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Author Topic: Ideas for plushie airship  (Read 5576 times)
Ananiah_Lucke
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« on: January 28, 2010, 03:08:27 am »

I friend of mine inspired me to the idea that it might be fun to come up with a plushie airship, that is, an airship filled with stuffing, not air. While I'm very enthusiastic about the project, I have run into a few snags.

First of all, in doing research on ship designs I quickly found that the term "air ship" is a bit of squishy nomenclature. There are so many different ways to look at it. I want to stick to a simple design, something that can be sewn together, but I don't want to tread into dangerous waters by accidentally making a zeppelin instead. What are some of your ideas on this?

Also, for you crafty people out there, I am stuck on what I should go about using for materials. Specifically, I'm torn on the ideas of sails and propellers. I want the final product to be soft and hugable, so too many plastic parts are out of the question. Also, bear in mind that I wish to keep this on a scale of 7-10 inches at best. So bed sheets as sails are also out. What would be a good way to go about making this squeezable airship sky worthy? Any ideas are welcome.

Most grateful,
Ananiah Luke, Taylor.
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« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2010, 03:48:13 am »

I friend of mine inspired me to the idea that it might be fun to come up with a plushie airship, that is, an airship filled with stuffing, not air. While I'm very enthusiastic about the project, I have run into a few snags.

First of all, in doing research on ship designs I quickly found that the term "air ship" is a bit of squishy nomenclature. There are so many different ways to look at it. I want to stick to a simple design, something that can be sewn together, but I don't want to tread into dangerous waters by accidentally making a zeppelin instead. What are some of your ideas on this?

Also, for you crafty people out there, I am stuck on what I should go about using for materials. Specifically, I'm torn on the ideas of sails and propellers. I want the final product to be soft and hugable, so too many plastic parts are out of the question. Also, bear in mind that I wish to keep this on a scale of 7-10 inches at best. So bed sheets as sails are also out. What would be a good way to go about making this squeezable airship sky worthy? Any ideas are welcome.

Most grateful,
Ananiah Luke, Taylor.

What's wrong with a zepplin? Sad
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Ananiah_Lucke
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« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2010, 08:01:46 pm »

Some people have argued with me that a zeppelin is not an air ship. But do you think that they are legitimate? I'd like feedback on this because I myself think that zeppelins are great air ships, but others seem not to.  Cool
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Angus A Fitziron
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« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2010, 08:15:25 pm »

Zeppelin is a manufacturer's name for a very well known class of airship. Zeppelin is to airship as Hoover is to vacuum cleaners!

If you want to make something cuddly, look at 'blimp' and 'barrage balloon'. Then add a small gondola and a couple of engine pods and you're there.
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« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2010, 11:41:27 pm »

Quote
So bed sheets as sails are also out


Sails? Huh My interpretation of an Airship is a large, elongated ballon powered by propellors..usually with a gondola underneath. Something like this
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Or do you mean something more like, what I would call a 'sky boat'..like in Stardust..
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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Ananiah_Lucke
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« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2010, 01:20:51 am »

My first few designs have been very blimp-esqu, which I think is the best approach for a cuddly result. However, my favorite design fo far has been something like this: with a few less sticky outy bits. I do like the idea of an air boat as well, but that doesn't have the cuddly appeal. This was the first sketch I did
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Otto Von Pifka
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2010, 10:55:15 am »

I would go with a jersey knit or fleece for the airbag and some satin for the tailfins. the gondola could be of satin for contrast too. I would simply sew a spur from low on the back of the gondola and add a 4 blade satin prop to it.

as for those sails, you could sew a flipper like deal for each side of the gasbag. stylize the tailfins to match the flipper/sails. unless you go very detail heavy, the sails will probably just make it confusing what it is.

also if you sew the four tailfins together inside the back, they will retain their shape and stand out better, once the gasbag is stuffed. the gondola should be a separate compartment to stuff, so it will retain its shape in the long run.

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Ananiah_Lucke
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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2010, 12:58:26 am »

Satin! That's fantastic, I never thought of that Cheesy And it would retain its shape very well. Knits would also work nicely. Thank you so much for you input. Any other ideas out there?
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Ananiah_Lucke
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United States United States



« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2010, 10:39:58 pm »

Here are my results so far. I am having a few structual issues...

This is my first experimental pattern.
the second attempt came out better.

New design to fix the problems with the old one... consequently creating new problems...

My issues are these: for the first two, the curvature of the ship causes the fins to crumple inwards. But not every time. I can't figure out where I am going right... The other problem is the sheer physics of the fabric. I made the pieces with the idea that they would do one thing, when they in fact did another. Feedback would be appreciated, I'm not sure where to go from here. Also, in the event that I do succeed at this endeavor, does anyone predict that their might be a market for this sort of thing?
« Last Edit: March 09, 2010, 05:47:11 pm by Ananiah_Lucke » Logged
Otto Von Pifka
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goggles? they're here somewhere.....


« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2010, 01:36:17 am »

I like the last one, reminds me of the anti- aircraft balloons from WW2. I say work with what it's doing, it's a neat look.

perhaps if you noted where the "fins" started to become separate from the body of the blimp and used a different cloth from there on. sewing the panels together before sewing the main body together.

add extra material past the fin rear edges, perhaps in a half circle, then sew straight across the fin like you did. that would leave a flap on each fin that would look more the part.

you could also stitch a seam from the root of each fin, at the back, out to the edge of the gasbag. at roughly a 45angle to the fin itself sew right over the batting inside. that should trap some in the fin and keep it somewhat plump and draw the front edge of the fin into the body of the blimp, slightly narrowing the bulges you now have at each fin.

hope that makes sense!
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Ananiah_Lucke
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« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2010, 03:19:06 am »

Haha, thank you, I like that idea, and the illustration is helpful. I'd like to experiment more, but I'm afraid that it's not worth my effort, because as of yet no one has  actually told me that they would want one.
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MalContent
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« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2010, 03:44:17 am »

I don't sew that much but here are my 2 ideas...get a regular balloon and blow it up then use tape to mark out a pattern/patterns for the fabric pieces that should help with having them hold the shape when stiched....also synthetic boning from jo-ann fabrics could help with both the balloon and the fins....or for the fins use a plastic foresale sign to cut out the shape and add padding to that and sew fabric around it...just so thoughts...don't know if they help...maybe some can expand on these for you.
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Ananiah_Lucke
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« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2010, 03:50:18 am »

Boning might be good actually. I wanted to avoid anything hard, because it takes away from the cuddle factor, but I'm getting a tad desperate.
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Gazongola
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« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2010, 03:56:01 am »

MOAR STUFFING!! Solves everything.
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MalContent
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« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2010, 04:12:54 am »

perhaps...some foam core sorta foam...something with more rigidity that stuffing.
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NewtandAggyChamp
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Ahh always building something.


« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2010, 05:28:57 am »

I like the foam idea how about making foam pieces glueing them together and then just covering it with cloth?? And if not another idea how about making it into an airship purse?? Grin
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Ananiah_Lucke
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United States United States



« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2010, 10:05:54 pm »

A purse? I really like that, would people go for that sort of thing? Haha, I'm talking about convention goers, of course they would.
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greensteam
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« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2010, 11:41:59 pm »

Looking at your prototypes, I am coming to the idea that the problem with fabric is the same as with anything under pressure. In your case the pressure comes from the stuffing, and in the case of a balloon of any kind, it would of course be gas. But the outcome is the same either way: the shape just naturally wants to be as near a sphere as possible, because that is the most economical distribution of pressure within the envelope.

So. The solution for cuddly toys is the same as it is for zeppelins. Not "Moar stuffing" [ Sorry Gazongola] but more STRUCTURE. Obv you dont want a rigid interior structure but you do want something that pulls inwards in such a way as to resist the natural urge of the stuffing to press outwads. A way to achieve this is to replicate in fabric the effects of the rigid skeleton in a dirigible.

You could achieve this either by having longitudinal segement pieces inside (probably the shape of long tear drops) or by having latitudinal circular pieces. This is admittedly going to be fiddly but it will result in holding the whole thing in a more controlled way and not allow the stuffing to call all the shots.

Great idea though. i approve of cuddly zepps. After a long hard day grappling with the real thing, what more could a lady airship pilot wish for than to retire to bed iwth mugs of tea and her cuddly airship.
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« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2010, 09:44:06 am »

Have you tried using Zip-ties to add some structure? Used as ribs in the envelope or in the sails (as like the rayed fins on a rockfish) they might stiffen things nicely, while still being somewhat squishy. (Especially when wrapped with brightly colored fabric!  Smiley)
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Miles (a sailor)Martin
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« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2010, 12:48:15 am »

how about using rug padding for the stuffing in the fins?
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heavyporker
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« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2010, 05:34:43 am »

Don't go nuts on me please, I know next to nothing about sewing... but... this discussion over the stuffing reminded me of something. You know the stitching on sleeping bags and such? Batting or Baffling, whatever that technique is, where one sews through BOTH fabric and stuffing so they don't shift position. You might be able to cajole the material to retain its shape with that technique. 
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Ananiah_Lucke
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« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2010, 04:49:20 pm »

That is actually what I have been considering trying next. Great idea!

Unfortunately with my busy school yeah, this project has to go on hold for another month or so.
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Korax
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« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2010, 06:48:42 am »

. . . You know the stitching on sleeping bags and such? Batting or Baffling, whatever that technique is, where one sews through BOTH fabric and stuffing so they don't shift position. You might be able to cajole the material to retain its shape with that technique. 

The sewing technique is quilting-- batting is that flat sheet-stuffing that goes in center of a quilt. Normal poofy stuffing is just stuffing. Cheesy (Did that make sense?)
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Joozey
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« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2010, 10:36:36 pm »

If all sewing keeps failing, consider felting one? Cheesy
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Miles (a sailor)Martin
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« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2010, 03:35:11 pm »

DID IT WORK?  Oops sorry didn't realize i had caps lock on.
 but did it ?  one other idea that poped into my head was sections out of a foam floor mat from harbor freight cut to size for the fins .  list price usd is 15.95 but i have gotten them on sale for 9$usd
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