Sunday, October 28, 2012

Scrap challenge! My tiger-boy doll

Recently, Rachel from Stitched in Color issued a scrap challenge.


The question was: what would you make with this bundle of fabric? Rachel wrote that she'd select her four favorite answers and Pink Chalk Fabrics, which sponsored the challenge, would send the fabric to the challengers to manifest their ideas.

As someone who has only been sewing for a few months, it's far easier for me to come up with ideas than it is to enact them. That's why I love answering questions like this. They make me think. What would I really do? So I posted an answer. Why not, right? Here is what I said:
I'd love to make a boy-doll for my boy-kid. He has two older sisters and plays with lots of girl dolls :) He's two and doesn't seem to mind at all but wouldn't it be nice for him to have a boy doll? I can see that burnt orange as the hair and the crossweave as the pants and that floral block print would make a great tiny necktie, wouldn't it?
Easy peasy. Maybe. But I was delighted to be asked to compete! So I got to find out if I could bring my vision to reality.

I started with the Hans Doll pattern from Retromama on Etsy. It's adorable, but it's for a regular boy, and the thing about my boy is that when you say hi to him, he answers with "No you say hi to me! Me no a kid! Me a tiger!" And then he will roar at you. You had best faint from fright each time. It's pretty much a rule. So I decided that if I was making a boy doll specifically for my boy to fill a boy-doll need, I wanted to make a tiger-boy doll.

Meet my tiger-boy doll. Can you find all eight challenge fabrics? (I was allowed to add one fabric of my own choosing, and I used the off-white linen blend for the skin.)

Isn't he charming? Obviously I modified the embroidery design for his face. I don't think of him as an actual tiger, more like a little boy who plays tiger in his own adventures. So I still wanted him to look mostly boy with some tiger touches.

Like the ears. Tigers need their ears or else they don't hear you faint from their roars. To make these I used the same pattern that made the shirt collar, but when I attached them I added a pleat.

Here you can see the ears from behind, and the little tiger tail, a true necessity that I had to include. The third deviation from the pattern that you can see here is the way the suspenders cross in the back. In the original pattern they come straight down. The original pattern also has the hair and shoes made out of felt, by the way, but the pattern clearly didn't take into account a scrap challenge!

Because I was shaping the shoes from fabric instead of felt, I simplified their design, and added a little topstitching to mimic some of the felt details. 

I made up the tie entirely and I'm so pleased with it. Hans from the pattern is a casual kind of guy. He doesn't wear a tie. So I improvised. Doesn't this tiger-boy look like he needs a little nap after a full afternoon of chasing his mama around the house?

So there he is: my scrap challenge entry. I was hoping to finish this post with a picture of the tiger-boy doll being voraciously snuggled by my own Tiger Boy, but today was crazy with Frankenstorm planning here in Maryland and alas, I didn't get this doll completed until after my boy had gone to sleep. But school and work and the DC Metro system and everything in our part of the world are closed down tomorrow, so we'll have another full day together of roaring and prowling the savannah. I'm sure my boy and this doll will have fun making each other's acquaintance.

And those older sisters? This was the first doll I've ever made but they saw in a picture from the pattern that Hans knows a girl named Greta. They've already stipulated that I'll be making more dolls. Soon.

Thank you so much to Rachel and Pink Chalk Fabrics - I hope I did you proud!

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18 comments:

  1. This is the cutest thing ever. You have outdone yourself!

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  2. Did you ever! That is the sweetest boy doll I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. I'm so impressed by your ability to make this happen, especially as you say you are a new sewist. Fantastic!!!! Hope your little lion LOVES it.

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  3. excellent job!

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  4. Your boy doll came out great!

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  5. What a lucky boy you have! That is simply the most adorable doll ever!!! I love how you incorporated all the fabrics. I think my fav part is that cute little tie!! :D

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    1. Thanks so much! My little tiger boy and his tiger-boy-doll are snuggled happily together in a nape right now. He was delighted!

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  6. That is the most adorable doll ever! And I love how instead of just using the pattern "off the rack" you added touches to truly make it perfect for your boy! And you've been sewing such a short time, I can't imagine what you're going to come up with next! Great job!

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    1. Thanks so much! I began sewing in earnest in March. There are a million little flaws in this doll- I could do better with sewing curves, still, for example, but the most fun way to learn is by trying, right? I appreciate your encouragement!

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  7. How cute and ferocious is he?! Hans looks fabulous. I really like the RetroMama patterns, I just finished my first Greta Doll.

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    1. Thank you! I'm going to order the Greta pattern tonight :)

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  8. So sweet! I bet your little tiger loves him. :)

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  9. I really like your doll, but the story is priceless!

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  10. He's adorable!! I want to make him! My first thought when I saw him was "Conan O'Lion". ;)

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  11. I don't think you should call yourself a beginner anymore. That is amazing!

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  12. Amazing! That is one of the cutest boy dolls I've ever seen. Great job! :)

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  13. Wow! What a great make. Bet your boy loves it

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Talk to me, baby!