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My first Muppet... Kermit!

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by callmemilo, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. callmemilo

    callmemilo Active Member

    Hey all, I'm a long-time lurker, and have found all of this creativity REALLY fascinating. I'm a costumer regularly, and an animation graduate, and have always loved the Muppets.

    I've been working on this fella for the past day or so. Gone through a couple attempts making the head so far, but I feel like I've got the technique and sizing sorted now. Unfortunately I'm not using Antron fleece, just regular anti-pill fleece I got on eBay, but with the correct stitching technique it can still work nicely. I might see if there's a way to disguise the more obvious seams by practising some ideas on one of the older head attempts.

    I'll keep you guys posted with progress pics, etc, but lemme know what you think of the work done so far. As a relative newbie to Muppet-making, I'd really appreciate your feedback and advice. Thanks! Now let's "get things started".....

  2. callmemilo

    callmemilo Active Member

    That's certainly a good idea, although the pattern I used is slightly curved along the bridge of the nose. I've still got my first attempt here at my disposal, so I may try a few different techniques. One I'm kinda interested in trying is shaving some spare fleece, and gluing the resulting fluff into the seam. Kinda filling and bridging the trench that makes the seam visible. I'll experiment with it at some point and see what results I get.
  3. TSSD

    TSSD Well-Known Member

    Wow, this looks really good so far! Good job!
  4. KermieBaby47

    KermieBaby47 Well-Known Member

    He's beautiful so far!! I could already tell you were doing a great job just by seeing your avatar in the "what's new" post listing, before I even opened up the thread! :D As others' have said, the shape is perfect, it's all Kermit. Looking forward to seeing the finished work!
  5. Melonpool

    Melonpool Well-Known Member

    Are you hand stitching or machine stitching? If you're hand stitching, the ladder stitch will help hide those seams. You don't want any kind of seam allowance at all and you want to butt up the two pieces while sewing. Even regular fleece will work using this technique. A good tutorial on how to use the ladder (or Henson) stitch can be found on the project puppet website, but they seem to be down right now.
  6. callmemilo

    callmemilo Active Member

    I'm handstitching, and you're right, I probably should've used a ladder stitch. Luckily a friend showed me that by using a needle to free some of the trapped fibres, I can hide the seam pretty well. I'll post pics of the newly hidden seam when I get around to doing the eyes. The tongue and throat are now in place. Need to find the right colour felt for the collar too.
  7. Melonpool

    Melonpool Well-Known Member

  8. callmemilo

    callmemilo Active Member

    Oh yeah, that tutorial! Thanks for the link Melon, very helpful. :)
  9. TheCreatureWork

    TheCreatureWork Well-Known Member

  10. callmemilo

    callmemilo Active Member

    After a long time leaving Kermit on the backburner (so to speak), I've come back to him, aiming to finish in time to take him to Dragoncon :D

    The seams on the head are blended almost invisible, a foam-padded torso with sleeve and felt collar attached, and half the seams on that are blended now! Next step for me is getting the ping pong balls sprayed up gloss white, while making the hands and arms. I think for now Kermit will be without legs, but when I get back from Dragoncon, I'll almost definitely wanna make some for him, just because. :p

    Here's the only pic I've got for now.


    Quick question for you guys though. For attaching the arms to the body, would the Henson stitch be best?
    KirbTreelo05 and KoozbanianFrakl like this.
  11. Holy cow! That is excellent work! The body and the collar are looking fantastic!
  12. Animal31

    Animal31 Well-Known Member

    That looks amazing, well done. To answer your question, I would use 30mm doll joints. It's noticable in some pics of Kermit, you'll see the arms seem to overlap themselves on the top, not really totally flush with the body....

    What did you use for a pattern on the body?
  13. callmemilo

    callmemilo Active Member

    I guess it depends on which Kermit you look at, but from the pics I've seen, it's an almost completely flush join.

    As for the body pattern, I looked at a few other people's patterns and resulting puppets and made my own from what I'd learned also made my own collar pattern. In fact, I don't know if there's a single piece I've not modified in some way. I've had a good deal of trial and error to get to where I am though. The body pattern I ended up using is from the 2nd one I'd drawn out.

    My Kermit's got a 24cm collar, so each of the 4 body panels is 6cm wide at the neck. It's somewhat pear-shaped, and leads straight into the sleeve. With a little guess work and eyeballing, I decided the belly would be about 52cm in circumference, so the widest part across each of the panels is 13cm.
  14. Melonpool

    Melonpool Well-Known Member

    Use flat white on the eyes, if possible. They'll look glossy in the photos, but they won't glare back off the flash. You should be able to attach the arms with a whip stitch. Just make sure they're exactly where you want them when you sew them -- they have a tendency for one to get higher as you work.
  15. callmemilo

    callmemilo Active Member

    Kermit's finally finished, and he looks fantastic! There's a few small details I'd change if I ever make this again, but I'm really happy with how he's turned out. Already got a few great reactions from family and friends. I'd love to give him legs, but for now, I'm more than happy with how he's turned out. :)

    KirbTreelo05 and KermieBaby47 like this.
  16. TheCreatureWork

    TheCreatureWork Well-Known Member

  17. muppetperson

    muppetperson Well-Known Member

    TheCreatureWork, thanks for the Henson Stitch video link.Now that I finally know how it is done, I can see that it was designed to sew a puppet without having to turn the puppet inside out, which could take a bit of getting used to! So can it be applied if you wanted to sew something back to back, rather than side to side?
  18. Terrence Burke

    Terrence Burke Well-Known Member

    Very nice work! I am sure you will have lots of fun with your Kermit.
  19. Yorick

    Yorick Well-Known Member

  20. Walter

    Walter Well-Known Member

    Great Job! That's the best Kermit puppet I've ever seen!

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