlight (though couldn't find two separate shades, so piggies are all one colour). And used green felt for nostrils, ears and eyebrows.

First the snouts. I used the appliqué method to add the nostrils.  First transferring the markings from the pattern onto the reverse of the shout.






Then positioning a small piece of felt on the right side and stitching along the nostril lines from the back.  Make sure your piece of felt is large enough - it tends to slip on the Minky.  

 





Finally cutting away just outside the stitching lines.





  Next I stitched a strip of material all the way round the snout -- beginning and ending at the bottom centre; using my standard method of pin-the-heck-out-of-it, and stitching over the top of the pins.

  

Then stitching the two strip ends together; turning right side out, and there is the snout. 

 
Cute!
I used the same appliqué method to make the ears.


 



I used the production-line method - as I had needed to make multiple piggies - here is a basketfull of snouts and ears awaiting the next stage.  [They seem to have fluoresced rather, in the camera-flash - they're not really lime green]


The next step was to cut out and stitch the bodies.
I altered the original pattern instructions, to have the centre seam down the middle of the face.
I didn't find the football shape the easiest to sew accurately. And I'm not entirely happy with the resulting body shape.




 I changed the method again when applying the snouts.  I wanted to machine-stitch them in place, rather than hand stitching.  Both for robustness (going to be kicked around by kids) and for speed of production (I didn't really want to be hand-stitching anything unless I had to).
 First I positioned the snout pattern halfway over the centre-front stitching line, and drew around it. And cut away the hole for the snout.
Then pinned the snout into the hole, right-sides-together. It took a bit of finesse to get it just right - stretching to fit, but the Minky was quite forgiving and I was able to ease it without gathers.




 

Finally I added a mouth (just a double crescent stitched together) and pinned in-between the snout and face, just before stitching.

 



 

















 



Helpful assistant trying on the partially completed Bad Piggy-mask.
 
 Next I pinned and sewed the ears in place.



 

 And stitched the front and back together -- remembering to leave an opening for stuffing!




 
 I used three different types of filler to stuff the Piggies. First I stuffed the snouts with fibre-fill, since I wanted them to remain firm, no matter how they were bounced around. 
 I wanted them to be squishy - so they would sit in place on the boxes; so I stuffed them with beanbag beans.

 I also needed them to be bottom-heavy - so they wouldn't blow away; so I added a plastic baggie of sand for stability.
Adding a layer of beans, the sandbag, and then filling up the rest of the Piggy with beans.
Needed to pack them in tightly, and then handstitch the opening.



The eyes and eyebrows are cut out of felt and glued in place -- the quickest and most secure option.

 I made multiple sizes - including a baby pig. And added a felt crown to one of the biggest as the King Pig.

They're not perfect.  The pattern shape doesn't give a perfect 'piggy' shape. And I can see ways that I could have improved the design and the process.

They were a huge it at the party.  Kids kicking balls, throwing them, at each other, and at the Dads who got involved in the game.  Great fun had by all.




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