Time for a process post – showing a bit behind the scenes of how I do some of my design work.
Today we’re talking faces.
I think the face is one of the most important parts of any softie. It’s where the personality really shines through!
I want to make it easy for you to get the face just right in any pattern you’re making. But sometimes just right isn’t clear until after the softie has been stuffed.
Stuffing changes the curve of the surface, so eyes that looked great when it was flat might now look too far apart. Or a smile that was clearly visible is now kind of hidden under the curve of the chin.
What to do?
Well – I usually work through several prototypes of each softie – getting the shape of the body right – before I even start on the face.
Then I draw the face on the already stuffed prototype.
I usually sew my prototypes from plain white cotton. It’s easy to draw on that with a soft pencil. I can even erase and redraw it several times until I like what I see – though the surface gets a bit grubby after a few erasings. For Caterpillar Phil I tried features positioned very high on the face (to make him look chubby), very low (to make him look younger), and centered (even though I almost never like plain centered). I finally settled on something just a bit below the center line. (If you want to learn how to draw faces read Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Faces. It’s awesome.)
After I’m happy with the face I go over it with a black marker, Then I unpick all my stitches to remove the face piece(s) from the prototype. I iron it flat again and trace the face onto my final pattern piece. That way you’re getting the pattern and the placement exactly like what I worked up in my sample.
That’s how I do all my faces – even if it’s just placing a couple of safety eyes.
Are you curious about any other part of my design process? Leave a comment and I’ll add it to the list for a future post.