Saturday, December 5, 2015

Part 3 Day of the Dead Chihuahua

Ok so we left off with the head finished. Then I started on the front legs. I saved them for last because I knew they would have to be strong enough to hold the head up so the piece wouldn't tip forward. I designed the front legs several times, beefing them up and making them longer before I added the markings and the embroidery.

I also enlarged the front paws. My chi Olive is super petite with tiny paws but my client's dog has bigger paws. I also needed a very small gusset for the bottom of the paws to what would be a wrist on a human and the bendy part on a dog's leg. I also added the color markings on the legs. On the inner part of the legs there isn't much hair so there is a light skin color to represent that area which you can't see here.

 Checking the size and fit of the front legs. Also checking the coverage of the embroidery. Is there enough? Does it need more?

Sewing the bottom of the front paws on. The entire piece was hand sewn from the inside, like you would on a sewing machine, except the front legs which were sewn from the outside. Teeny tiny stitches are my favorite. The bottom of all the paws have a small piece of cardboard so the feet lay flat and to give them extra stability. Also I added little black paw pads to all the feet. You don't really see them when the piece is sitting but I feel like it finishes everything off.

 I pinned the tail on and felt like the butt was too bare. This is an instance when I embroider on an already stuffed piece. It takes longer and was more difficult but I felt like the piece wasn't complete without it.

 Then I felt like the back of the head was too blank and added to that too. I used this material to embroider over since it wasn't flat and I needed a guide to keep things neat. I usually free hand embroider but sometime do it this way. I carefully tear off the material when I'm done stitching.

 There is embroidery on the front chest that I forgot to take pics of. This view really shows off that under belly gusset with the color markings. I needle sculpted the stomach area to give it that chihuahua look of a large rib cage to a smaller belly. Then I made a collar with a name tag.

 The flower crown itself took about 4 days. It's all hand cut and hand sewn. I wanted to make it removable but needed more time to work out how to do it, so ended up just sewing it on. There are full roses and also rose buds with leaves.

The whole project was about 5 weeks from start to finish. Huge project and such a challenge but I'm so glad I did it. If I do something like this again I'll start with the head and work out from there to keep the size down.

My client was really pleased and posted this photo of the piece with it's namesake.

  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings of the process. If you missed PART 1 and PART 2 of this process, make sure you click those links to see whole whole project.

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