Over the next two weeks you’ll have a chance to learn more about Patty Young‘s inspiration behind the stylish projects in MODKID Summer Fun. Each stop on the blog tour will have reviews, photos and a chance to win a copy of MODKID Summer Fun!
When I found out that we’d be publishing Sew in Style, a Fun Stitch Studio book with clothing for 18” dolls, I knew that inevitably, I’d be charged with spending my days playing dress-up with toys I left behind years and years ago. Sounds like fun, right?!
The reality wasn’t exactly as I’d hoped. It was hilariously frustrating trying to get the dolls to stand on their own to be photographed. They will stand, but it’s very precarious and must be tweaked and tweaked and tweaked until finally, you can pull your hand away slowly. Are her arms in a good position? Does she look natural enough? Ultimately, she’ll drop – usually right on her face in a fluff of hair – which is why the seconds after the doll poser has removed her hands and before she takes her imminent fall is when I’ve got to get the shot.
In this photo, my assistant has gently propped and posed the doll and it seems as if she can let go. I’m in position, so that the minute she steps away I can click the shutter. Oh, PLEASE stay standing!
Often, we set up a shot and get it, only to realize that it’s not quite right. The final image we used in this book looks a little different than the one we’re setting up here.
As much as I like our other dog projects, I have a soft spot for Olive’s Collar from Alexia Abegg’s Liberty Love. I love cute dog collars and Penny likes them too. (She even enjoys the clinking noise her ID tags make, weirdo that she is.) So I was really looking forward to trying out this one. Alexia uses Liberty Tana Lawn fabrics for her collar, but I wanted something different. Something bright and summery that would show up well against black fur.
Luckily, my local quilt store, Queen B’s Quilt Shop in Antioch, California, has all the cheerful fabric I could need.
In the back of the store, there’s a tub full of remnants, leftover bindings, and other random chunks of gorgeous fabric that were just the right amount for a collar. For $3.00 you can fill a Ziplock bag with anything from the tub. I’ve made something of an art of stuffing that baggie full, but I loaded up on so many pinks, yellows, teals, and purples that I accidentally ripped my bag. The owner let it slide. She’s awesome like that.
Testing fabric combinations. My dog is a good sport.
Not being able to pick just one fabric, I decided to piece three equal strips together to get the required length. (In retrospect, I should have used unequal strips—the purple mostly disappeared under the adjustable strap. Oh well, maybe next time.)
As for interfacing, Alexia’s collar uses one layer of Pellon Decor Bond, but as I mentioned in a prior post I tend to be adventurous with my interfacing and wanted to try something different. I had some spare Shape-Flex, but when I fused the first layer the collar wasn’t sturdy enough. This wasn’t supposed to be a heavy-duty, attach-a-leash-and-go-walking collar, but I did want it firm enough to grab Penny if the doorbell rang. Then I had an idea … what if I fused the interfacing to itself? ShapeFlex is fusible on one side, so I could bond it to itself and customize the firmness. Brilliant! I added another layer … and another. I ended up with four layers total. I almost broke my sewing machine needle when I had to sew the doubled-over parts, but it was perfect—almost as durable as nylon webbing, but much more stylish. I still hesitate to use it outdoors, but it’s plenty sturdy.
This is a project I would definitely do again. I think put in less money for the fabric , interfacing, and buckles than I did for Penny’s store-bought collar. And, oh, the fashion possibilities! Plus, if any cat lovers are feeling left out, this could easily turn into a custom cat collar. Just make the strip shorter and narrower. Easy peasy! You wouldn’t even need much interfacing.
Pet collars—stylish and fun to sew. Who knew?
Next is the Customizable Pet Bed from A Kid’s Guide to Sewingby Sophie Kerr with Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr. Meanwhile, I leave you with this progression of shots from Penny’s photo shoot. I’m dangling treats over her to keep her head up. Can you guess where I was standing?
The founder of Camp Cocker dog rescue (of which Penny is an honorary alum) informed me after reading this post that her rescue could really use collar donations right now. To help out Camp Cocker and other animal rescues like it, we’re attaching a free PDF of the Olive’s Collar project! Please enjoy the free project and consider paying it forward by making some for your local animal rescue and shelter groups.
Our Stash Books are filled with lifestyle photography that is imagined and fulfilled by our in-house creative department. As the editorial photographer, it’s my job to take a concept and make it a reality with a successful photo shoot.
Our days on location are a combination of teamwork, kneeling, standing, collaboration, laying, cropping, fluffing, ironing, dreaming, scheming, and sometimes, standing back to see what amazing gifts the light is ready to give.
Our photo stylist, Lauren Toker, working on the cover of Playful Petals by Corey Yoder