Thursday, December 17, 2015

And Now. . .Alice Otter (My Favorite Gift I'm Giving This Year)

Whew!  I finished making Alice Otter earlier this morning.  She is part of my Christmas presents for my parents, just as Emmet Otter was last Christmas.  
 I can't be with my family while they watch Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas on Christmas Eve--enjoying the movie over eggnog and dessert is a family tradition--but now they will have the complete set of "Ma" and her Emmet to hold my place.  :) 
I started creating Alice in November and soon realized that I was mistaken to have thought that Alice Otter would be easier to make than Emmet.  I had expected her to be easier since her body is hidden by her dress, but between the dress-making and simply the ongoing trying-to-making-her-face-look-right, she was quite a challenge.   At least she and Emmet are a two-member family, since I don't think I'd want to construct a third otter next year.  :)  I also didn't realize until right now that I attached her lace-and-red-ribbon trim to the front of her dress upside-down.  BAH!  Maybe I'll attach extra lace under the red ribbon to make up for it.  BAH!  And BAH! again!  Anyway, she is either done or nearly-done, depending on my handling of The Lace Issue now.   :)  Her outfit in the movie is just lovely, so to have gotten it even this close was quite the feat for me, since sewing's not really my thing.  
I began with a stuffed animal I bought to cut up for fur and parts. 
I re-cut it to form the body--
--and re-stuffed it to re-shape it a bit. 
The plan had been to start with her face, of course, but I found myself beginning with her costume instead.  "Measure twice, cut once"-type thinking made me too nervous to add her face, I think, since once it was attached, there would be no going back to correct itThe collar and bow were made from a piece of leftover lace in my fabric stash. 
I found one button in Grandma's button jar that matched the dress well, and I took the lid off a mustard bottle to make the nose.  :)  
I had bought the fabric back in August after a long search for one that closely resembled Alice's talent show costume in the movie.  (I wanted to make the talent show costume because so many of Mom's other Christmas decorations are blue, and Alice's other dress in the film is a brown-with-gold print.)
I didn't realize until I went to attach the finished arms that I had made them way too big and too long, so I spent at least an hour redoing them. I made a basic wrap dress that I'd later cover with a pleated fabric-piece for a proper dress. 
I remembered from last year to use white paint to add a life-like glint to her eyes.  The eyes and eyebrows were pieces of black fabric cut off a raggedy piece of a bag lining. 
I found a doily in October that I thought would be the right size to use as a cap, and I guessed correctly.  I made blue ribbon/cord from a length of the dress-fabric and threaded it through the doily's holes.  The ball-trim is from a piece I've used for so many other projects.  It all worked. 
And then I stopped taking pictures until I was done with her this morning. 
If I had stopped to refer to the photos of her I'd been using as reference all along, I'd have noticed the upside-down lace-and-red-ribbon-trim, but I'll live. 
Dad will get a kick out of her, as he did with Emmet, but I know Mom will truly love her.  :)
I'm so tickled with this. 
I tried making a mouth a few different ways, but I never came up with one that looked even remotely right, so instead I added extra fur with hot glue and bunched it up until it looked like there was at least an opening there.  The suggestion of a mouth looks better than any of my attempts at a real one did.  I added blush to her cheeks with a little of my lipstick, to make her look different from Emmet, and I used a paintbrush to spread some white eye shadow above her eyes. 
I attached her to a plastic container to make her a bit taller and to give her a way to stand, since it bothered me last year that the boots I'd created for Emmet hadn't worked out and he needed to be leaned against something to stay upright. 
And like last year, I made a gingham label as a finishing touch. 
Oh, I love that cap!  Anything with ball-trim just sends me, I love it so much. 
I go home tomorrow for a way-too-short visit and look forward to seeing not only my family, but also Alice and Emmet together for the first time.  ;) 
And now to figure out The Lace Issue before I pack this into tissue paper and box it up for Mom and Dad.  This is my favorite gift that I'm giving this year, although one for my nephew keeps making me laugh too.  Ah, holiday silliness!  I love it. 
Merry Early Christmas! 


La Table De Nana said...

You're adorable..Lucky parents to have a thoughtful girl like you:)
Happy Holidays Val.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

I bet Alice can hardly wait to be with Emmet. Your folks will love this happy addition to their home. :-)

Happy Christmas dear Val ~ Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

Courtney Carney said...

Oh Val that is just absolutely adorable. You are so creative and talented. They will love it. Congrats on a job beautifully done!

Val said...

Thank you, Monique, Lorraine, and Courtney. :) I fixed her lace-trim yesterday. She's lookin' gift-giving-ready. :)

Marie Rayner said...

Your are to will be thrilled Val! And rightly so to have such a thoughtful daughter as yourself? A very Merry Christmas to you, your husband and your family. Xoxo

Marie Rayner said...

That should say your parents Val. Darned iPad!

Lisa said...

It amazes me that, for someone who doesn't "sew", you can summon up the guts to take apart a stuffed animal and think you can come up with something - and you do it!! What a good job! I look at her, and I can hear her singing in my mind.

(you may say "bah", as long as you don't say "humbug". :)

Val said...

Thank you, Marie and Lisa! :) And no. . .never a humbug here, Lisa. :)