Intro: Double Stuff Dog Bed
Some objects in this world defy explanation. Others need no explanation. I think this one falls into the second category. If you have to ask why someone would make a dog bed shaped like a giant sandwich cookie, you're probably missing the point. And that's fine—it's okay by me that it's not to your taste.
For the love of dogs, why not? Woman's best friend deserves the best. This project was a response to my friend and co-conspirator Danger Is My Middle Name announcing that she would be bringing her canine BFF, Lyric, with her to Instructables HQ.
If you're curious as to how I created this wonderful thing, read on. If you start to question why there aren't steps covering the Illustrator and Photoshop parts of this build, stay tuned—I will post another Instructable covering the software and technical parts of this journey very soon.
Step 1: Good Photography.
It's an article of faith that modern DSLR cameras take great pictures. What a lot of people perhaps don't know is that an image taken by a 20-megapixel or so camera can be blown up to ridiculous proportions and retain an astonishing amount of detail.
I started out by taking a sandwich cookie, putting it on an infinity drop, and and shooting it from above with a very nice camera. I lit it from two directions with external flashes pointing at 90 degrees from one another to be sure and capture as much detail as I could.
I then shot the cookie from the side, making sure to shoot in macro mode and getting as close as I dared.
Step 2: Photoshop & Illustratory Goodness.
For the technical discussion, tune in next week. I'll be posting a second Instructable with screenshots and a verbose description.
Step 3: Printing
I printed this on coated canvas with the Roland Versacamm printer/vinylcutter we have here at HQ, but you could certainly send it out to a service bureau to print if you were to make one yourself.
I will discuss how to set up the file for printing and what you will want to know about this type of work in my next Instructable.
Step 4: Cutting Out the Pieces
This step is pretty self-explanatory. Get the biggest pair of scissors you can find (couldn't resist shooting those up against the ruler for scale...ha!). It also helps to use a rotary cutter for cutting the pieces out in the rough, goes much more quickly that way.
Step 5: Sewing the Pieces Together
While we have a proper Juki walking-foot machine for thicker material, I opted for one of the more lightweight sewing machines. It's been awhile since I did any heavy-duty sewing, so I felt it would be wise to take baby steps back to it.
I started by sewing the ends of the middle piece together to form a loops, then matching my dotted lines and sewing in a huge circle. This, because I didn't bother to use pins, went as you might predict. Not one of my prouder sewing moments, let's say.
I got it together though, and then nipped small relief cuts in the perimeter using the scissors. These cuts help the material to bend naturally when you evert (flip inside out) the finished piece. Depending on the size of the finished piece, they could be from 1/4" to 1 1/2" apart.
Step 6: Stuffing: Part One
Because I wasn't sure if I had enough cotton batting to fill one of these completely, I opted to check on how much I needed before sewing the top half on. I got the great suggestion from Rimamonsta to use the stiffer foam I'd bought at the foam store as a rim around the inside of the bed, to give the edges stiffness and to make the center softer. This had the effect of giving the bed more rigidity where it needed it, which our friend Lyric the Golden Retriever I'm sure will appreciate.
Step 7: Sewing the Top On
I took another suggestion, this time from MikaelaHolmes, to pin the pieces together this time. I did, and sewed the lid on. It still took a lot of careful eyeballing and handwork to get them to line up. It's been some time since I approached a large-scale sewing project, and this one was a bit of a challenge for me. Keeping two pieces of fabric from wandering when you have them in the machine not pinned can be a frustrating experience.
A note to mothers out there: PRETTY PLEASE, TEACH YOUR KIDS TO SEW...they will thank you for it. :)
Step 8: Evert
To 'evert' something means to turn it inside out, a term I learned from a William Gibson book. Literally, this means reaching inside, grabbing a handful of canvas, and pulling it through the hole. Easier said than done, as this canvas has a coating on it that stiffens it rather a bit. Took more effort than I expected.
Step 9: Stuffing: Part Two
After cutting down the foam into 5.5" widths, I placed them around the edges of the inside of the shell to make a wall.
Step 10: Hand-Sewing
After getting the foam walls into position, it was time to fill the remainder of the space with cotton batting. I then hand-stitched the final ten inches or so of open space together, and presented the pillow to my canine friend!
Step 11: Enjoy!
I'd say that huge smile indicates a ringing endorsement from our favorite canine here at HQ...!