Friday, September 16, 2011
Day 71: Donatello Makes a Flag
Here it is, my secret project that I've been neglecting posting updates to work on.
Now, you may be wondering why I would be so inclined as to spend my time and money making a Donatello flag? To that I say, "Why wouldn't I?" But there is a reason I decided to make one this week. For the next three days the wife and I (along with some other friends) will be attending the Austin City Limits Music Festival. It's one of the biggest organized events held in this city every year and this year we're going.
This will be our second time at the festival, our first being three years ago. On the first day of the festival almost immediately we noticed all of the flags people had. At first it didn't really make sense to us, and even when our friends explained that the flags make finding your friends easier we thought, "That's stupid, we have cell phones, just call or text." After a day of texting, "We're by that one merch booth with the guy in the black T-shirt," or not being able to get through at all because of overloaded circuits we began to understand the importance of having a flag if you're with a group of people. So after an exhausting first day we made a Team Zissou flag using materials we had at the house and held it together with Stitch Witchery. It served us well for the next two days and now hangs in a place of honor in our apartment.
This year we had time to plan and we wanted to make our flag memorable. We discussed several design ideas, the focus being to keep it simple but recognizable. It may seem like the natural choice to do a TMNT flag, but the Donatello design only barely beat out the Ghostbusters flag idea. While we collaborated on the concept I actually made the flag myself because my wife has been so busy with rehearsals lately, plus I enjoy sewing and creating something so awesome out of nothing. It may not look too complicated, but I sewed the entire thing by hand. I could have used my wife's sewing machine and done it in way less time, but I don't know how to use it and I prefer hand sewing when I can; it makes me feel like I've put more effort into the creation. It took me somewhere between 9.5 and 11 hours over three days as near as I can figure.
Here are a few pictures I took along the way so you can see the process. For reference the flag itself is roughly 48" x 31" and the Ninja Turtle head is about 21" tall. The first image is the plain flag with the pattern laid on top for spacing. I created the pattern by taking a picture of my pajama pants with my wife's nice camera and then blowing it up, printing it out on 9 sheets of paper, then cutting and taping it together. The second picture is with just the green face backing finished. The Last picture is the completed product after assembling the mask/eyes and mouth and then attaching them to the flag.