Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hippo Birdie to ME

I am celebrating my birthday this week!
Earlier in the month I was laying in bed thinking about my last birthday party a few years ago. My dear friend had brought Kinder Happy Hippo Cocoa Biscuits (cookies) and I teased her about not bringing anything bird related and then it could have been Hippo Birdie, which many of you will have ran across on the internet as a birthday greeting (corruption of Happy B-day?)

Inspiration struck and I got out of bed and pull out some visual dictionaries and animal drawing books. I found How to Draw Animals by Jack Hamm to be particularly helpful as it covered hippopotamus.

I drew a rough sketch of what my Hippo-Bird mashup should look like with seam lines and then went to bed, having formed the plan of releasing the pattern as a birthday celebration.

A few days later I did a quick internet search to see if Hippo-Birds were commonly illustrated, and satisfied that there wasn't already an obvious plush pattern on the market, I drew up the pattern pieces and made my mock up, using old sheets.

Mock up 1, which I still have, and will not show you the pictures of was a success for the most part, I did simplify a few things. Out of the 11 pattern pieces, only 1 was unchanged.

I then sewed up the second one out of grey cotton, noticed a few minor tweaks were needed (dart length, seam alignment) I then put my pattern into CAD and cleaned it up. I then scaled it down to be 2/3 of the original size and made up the second one in blue.

Monsieur requested a mustache, I couldn't deny him, it being Movember and all.After making up several felt mustache shapes (too fake, Snydly Whiplash, Kaiser), my husband decided on the final shape and I gave Monsieur his mustache and bow tie.

I then wanted to see how the pattern would translate to Polar Fleece, so I made up Prudence.
There are a few differences in construction between the cotton and fleece versions. The fleece, being a knit sculpts better, however being thicker means that the ears have to be single layer. I also used safety eyes on Prudence to check a different look.

Pattern is now available on Etsy. Also available on Craftsy

One of my favorite things about this pattern is the nostrils! They are created using a tuck dart as a starting point so they truly have depth to them.

All the while I was making these Hippo Birdies I was planing how I would stage the photos.

I used Abby Glassenberg of While She Naps' Tutorial on making Mini Felt Bunting, while at the fabric store I looked for cake or birthday fabric but all I found was some ribbon, which I bought since it went so well with the dots I was going to use for the cupcake wrapper. I made felt party hats, and then the girls got aprons. I also made up a cupcake complete with pink icing and a colorful wraper. Decided it needed a candle as well.

The cupcake is not included in the pattern, it will be part of a forth coming pattern for play food.

Know someone with a birthday coming up and have no clue what to give them? The Hippo Birdie just might be the thing.Pick it up on Craftsy or Etsy

Hippo Birdie to ME

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