Intro: Fuzzy Math
Do you tend to avoid anything that involves math? Are you calclueless? Don't you hate how they call it "the calculus" like it's all high falutin and more important than the other math subjects?
The basic problem is, math has a bad rep. Math was like mental gymnastics class, some people excelled at it and the rest of us just got through it with much moaning because we had to.
That's because they never told you about cuddly math.
I had this idea back in college one day when the professor mentioned how most people have an irrational fear of the integral symbol. I thought, wouldn't it be cool if there was a cuddly stuffed integral symbol that you could pass around the classroom and let everybody play with it and maybe get over that weird fear. Here it is at last.
Step 1: Stuff You Need
an old pillow
some soft fabric. I used a cheap blanket I found in the Ikea as-is department. It is called the "Polarvide" which was $2.00.
Step 2: Print Out a Poster-sized Math Symbol With Your Printer
I used Paint Shop pro to enlarge a screen shot of some of the major math symbols until they were between 18" and 30" high.
Then I used the poster setting on the printer to print them out 2x2 for pi and 4x4 for the integration symbol.
After it's printed out, sketch a half inch margin all around the whole thing, that will give you room to sew it.
Step 3: Join the Seamster's Union
This stuff is old news, there are so many sewing instructables on this site that I won't go into too much detail.
I pinned the pattern to the blanket fabric (folded over twice). Cut it out and sew it.
I sewed the pattern right onto the fabric because it just seemed easier that way. Also, if you switch to a smaller stitch size as your going around tight curves, the machine goes nice and slow and gives you time to manipulate the fabric around the curve.
Remember to leave an opening for stuffing. Try to put the opening near the bottom of the figure instead of on top, that way it's less noticeable.
Note: Don't bother with the crazy darts. Just trim the margin of fabric down close to the seam (1/8" or so) after you've sewn it instead, it turns out better that way when you go to turn it inside out.
Step 4: Turn the Thing Inside Out
Turn the thing inside out.
This is a job for my recently unemployed butter knife. Use the butter knife to poke the more difficult curves and details into their proper shape.
Step 5: Who Wants Stuffing?
Grab handfuls of the pillow stuffing and start jamming them into the far corners of the thing. Use the butter knife to work the stuffing into the details.
Don't try to shove the stuffing in all at once or it will look all lumpy. Just put in a small handful at a time and work each handful into place.
Step 6: Pi Lashes
Once all the stuffing is in there nice and even, lash together the opening with needle and thread.
When you're done sewing it up, make a mental point to put the needle down consciously somewhere out of the way. I seem to always make the mistake of just cutting the thread and then absentmindedly dropping the needle who knows where.
Step 7: To Wire or Not to Wire
Sigma turned out to be a big problem. I didn't make it thick enough, so it was really hard to stuff and then once it was finished it was just to floppy and depressed looking. So at the 11th hour, I retroactively added a repurposed clothes hangar to the inside. However, adding wire to it makes it decidely less cuddly.
Putting the wire in first made it really hard to get the stuffing into the points and corners.
If I was to do Sigma over again, I would take the wire and wind the stuffing all around it so the wire winds up in the middle and not too close to the surface. Then I would stuff the stuffing coated wire in first and then open up more seams and stuff around it.
Step 8: Cuddly Math!
And on that note... I think this video from youtube says it all...