August 08, 2010

Lisa: One on One

Since I was trying out No-Spend Month back in June, I wanted to come up with a birthday gift for Angie that I could make myself, using mostly materials I already had on hand. One passing reference to Hall & Oates later, an idea was born.

Here's the finished product: A throw pillow proudly featuring the head of Daryl Hall on one side and John Oates on the other.

Here's the inspiration image I started with, showing our boys in all their '80s glory.

I tried to convince Sarah she needs a pillow with Horatio on one side and Grissom on the other, but she just said she hated me. Confusing. Anyway, more info on the process after the jump!

What I bought for this project:

needle punch tool (really too small for regular yarn)
Build-a-Bear faux leather Harley Davidson jacket
green lipcord trim (from JoAnn's but not online)
tiny iron (which I am taking back because it was crap and wouldn't get hot enough to transfer anything)

What I had on hand:

off-white cotton duck
printable iron-on transfer paper

poly batting
plain white toddler-size t-shirt
puffy paint
two colors of brown yarn
needle & thread
fabric glue
embroidery hoop (borrowed from Sarah)

Order of operations:

1. I traced the shape of the hair/mustache areas on the back of the fabric, and started needle punching according to the instructions included in the needle package. I adjusted my technique a bit to compensate for working with yarn that was clearly much too large for the type of needle I had. (There was more yanking the yarn through the needle and holding it in place in the fabric than there should have been.) After all the yarn loops were in, I drizzled fabric glue over the back side of those areas to anchor everything in place.

2. I splatter-painted Oates' t-shirt, and tracked down a mini leather jacket to cannibalize for Hall. I cut them apart, strategically placed things as best I could, and sewed them in place. The idea was to use three-dimensional materials to emulate a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional object, and it was as confusing as it sounds. I wanted to use the real neck trim, zippers, placket, etc., whenever possible.

3. After throwing out the idea of sewing with actual human skin I tried to iron the skin-area transfers directly to the spaces between the hair and clothing, and failed miserably. I had saved the iron-ons for last because I knew from washing Nora's pillowcase that the surface of the transfers can crack and scuff if they're messed with too much. This left me with some very tiny areas to try to press bits of transfer into (Sorry about your ear, Hall. It's not happening.). I thought a miniature iron was the answer, but it didn't get hot enough. My final solution was to iron the face and hand transfers onto another piece of smooth cotton fabric, and then to sew that fabric into place on the pillow sides. The look isn't as seamless as I wanted, but I think it works.

4. Once the pillow sides were done, I pinned the lipcord trim to one of the sides and sewed it in place with a zipper foot. (You might want to check out a tutorial like this one for more step-by-step help.) Then I pinned the two halves of the pillow together, right sides together, and sewed around the edges again, catching the lip part of the lip cord between them. I left a bit open for turning, flipped the whole apparatus right side out, and stuffed it with batting. Use small chunks of batting for a smoother pillow. Then I hand-stitched the opening. Voila!

Posted by lisa at August 08, 2010 01:30 PM

I think a Horatio and Grissom pillow is genius! I cant believe Sarah is so against it.

Posted by: Marci on August 9, 2010 02:12 PM

I hate you for knowing me so well. So really, I hate myself.

Posted by: sarah on August 9, 2010 10:02 PM
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