Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Goldie Blox Ruby Rails dress

I had the pleasure of working with the Goldie Blox design team to create the dress pattern for the Ruby Rails Skydive Action Figure that was released in 2015.

It started with a sketch from the character designer at Goldie Blox. Ruby is a fashionable coder, so they wanted to represent that in her outfit. They liked the idea of a cute dress, with a tulle underlay along with a printed pattern on the bodice that would highlight her computer skills.

 I showed the team a lot of different fabric options with colors in the coral pink and magenta families. Ruby is friends with Goldie who wears purple overalls, they wanted something that would complement but stand out from Goldie's outfit. They ended up with a purple/magenta color, but it stands out against Goldie's lavender/purple overalls.

Building a dress pattern for a doll is pretty similar to making clothes for humans. One difference is that with the smaller size you have to factor in tiny seam allowances, but you can often remove seams to simplify the sewing.  Ruby's dress doesn't have any shoulder seams, because they are unnecessary for a doll her size ( 7 inches tall) and it creates fewer pattern pieces which is easier to assemble.

Pretty quickly the idea of a print on the fabric was thrown out, but the shine of liquid lamé was very appealing to the team.

Version 1 in liquid lamé fabric:

 I made a sample with the liquid lamé fabric that the teamed like, but when they got the manufacturing prices back it turned out it was too much. So I worked on the next version in a simpler fabric with ribbon sleeves and a ribbon sewn into the hem to create the look of a double layer of skirt without the cost. That combination turned out the have the right cost and a style that worked for the team.

Final Sample:

Final product in package:

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Meow Wolf Fridge backpack

If you visit Meow Wolf Santa Fe, one of the cool features is opening the refrigerator in the house to discover a cool vortex that takes you to another dimension. I worked with the Meow Wolf product design team to turn that experience into a backpack.

The backpack is constructed out of off-white vinyl fabric, with interior vortex made from a combination of frosted clear vinyl with sparkle vortex overlay. It's fully lined with white water resistant rip-stop nylon. It's got a handle shape on the exterior but you pull the whole door panel open. I used magnet snaps to pull the door back together when you need it closed. The used spoonflower to print the interior door image onto cotton fabric, then combined it with the other door pieces.

I handmade a limited edition of 20 pieces. Then Meow Wolf will be getting them mass manufactured to keep them regularly in stock.

Open the door... reveal the vortex. I illustrated the interior of the fridge door. It's filled with Ωmega Mart Products like Blk Mlk, Happles (happy apples), Powdered Dreams and Alien Juice.

Unzip the backpack to reveal room for your stuff.

Padded Inner sleeve for precious electronics.

Side pocket fits a bottle filled with the liquid of your choice.

On the front door is a hidden metal panel to attach real magnets, for an authentic fridge experience.

Top handle and adjustable shoulder straps make it easy to take this magical vortex with you wherever you need to go.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Plush Pears

I just made a bunch of super cute pear plush toys for Marlena Compton's Let's Pair kickstarter.

The design process started with Marlena sending me a sketch of what she wanted. I used that as reference to make my own scale sketch which would be the basis of starting to build the pear pattern.

 I made the face an Illustrator file to easily turn it into a machine embroidery file. I still use SewArt to convert images to embroidery files for my Brother PE-770 embroidery machine.

Once I got the shape of the pear right, I sent Marlena several minky plush fabric swatches to pick the right color for the body. I made the stem out of the cotton flannel to still be soft but a have different feel than just another minky piece.

Once the final sample was approved, I made a bunch of pears!

Friday, January 25, 2019

Plotzo the Rat plush toy

I made a plush toy version of another Meow Wolf mascot, Plotzo the rat. You can find Plotzo hanging out at Wiggy's Plasma Plex with the rest of the juviegangers. This toy version is the only one you would dare touch, as the real Plotzo would rather stab you than hug you.

Plotzo cut out
I used Benji Geary's painted cut out as the main reference for the toy version of Plotzo. Then I did my own sketch simplifying details that wouldn't show up well in a plush toy roughly 14 inches tall.

Plotzo is a rude dude with attitude and that is represented in his attire. His jacket has real studs on the shoulders, and anti symbol patch on the back. He's been in a couple of scrapes so he's got a notch taken out of his ear, but he doesn't care. Who knew that acid wash denim would make a come back?... Plotzo did.

I handmade a limited edition of twenty pieces for the Santa Fe Meow Wolf store, so by now they are all sold out. But they should be getting more made soon, keep checking the Meow Wolf online store.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Cool Cat patches

Just in time for summer, I made a couple of cool cat patches. I took the cat design from the animal icons added some sunglasses and turned it into a plush patch.  I made a couple of color variations but since my daughter, Suzanne's current favorite color is pink, she picked the pink one for her shirt.

I used a combinations of fabrics to give the patches some texture, they have a base of plush, the sunglasses are corduroy with the lenses made out of satin for some shine. Then the cat features are machine embroidered on top.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Grandma Projects: part 2, knit baby blanket

This past summer, my step-Grandma passed away. She was a prolific knitter and amazing weaver.  From her, I inherited a lot of yarn and a partially finished baby blanket. This was a more recent project than my Grandma's Jiffy Afghan with the pattern being from the Plymouth Yarn Studio 8-hour Baby Blanket booklet.
It was about a quarter started and I began my part working on it a bit before my baby was born. It also got pushed aside for awhile. Once she was born, much like the afghan, it was an easy project to work on whenever I could find a couple of minutes.

Baby Wendy has her fair share of baby blankets now, so I'll  likely gift this one to the next baby. I can't say it took me exactly 8 hours, but the booklet has a ton of cool variations on baby blankets and it was fun and easy to make.

Finished dimensions: 26" wide by 32 " long

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Grandma projects: part 1, knit afghan

When my grandma passed away a couple of years ago (at age 100!) she left some unfinished projects behind. She was a prolific knitter and crocheter during her day. I still have the Christmas stocking she knitted for me when I was a kid.  Jammed in a bag was the beginning of a "Jiffy Knitted Afghan" in classic late '70s colors.
Afghan version 1
I completed it last year at stated but the stitches were really loose so it got stretched out easily. Plus I didn't like how I attached the panels together and I had run out of the light gold color and had to add a section of eggshell at the end. Overall I wasn't happy with it so I crammed it in my shed and didn't think about it until my second baby was born. Knitting is a good start/stop project to work on when you just have little spurts of time between childcare.

I took it all apart and doubled up the yarn which muted the colors a bit, but also unified them by having the light gold color run throughout the afghan. I alternated blocks of knit and purl so it was more interesting and wouldn't curl up. The doubled yarn is much more stable even using giant size 19 knitting needles. I tried to keep a feeling of the original with the color stripes. I made two panels and sewed them together.

Afghan version 2
The new size is much smaller, about 52 inches wide by 42 inches tall. It makes a good small lap or baby blanket, or in my house, a good cat blanket.