Sunday, November 4, 2007

Project : Squid Kitty aka Octo-puss

Project : Squid Kitty
Date : September - October, 2007
Materials : Fabric, ribbon, a bell, thread, stuffing
Tools : Sewing machine, scissors, straight needle, curved needle
Finished Product:


I'll be upfront that the kitty head is not my creation. I nabbed that from the book Soft Animals A to Z. The neck down was simple but of my own doing. The ribbon & bell not only looks awesome by really highlighting the kitty aspect, they also nicely cover the seam between the two parts. No eyes were really fitting and so were left out- only the scrap of fabric for the nose.

So, to start with. Make the head. I want to say it was 4 pieces of fabric- muzzle, sides of face, top of head... maybe a chin piece as well (I don't have the critter on hand at the moment). After that, it's simple. I used 3 large pieces of the white to make the body and individual strips for top of squid legs- on the body: one for either side and a dart down the front to help for shaping (since this had little pre-planning).

Interesting note about the body/tentacle joint shaping: it looked very much like V-V-V-V per side. Note that the segments between the legs actually extends down past the start of the tentacle. This fabric was cut on the side like so |_|_|_|_| , folded up under itself and sewn to the tentacle leg. This made the webbing and the lack of seam between it and the body really improves the look. Keep in mind that the webbig will "bow" nicely since the legs sit between edges that used to be connected- no fabric is removed from the body!

Wedges of pink (slightly longer and thinner then their white tops) were cut and sewn to the underside of the tentacles before the tentacles were attached to the body. The center was very mushed together, I just folded and sewed the ends of the pink wedges together and then pushed them (with a still open seam in the very center) up into the squid kitty body. Not a bad look (the opening isn't visible), easy, and allows for future work.

Thoughts :
Very awesome looking though sadly made out of the cheapest fabric I had since it was only supposed to be a random project. The lack of eyes goes very well with the squid half of the body. If I had done this a smidgen more professionally, it would be my most marketable creature by far. The fact that I used someone else's pattern for the head (it was VERY educational!) makes me feel as if I cheated though. I desperately wanted to add suckers to the bottom- tried buttons, embroidery, even actual suction cups. Sadly they all looked foolish. I've got one last idea of coiled yarn, but I don't feel I should spend any more time on this project. Perhaps next time. I'm considering a higher quality version that is ACTUALLY a squid... The idea initially comes from Neal's response to my "give me stuffed animal ideas!" post- her answer: "squid cat", the Greatest Living Philosopher directed me to put the tentacles on the bottom and not the face, and the opening scene of The Scar with the hunting squid was a strong inspiration as I worked.

Given its lack of eyes and albino coloration, it clearly dwells in the Deep. And what is any cute little kitty, with it's snow-white fur and little bell upon a ribbon without the accompanying Miss who owns it? What better pet for Lady Cthulhu than this little kitty... thing?