Saturday, February 16, 2013

Whippet Toy Dog


I've been making a new dog pattern this month. I've wanted to make a whippet for a while but have been held back while looking for the right kind of fur. They are so sleek and smooth that even the shorter pile mohair is too tufty for them. I found this white velboa which has a woven backing and it's perfect. It takes colour well from fabric pens too so it's very suitable for the hand-drawn markings. The spots on the body are set-in by hand and cut from the 3mm mohair, shown here on the fawn dog in progress at the back. He has no nose at the moment (cue well known dog joke). The eye patches and ears are coloured with fabric pens. I'm quite pleased with how the ears came out. They need to be folded back against the head in a sleek streamlined way.

Whippet toy dogs, (fawn shown in progress).

I've had to change a few components too since making the earlier dogs. The quality of the plastic toy joints has gone downhill dramatically. I have heard that the tsunami in Japan destroyed the businesses which produced them and whole factories and production lines just disappeared. The joints I managed to source did not have washers, and had to be cleaned up and trimmed by hand with a craft knife as they were poorly cast. I've decided to swap to using the old fashioned cotter pin joints from now on. These are good as they are readily available in a wide range of sizes. I've had a similar problem with the black plastic eyes, so have changed those for the black glass eyes with metal loops on the back. These are better for creating expressions as you can recess the eyes by pulling the threads and securing them at the back of the head.
Whippet parts in progress showing set-in body patches.
Finished patch with brindle markings.
It's quite time-consuming sewing the smaller pieces in by hand, but impossible to do such fiddly things on a machine. I use my old Bernina record machine which is fantastic and it copes with most intricate work, but some pieces just have to be eased in stitch by stitch.

The collar is made of a dark red wool felt, with an old silver buckle which has been lurking in my button tin for years. I've embroidered gold thread around the edges by hand. I might add some more decoration before it's finished.

I'm planning on making the fawn dog brindled when I can pluck up the courage to set about him with the fabric pens. He also needs a nose and a decorative collar. These two have different tail positions. The white dog's tail is tucked between his legs while the brindle's is lifted a little. Whippets generally tuck their tails in, but I think the pattern looks better if it's held out a bit.

Update: I finished the fawn brindled dog. I gave him a silver and green collar with mother of pearl button.

1 comment:

Kasandra O'Connell said...

Wow the brindle markings are amazing. What fabric and pens did you use ?