Monthly Archives: February 2013

Puppet Costume Part 5: Coat Pattern

This week I made the pattern for the puppet’s coat and made her petticoat.

Puppet in Her Petticoat

I made the red corduroy coat that will by worn by the live action character and still have the pattern. To shrink the pattern to the correct size for the puppet, I taped a piece of paper in the middle of the full sized pattern and put a thumb tack in the middle of the paper from the bottom to use for my fixed point. Then lining my ruler up with the fixed point and extending it to a part of the pattern I took the measurement and divided it by 5.33. That is the equation I have been using all along for this puppet and it was determined by the puppet being 12 inches and the live action character being 64 inches. Divide 64 by 12 and you have 5.33 (Actually the 3s go on and on but I stopped at two.) My other option would have been to multiply the measurement by .1875. Once I have worked out the reduced measurement, I mark it on the line between the fixed point and the place I took the measurement on the pattern. I repeated the process for every corner and pattern marking and at intervals along the edge. Here is a photo to illustrate. The center line is the one that correlates with the pattern. You can see the dots where I took the measurements. The inner most line marks the seam line and the outer line is what I added to have enough seam allowance to sew the miniature together.

Here you see the ruler lined up with the central fixed point and the pattern.

Here you see the ruler lined up with the central fixed point and the pattern. The extra seam allowance is there too. The 5/8 inch seam allowance of the full sized pattern comes to just under 1/8 inch on the miniature. I added another 1/8 inch so I can have a 1/4 inch seam allowance to work with.

The miniature sleeve pattern is complete.

I adapted the full sized original from another pattern using the inside of a grocery bag. I’ve used many grocery bags this way but since I mostly use my cloth bags now I’ve had to buy a roll of craft paper to make my dress patterns on.

Here are the completed pattern pieces on my cutting board. The lines on the board are one inch apart.

Here are the completed pattern pieces on my cutting board. The lines on the board are one inch apart.

Puppet Costume Part 4: Boots

I’ve finally finished making the puppet’s boots! I think this is about the most complicated thing I’ve ever made. They are 19% of life size. After making the pattern and cutting out the pieces, which is shown in my previous post titled Puppet Costume Part 3: Boot Pattern, I sewed the pieces of the uppers together.

One boot upper is together and the other is in progress.

One boot upper is together and the other is in progress.

Once the uppers were completed, I sewed on the sole.

This process was very slow and tedious. My goal was to have the seam of the upper turned under. To accomplish this I sewed it together loosely first. Then I slipped the boot onto the puppet's foot and tightened the stitches one by one using a very tiny crochet hook.

This process was very slow and tedious. My goal was to have the seam of the upper turned under. To accomplish this on such a small scale, I sewed it together loosely first. Then I slipped the boot onto the puppet’s foot and tightened the stitches one by one using a very tiny crochet hook.

Once the sole was in place, I added the waxed embroidery floss laces by stitching them in place. Then I made heels out of sculpey and hot glued them in place.

Once the sole was in place, I added the waxed embroidery floss laces by stitching them in place because grommets don’t come this small. Then I made heels out of sculpey and attached them with hot glue.

Puppet Costume Part 3: Boot Pattern

I’ve completed the pattern for the puppet’s boots and cut out the pieces. My delicate work/life/art balance tipped precariously towards life this week with my daughter home sick with a cold that she kindly shared with me. I’ve also been working on the curriculums for my spring classes at Umpqua Community College. Searching for great animated material on YouTube to share with my students worked well with a sick kid on my lap. So, in the midst of all that, completing the boot pattern was a major achievement! Tune in next week to see how it comes together.

Here you see the puppet's boot pattern with the cut out pieces photographed with one of the live action character's boots.

Here you see the puppet’s boot pattern with the cut out pieces photographed with one of the live action character’s boots.