Early in 2011, I got a request from a fan of Sackboy, the main character in the Playstation Little Big Planet Games. She wondered if I could make her a crochet toy in the same likeness. Since he's a knit character I figured the translation to crochet wouldn't be too hard. In fact it really wasn't. What took so long were the details I wanted to try to capture without gluing too much felt pieces to him to simulate his zipper closure and his open smiling mouth or using strategic stitching to create his fingers on a rounded hand. I wanted to be able to capture that open mouth and those little fingers and that all important zipper.
Normally I just assess an image and picture the stitches I need to get that shape and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't...for example an attempt to make Stewie, which is still in the works. His head shape, a football like shape, was going good but when it came time to stuff it, he looked more like B*tch Stewie. (If you watch Family Guy, you know the episode. lol) And I still have that misshapen head, because a perfect Stewie next to an imperfect one, it just reinforces the character and episode homage.
^B* Stewie Head
But back to Sackboy! A similar dilemma popped up as I patterned and stitched the Sackboy. I started with his head shape and left open an area of stitches to work on creating the depth and space for his mouth. I worked out his body and once again, decided I didn't want to glue the zipper to his body, I wanted it to be part of the body and worked it so that I had an opening to insert the zipper (but finding one that was perfect turned out to be harder than I thought it would be).
When it came time for me to stuff him, I ended up with my mouth area poking out, so that his face looked like he had a duck bill. I was frustrated that I couldn't tack the middle part of the mouth to the back of the head, because again it created a dent in the back of the head and didn't allow the stuffing to shape the head properly. Thinking it over and pulling out the tack stitch, I decided that cardboard cutouts in the shape of the lips, glued inside would give me my stiff shape and allow me to stuff around them. (I've since perfected what to use inside to hold my shaping, because even the cardboard would bend when I started to stuff the body and give the face shape.)
The result made me happier and I went on to tackle his legs, which weren't a difficult shape to achieve. His arms proved to be a different story, as I wanted to create his fingers but not through stitching. I worked with the tiniest hook and achieved a flat fingered hand and arm that thrilled me with its likeness to Sackboy's.
I mangled one of my old purses and snagged a brown zipper that I wanted to use to close up the hole I had created. After stitching on his arms and legs, I looked him over critically. I was happy but not overly happy.
His head was giving me a cone head shape (above photo) that was not appealing and ruining the effect for me. Plus I still hadn't found my zipper tab and his mouth wasn't giving me the depth effect.
I ended up painting over the zipper with silver, which helped but has made me vigilant whenever I see something with zippers to see if it's got silver teeth and will work on a future creation. I purchased a lunch bag at the dollar store that turned out to have several nearest match zipper tabs to attach to the top. (The dollar store is my new best friend! I find so many things to repurpose for projects. I'll discuss in a future blog post).
I had to undo the stitching on his head and insert a cardboard cutout to flatten out the cone head shape (again, much better now) and finished up the minute detailing on his mouth and what came out made me so much happier then I had been. I had a ' Meh!' feeling about it before (picture above). Now I was happy to be offering the final product for my requester's approval. (Picture below)
For my first foray in patterning and creating Sackboy, I'm was pretty darn happy! And if I'm not happy with it, how is my client going to be.
Since creating that first Sackboy, I created another for my brother as a graduation gift. He really liked it and complimented me on the details and likeness. *Whew!* (Family can be your worst critics!) His Sackboy included a little scroll diploma. But recently I received an order (my first headed overseas to England!) and the requested asked if I could include a personal message.
Well I didn't want to just roll up a piece of paper. so I decided to create a small portfolio for Sackboy to hold. I lengthened his robe a little and once again scrounged the dollar store for that perfect zipper tab. :) He's a great graduation present and has plans for more dress up options later this year. Maybe Batman...Santa Clause or hey, since Sackboy doesn't HAVE to be a boy, maybe we'll see a Sackgirl! Stay tuned!
I'm a self taught "hooker".
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