Couple a things this week! First, everyone’s favorite build-your-own pattern bundle is back! Use Buy4Get1 code to get 5 patterns for the price of 4/ aka 20% off!
And next, I have this week’s patterns:
You can find ’em both Here
While these days I’m mostly known for making patterns, I still like to customize. I get bored easily, so I always like to try new things. In the past couple of years I’ve picked up some action figures (aka dolls without brushable hair, often packaged using colors that aren’t pink.)
And lemme tell ya, some of the customs I’ve seen in those communities have been pretty kickass. But it’s also funny because while they’re generally doing the same thing as girl customizers: taking figure A and turning it into figure B, the skill arrays of HOW they get there are way different.
One of those skills is sewing. I make a figure with vinyl belts and it blows people away. I get 3-4 people asking how I sculpted those soft, thin, flat belts that flex with the figure. And I’m like, no, just cut some fabric strips and sculpted buckles.
Now it’s not that guys can’t sew. In the grade school I went to, ALL the kids were required to take Home ec (sewing, cooking) classes and shop (wood & metal working) classes. When everybody has to do it, nobody gets made fun of for doing a girl/boy thing they might be interested in. Guys were just as good at and enthusiastic about making cookies and sewing quilts as I was with saws and molten aluminum casting. It’s bullshit. If you want to try it, try it.
Detailed sculpting is awesome, but there are definitely situations where fabric is the superior material. Consider:
- Fabric won’t impede articulation. You give a character a long sculpted trench coat and even if it’s made out of rubbery plastic that flexes, it will never be able to do THIS
- Fabric doesn’t cause paint rubs. Where are paint rubs the most common? Shoulders! What does a jacket cover? Oh yeah.
- Fabric is light, so even if you make a bulky accessory (like a cape or long coat) with it, it won’t be heavy enough to tip the figure over or make it hard to balance.
- Use something non-fraying like vinyl, and you can make belts and straps more thin and pliable than any plastic or apoxie
- It’s SO MUCH FASTER than sculpting.
- It’s much easier to get to a point where you sew something that looks good vs can sculpt something that looks good.
- You can take it off the figure, instead of having to have multiple figures, one for each look
- You can share them between figures. Do you know how many comic book characters have had long black trench coats over the years?
- More durable! Clays and apoxies snap. Fabric doesn’t. It also doesn’t chip, or get the paint scraped off.
So these patterns were written with action figure customizers in mind. I got some brave volunteers to test the pattern on before I released it to make sure a random action figure customizer with 0 sewing experience would be able to figure it out, and they all could.
If you can sew a straight stitch, by hand or machine, you can make these. There are simplified versions and alternate steps that will let you get a good result with 3 seams. If you DO want to sew, you can use the same pattern and follow tips for adding detail and get little jackets that are just as detailed as sculpted ones, except way more flexible and removable.
Enjoy! I hope this helps out anyone who wants to try sewing for customizing, but is put off because of a lack of patterns or tutorials. (Psst: free tutorial for miniature sewing here)