Sunday, August 21

Softie roundup!

For the past 6 weeks I've been teaching a softies class at Fleisher for adults. Here's a glimpse of some of the creations my students came up with. We had 3 main projects: a set of "building blocks" of simple shapes to help teach some pattern and sewing skills and spark the imagination; a simple silhouette 2-sided piece with painted or stitched embellishment, and a final multi-limbed piece. 
 I posted my porcupine and floppy kitties before, and here are the last 2 sample pieces I made for the class. The gray kitty was a more sculptural/tailored piece, unlike the very simple shapes of my previous kitties. Unfortunately his back paws were angled wrong and he didn't stand up the way I wanted. Back to the drawing board. But it was nice to have a piece that required some adjustments, as it offered an opportunity to show how to fix some construction mistakes. The puppy was a quick handsewn felt sample I made in order to demonstrate a button joint. His 4 legs rotate very nicely. It was great to get to make a few softies and take a time out from my everyday studio work- I'm not going into business any time soon, but they're an awful lot of fun to make.
 These are a collection of dolls one of my students created. She started off hesitantly with a simple pattern she found online (the red-dressed one on the left), but then went to town finding patterns and making all different kinds of dolls. She mastered hair and clothes, and expressions. I think she prefers machine sewing over hand-sewing, but she really got a lot done that way!
 I had another prolific student who took each of the projects and expanded them with her imagination and creativity. She made all of her pieces in a nice fleece fabric, that was so soft and cuddly it makes these true "softies". These were mostly handsewn. The doll and frog both have button joints and are very poseable. The bird required some pipe cleaner mechanics to make it stand independently.
The sweetest piece was this little, handsewn felt and corduroy bear made for a new preschooler to be his nap-time buddy.
I hope my students enjoyed the class, and feel confident in their ability to transform their imagination into their own pattern pieces. It seems like they're off to a good start.

I'm on a little break from Fleisher for a few weeks until the Fall semester begins. If you're interested in Fall classes it's not too late to sign up! I'm teaching Color theory and Stitch and Surface for adults, an after school basic design class for 11-13 year olds on Wednesdays, and a fiber class and silkscreen for 11-13 year olds in the free Saturday kids program. Spread the word!

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