3D Object From Table to Guitar Body

I had decided on the body/guitar as my theme.

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From Table to Guitar Body

From my original design, I’d planned to make a table. However I changed my idea, as I hadn’t realised I had to include  stitching in the exercise.

The original 3D cardboard mock up.

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Once I realised this, I did consider drilling a hole large enough for a pot plant, then making and stitching a plant or some flowers.  As in this example. Another thought was to sew and stick fabric to the table and to drill lots of holes I could stitch through.

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However eventually, I  changed tack as this wasn’t what I’d envisaged: I didn’t like the idea of a decorative piece, as I wanted to keep the connection of a wooden  table and guitar with the unadorned naked body.  One soft, one hard, but both a similar colour.

I had to come up with another design based on what I’d done. Possibilities included a guitar case, knapsack, cushion, tabard, soft sculpture or a vase.  Here are some source photos and drawings of some of these ideas.

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If I was representing the body, rather than the wooden guitar, decorative stitching and fabric now seemed appropriate.

Once I had eliminated the idea of the table and focussed on working with fabric, the stitching now seemed appealing: in fact the more decoration, embellishment and stitching the better.

My painted design.

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I transferred my design by mono-printing,  using an acrylic sheet with acrylic paints onto cotton sateen.  The sides of the body were printed using a  roller.  This gave the free painterly quality I desired.

These are the pattern pieces laid out ready to form into ‘sandwiches’ with wadding and a backing.   The backing would not be visible, so I was not concerned about the look. I therefore decided on a fairly thick cotton to make it more substantial .

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Choosing threads and piping for the binding.

I chose metallic threads for quilting and guterman threads for the construction.

Checking and matching threads to the front and back pieces.  I later replaced the green commercially bought bias binding

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Trying out the pattern pieces to work out how big each segment had to be.

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For the  cheek…

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…and the breast.

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I used this quilting pattern on the side of the guitar body

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as well as some simpler zig-zag quilting.

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Detail

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I also wanted to incorporate some hands so used some rubber gloves to find the best position to place them in.

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It was bulky and difficult to guide the sewing and involved having to hold the sewing aloft to take the weight. I found stitching through the tougher material difficult on a domestic sewing machine.  I had several attempts before I succeeded and even now I think an industrial machine would have made a better job of it.  I also redid the binding, finding the commercial bias I’d bought unsatisfactory, so I painted some more cotton sateen fabric and made my own bias binding.

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Turning it inside out.

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Initially I filled the sculpture with foam sponge pieces, but this was too squishy, so I tried polystyrene beads which gave it more substance.  At first attempt I tried this on my own. However  I would suggest to anyone else attempting this, to get some help, as the beads are very hard to control!  With help I could push the beads down and achieve a firmer soft sculpture.

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I took my sculpture to Calshot to take some stills.

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Though I was  pleased with the final outcome, it was not all easy. I’d spent a lot of time at the beginning settling on what I would make. Also there was a great deal of choice as to what materials we could use. In retrospect I would have used a softer fabric for the backing, as sewing proved very difficult.

Though there were difficulties along the way, ultimately the process was satisfying.

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