Category Archives: Puppet Making

Puppet Costume Part 8: The Cape

The puppet is finally completed!

Puppet Cape

The final piece of her costume is the short cape. I was unable to find the original pattern I used for the life sized version so I had to make a pattern directly from the original.

 I started by spreading the cape out on the floor. Then I taped a piece of paper on it and marked a center point. Then I took measurements from the center point to the edges and converted them to 18.75 %. I then marked the corresponding point along the same line on the paper, eventually ending up with the reduced pattern.

First, I spread the cape out on the floor, taped a piece of paper on it and marked a center point. Next, I took measurements from the center point to the edges and converted them to 18.75 %. I then marked the corresponding point along the same line on the paper, eventually ending up with the reduced pattern. This time around I used the metric side of the ruler. It is much simpler to convert using millimeters.

After sewing the trim on in the same way as I had done for the coat, I assembled the lining and pinned it before hand stitching it onto the cape.

After sewing the trim on in the same way as I had done for the coat, I assembled the lining and pinned it before hand stitching it onto the cape.

Cape in Progress

Ready to be stitched.

Doll in Cape Side View

Doll in Cape From Behind

Here is the photo of the full sized costume for you to compare with the miniature. The puppet is twelve inches high and the live doll woman is 64 inches high.

The Masked Woman's Costume

The Masked Woman’s Costume is on my dress form, which is why the arms look empty.

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Puppet Hair

My puppet has hair now! Here is a photo of her on set.

The puppet on set. She still needs her cape.

The puppet on set. She still needs her cape. If you click on the photo it will open in a new screen. Click it again to magnify it and you can see her individual strands of hair.

For her hair, I started with a wig cap made of leather.

Here is the leather wig cap. I later painted most of it black, except for the part in the middle.

Here is the leather wig cap. I painted most of it black, except for the part in the middle.

I used Gutermann Black Quilting Cotton thread for the hair, because it has a nice sheen, and stitched each strand into the leather cap.

Here is the inside of the wig cape. You can see the stitches. Each stitch makes two strands of hair. First stitch from the outside in and then from the inside out and clip at the correct length.

Here is the inside of the wig cap. You can see the stitches. Each stitch makes two strands of hair. First stitch from the outside in and then from the inside out and clip at the correct length.

Puppet Costume Part 7: The Coat

The puppet’s coat is finally complete! The next step is the hooded short cape.

The completed coat. I made the buttons out of 3 mm pom poms. Luckily many of them are actually 4 mm wide to replicate the 7/8 "/ 22 mm velveteen cover buttons exactly.

The completed coat. I made the buttons out of 3 mm pom-poms. Luckily many of them are actually 4 mm wide to precisely replicate the 7/8 “/ 22 mm velveteen cover buttons that I will be putting on the live action costume to replace the current ones that are plastic.

Here are some detail shots of the coat in progress:

Here, I am sewing the black trim in place.

Sewing the black trim.

Up close shot of sewing the embroidery floss in place.

Close up shot of sewing the embroidery floss in place.

I embroidered the white dots onto the black satin ribbon.

The white dots are embroidered onto the black satin ribbon.

I reproduced the slit pockets. They are functional.

I reproduced the slit pockets. They are functional.

The coat is spread out here to show the completed trim.

The coat is spread out here to show the completed trim. Notice the slit pockets there too.

Puppet Costume Part 6: Coat Progress

The puppet’s coat is coming along nicely. Progress is stalled while I wait for the 1/16th inch ribbon I ordered on February 21st. I hope it comes soon.

Here are the pattern pieces all cut out.

Here are the pattern pieces all cut out.

I calculated and marked the pattern for the placement of the detailed decorative trim.

I calculated and marked the pattern for the placement of the detailed decorative trim. Then I marked the coat with a white chalk pencil. On the paper to the right, you can see a 18.75% reduction of the full sized coat sleeve trim section.

This is as far as I can go until I get the 1/16th inch ribbon.

This is as far as I can go until I get the 1/16th inch ribbon. The black trim on the sleeve is made with embroidery thread that has been divided in half and stitched in place. I need to finish the trim on the sleeve before sewing the side seam. The side seam must be completed before I can start the trim on the coat.

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.