It's been a while, hasn't it?? We've had hit after financial hit lately, with unplanned furnace and washing machine replacements delivering the final blow to a savings account already staggered by my hip operation, so when two full time coworkers took long vacations and a lot of extra hours became available, I signed up. I've wanted to use the scant time I have in the studio actually making stuff, and not posting on social media. But hopefully, I'm back to my regular schedule for the time being. I did take lots of pictures of my projects (and cute cats!) so there should be at least several new posts coming in short order. So I'm peeking in now to say hello and stay tuned!!
Above, photos comparing draft #5 (left side, with the red toebeans, featured in this previous blog post) and this newest draft (right side, pink toebeans.)
(It took me a bit to get photos of the paws, I got interrupted a lot...)
Backing up a bit. To make this new draft I needed to make a pattern for the tendons and devise support for them inside the paw, so they would hold their shape.
Here, making new pattern pieces by retaping the foam model (shown here in this earlier blog post) to include the tendons that I had left out previous drafts. The photo on the countertop shows the tape from the back of the hand before it was cut apart, as well as reworked patterns for the adjacent finger joints. The picture on the cutting board shows the tape after being cut apart and flattened, thus becoming the official pattern for the tendons that can be traced onto fabric and cut out.
Here, building up the tendons in the inside of the freshly sewn paw, along with structure for toebeans, knuckles and the first joints of the fingers. I also wanted to improve upon draft #5 by making it a little, well, less lumpy and I thought foam cut to fit the paw might do this better than the simple polyfil stuffing I'd been using. I derived these foam parts by pulling apart the foam hand from which I'd made this pattern (shown in this blog post,) tracing and cutting out the appropriate pieces from foam and gluing them into the inside of the new hand. I could have probably just pulled the original hand apart and glued that in there instead, but I wanted to keep it for future reference. You can see this poor disassembled hand in these photos, in little plastic baggies labelled with which parts they were.
Shown here is the support for the palm and back of the hand, which wraps around the middle of the paw. The cut end you see in this photo will ultimately be glued to the other end (not visible in this picture) to make something of a tube, which will fit around the wearer's hand.
I built up the parts of the paw in layers, working from the outer to the inner. The tendons, knuckles and palmar pad are under this big foam support now, but will be on top of it when the paw is turned right side out. I turned this paw inside out *a lot* which is one reason why it looks so pilled and tatty in these photos. That and because it is made of cheap felt. As you have seen I make a lot of these drafts, so no point in using good fabric just yet!
And here's Ezzy, watching the whole process and providing moral support. As well as modelling a very fine pair of paws. During my long day job induced absence from blogging, I've taken lots of cat pictures. Brace yourself...