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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Making Mary Annette Part I

So, ClockQuirks was contracted to do the costumes for Point University Drama Club's production of Nunsense.  We were also comissioned to make the Sister Mary Annette puppet required for the show.  I wanted to tackle the puppet myself, barring the nun's habit, which I knew Mom would have to make (the sewing machine and I have a strained relationship).  I found a tutorial online to help me with the basics and dove in:

I started with the supplies seen above.  Kinda looks like a mess, right?  That's kinda how I felt, too.  This was all new for me!

Next I drew out my puppet's shape.  This first try actually turned out to be too small, so I ended up doing a second one, but you get the idea.  It was time to make peace with the sewing machine.  Eek!

I found out pretty quickly that I should have pinned the 2 sides of my folded fabric together more securely.  No matter how still I thought I was holding it, the wrinkles and puckers told the truth.  I could definitely do with some more practice at the sewing machine.  For those wanting to undertake a type of fiber art that requires sewing, I would say to not be afraid, but to give yourself plenty of practice time.  We just had to kind of fight it out and the results were...if-y...
As you can see, it took two tries to get her head rounded out...
...and she was kind of wrinkly when I cut and turned her right side out.  So, I drew a new pattern, pinned it within an inch of it's life and braved another trip to the sewing machine...

A few minutes and a few curses later and I had this:
Ready for a face!  I'll post about giving some shape to her head and adding the mouth and eyes next time.  In the meantime, check out this tutorial on puppet making: Puppet Making from Expert Village.  I strongly encourage fellow crafters, especially those with a theatrical bent, to try this.  I can already tell I'm going to want to do this again.

~Ellie, Newly Dubbed Puppet Artiste

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