Saturday, 24 November 2012

Soft Toy Spheres, Baseball-style

I've mentioned before, as I explored designing a pattern for a polar bear, I have a class doing Soft Toy Design as a unit for year 7 technology. Teaching is such a great way to learn! They've come up with all these ideas and I'm trying my best to find achievable ways to make them happen. One girl wants to do the head and body of her leprechaun as spheres.

I remembered reading Abby Glassenburg talk about baseball heads, so I said I'd try that out and we'd see if it was easy. I wanted more of a complete baseball though, minus the neck. So with help from this wikihow article, I drafted my baseball pattern.

Gosh I really enjoy drafting stuff like this. It takes me back to the good old tech drawing days of year 9 and 10.

I brainstormed some ideas for what I could make my sample sphere into. Pea? Tomato? Blueberry? Snowman? Caterpillar? Eyeball?

Ultimately it would be up to my fabric stash to decide. Blueberry/Ribena-berry it is. (Ok I could also have done snowman but it was already 8:30 by then and I like to get to bed early.)

Why do people who write tutorials never say "This is going to be fiddly and annoying to get it to line up" or "You will probably end up with more left on one side than the other"? I'm going to say it - these things might happen to you too. Be warned.

I decided to give mine safety eyes for the best of all reasons: because I happened to have some safety eyes. Also a little stitched smile.

"If your ball looks rather "squarish" ... you drew your two original circles too far apart." I did think they looked too far apart, but I went with my carefully calculated two thirds, like they told me to. Next time, round down lots. *sigh*

Still, he can be a slightly squashed blueberry.

Also, this was my first project using eco-friendly corn fiber stuffing from innergreen (and the fabric scraps, of course). The weird thing is that it smells like a foodstuff. Innergreen only sell in large quantities, so I bought mine through Tomni Design, from whom I also bought a rattle for my shapes cube.

My students are my most generous critics, they love everything I do! The blueberry was very popular, and was named "Violet Puffle". They are also very impressionable. I've brought in various examples to show them, and they suddenly say "I'm changing what I'm making!" There's a polar bear and a zombie and then the polar-bear kid today wanted to make a blob like this instead.


  1. Aww so cute! I like the name too :) Love that you have enthusiastic students to share with!