Thursday, January 30, 2014

There you are, Magoo!

I decided I needed a prop to help me promote my children's book, Where Are You, Magoo? so I thought I'd make a Magoo doll. I'm not sure if he'll just be part of a cute vendor display, or if I could make up a game for hypothetical classroom visits.

It's kinda hard to document my process in a way that would allow someone else to follow the steps or pattern, since I pretty much make it up as I go. I've been sewing dolls since I was 7, and used to be big into soft-sculpture before I ran out of time to devote to it. But it was nice to get back to some sewing projects with my "snow days" I had off work. I used polar fleece for this project because it comes in bright colors, is washable and durable.

 I always use my drawings as a jumping off point. It helps me break the character down into basic shapes. Fortunately, a cartoon-y style has much simpler shapes than a realistic style, and fewer planes to contend with. 

 Harvey observes.

 Magoo's head is basically a sort of swoopy diamond, so that's the basic shape I have to work with. I also inserted a gusset, which is a triangular piece of fabric that creates volume in a sewn shape, under the chin so that the head wouldn't be completely flat to the body.
 Tweak models. And by models, I mean runs away.
 You can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs. The same can be said for cats.....? I did one body and it didn't look right, so I scraped it and had to really analyze how the legs came together. I ended up inserting a stomach piece that ran from the neck to the tail, and added separate pieces for leg interiors and the whole thing looked much better, and stood more balanced as well.

Add some stripes and a tail, and Voila! my very own Magoo! Coming to a bookstore near you!

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