188: Boombox Pillow
This project happened a while ago, but I had some file storage problems and lost pretty much all of the process photos. So, I delayed posting for a while. I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that they’re gone forever, so this post is cobbled together from what I do have (…which are mostly finished product shots).
A friend of mine, Michelle Dirkse, is a designer. She asked me to make a plush sculpture for her, and she would provide the fabric. I said, “Of course!”
When I learned that she wanted a big fuchsia boombox, I was even more excited. But, I, unlike many people, had never created a pillow shaped like an ’80s magenta music machine, so I honestly wasn’t quite sure where to begin. (That never really stops me from saying yes to a project, though.)
I sent her a picture of an idea, and she sent some suggestions back. Then I got to work.
The fabric showed up, and it was really, really nice. I just wanted to wrap myself up in it and go to sleep, but I resisted the urge. I tend to work with whatever is at hand. So, this fabric was a refreshing change from the usual bed sheets, cheap fleece, and thrift store sweaters.
I really like the colors we decided on. It’s all done in a single color of fuchsia fabric with a matching, shade-lighter thread and a few accents in black thread. It looks sharp! The texture on those speakers took forever, just sewing (roughly) parallel lines, back and forth. A standard cassette tape will stay snugly lodged in the tape area–which is probably the best use for your high school mixtape.
There were a lot of windows to cut out of the main form, to reveal a layer underneath. I found the best way to get a nice edge on a cut-out window is to use this method:
…Then it’s ironed and gets a top-stitch all the way around to crisp everything up, and attach the layer below. My top-stitching isn’t perfect, and that’s fine for a project where you’re emphasizing the hand-made aspect of it.
Also, the padding is mostly latex foam, which is notoriously difficult to cut without a fancy hot-wire setup. I looked around for other cutting options and saw someone suggesting an electric turkey knife. So, I hit the clearance section of the local grocery store and found one for about $9. It was amazing! The electric turkey knife was so effortlessly fun to cut with, I went out and bought more latex foam for some other project in the future. I don’t even know what I’ll do with it, yet, but I can’t wait to cut more foam.
Oh right, I nearly forgot. I clearly didn’t take those awesome pictures myself (except the drawings). Michelle knows real professionals, so the cool, clean product shots are by Nathaniel Willson Photography, and the beautiful portraits of Michelle and the boombox are by Zoe Rain Photography. And if you want to go check out my high-end sculpture in a nice gallery setting, stop by Michelle Dirkse Interior Design in Capitol Hill, Seattle, or–you know–click here.