My imagination was running wild recently. TTITD was one week away, and I wanted to send my husband off with something to wear at night. The playa gets awfully cold, and it’s important to wear as many lights as possible – you don’t want to be run over by an art car.

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The challenge I faced was assembling something out of materials that I owned or could acquire very quickly. In about twenty hours of lost sleep time, I created a muppety, Wild Thing mutant that I think I will be making for myself if I get the chance!

MonsterHat-1This is going to the grocery store, at least once.

I took photos while I worked to document what I had done. I cannot claim that I constructed this using the best techniques possible. (I’m finding that the opportunity to research and experiment with different techniques are behind me for a while!) If you have made or are going to make something similar, message me so we may share notes!

Materials

  • Simplicity Pattern 1337 – I used only the hood and ear pattern pieces
  • Faux fur (exterior)
  • Cotton t-shirt (lining)
  • Polyester metallic lining (ear lining)
  • Woven metallic fabric (horns)
  • Embroidery thread (stitches)
  • Topstitching thread (horn twist)
  • Polyester fiberfill (horn stuffing)
  • Ping pong balls (eyes)
  • Acrylic paint (eye detail)
  • Micro LED lights on string wire, AA battery operated (eye lights)
  • Multi-color LED shoelaces (horn twist lights)
  • Styling design ruler (horn curve)
  • Freezer paper (horn pattern)
  • Sewing gauge (adding seam allowance to homemade patterns)
  • Hand-held cutting tool (cutting faux fur)
  • Scissors (fur seam allowance trimming)
  • Dremel and clamp (holes in ping pong balls)
  • Cutting mat (surface protection)
  • Drafting ruler (sketching eye pupils)
  • Bulldog clip (holding eye string wire)
  • Embroidery needle (hand stitching)
  • Sewing machine (fabric assembly)
  • Where The Wild Things Are (inspiration)

Images and Project Notes

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When cutting faux fur, use a very sharp hand-held blade and cut from the wrong side of the fabric. Trim the seam allowance so your fabric layers will fit underneath the sewing machine foot and be properly fed through by the feed dogs.

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Note the nap, or direction of the fur before cutting your pieces.
I chose to reverse the direction for the ears so the fur would stand upward.

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Find inspiration where ever you can.
I wanted curved horns, and used the styling ruler to get a pleasing curve quickly.
Be sure to add a seam allowance to any pattern you create yourself.

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When creating your twists with the topstitching thread, be sure to secure with stitches. This will make weaving the LED shoelaces around the horns easier.

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This type of shoelace has holes near the switches that allowed me to sew the laces directly onto the hood.

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Four holes were necessary: two for sewing the eyes onto the hood and two for sliding the LED wire through. It’s easiest to keep the ball steady using a clamp and paper towel while drilling.

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A drafting ruler helped me sketch circles consistently,
and matte acrylic paint served well for the pupils and eyelids.

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A bulldog clip held bent wire loops at each end while I wove the wire through the ping pong balls.

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Stitching the wire loops to the hood before the individual balls made placement easier.

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I kept the wire and battery pack to the exterior of the hood in case we wanted to modify the device later. A couple of stitches at the edge and inside of the hood was sufficient to keep the wiring secure.

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Placement of the battery pack is true to the Simplicity Pattern.
In this location, the wearer really doesn’t feel the weight of the batteries.

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After completion, I felt it needed more embellishment.
I found a yard of upholstery cord in my stash and wrapped the horns.

(He seems to like it, too.)

The product seemed pretty solid when it was packed for the event. I am curious to see how it holds up to playa conditions, as I considered dust, heat, and wind as the only challenges. I never considered rain and hail like what poured down this morning!