On The Go Mustachio (aka How to Make a Fabric Mustache)

This week’s craft is brought to you by the letter M (for murder)!

Hello Internet Friends!

So glad you popped over to learn about the On The Go Mustachio! This little bit of upper lip machismo is sure to assist you with all of your future endeavors. I decided to make a nose neighbor this week for 2 reasons:

1. Mr. McCluckin’ asked if I would make one in honor of the recently published book Taft 2012 by Jason Heller. It would seem that my favorite rooster was out and about interviewing the author for the podcast Machine Readable.

2. The flying spaghetti monster shower scrub I was working on ended up looking like that creepy clown face from the Saw film franchise, and I personally would prefer to avoid scrub-a-dub-dubbing with that sinister fellow.

Either way it’s a great way to fill an afternoon with the joy of sewing and then spend the evening with a flawless disguise for all the liquor store robberies or presidential campaigns you may need to attend.

Tutorial Begins Right Now:

1. Gather your supplies! You will need: felt (or fabric), 1/4″ elastic, matching thread, stuffing, a fabric pen or tailor’s chalk, hand sewing needle, a functional pencil, papers, and a sewing machine ready to roll.

2. Decide what shape you want your mustache to take on. I made this one to look like the nose neighbor of former president William Howard Taft mixed with a bit of silent melodrama film villain.

3. Draw out the shape on a piece of paper. Practice a few times, then just go for it. If you are seriously worried you won’t get it right simply Google mustache chart and find one you can print. It’s best to make sure no point of your mustache is thinner than 1″.

4. Cut out the paper shape, pin it to your felt or fabric, and cut out the mustache twice.

5. Measure the amount of elastic you will need by placing the end of the elastic just under your nose and then wrapping it around your head. Be sure to pull it a little to give it a snug fit. Nobody like a mustache that won’t stay on their face.

6. Sew the elastic to one of your mustaches. I prefer a zig-zag stitch to better secure the elastic but do whatever makes you the happiest. It doesn’t have to be perfect we will cover this up later.

7. Pin the right sides of your mustaches together; remember the side with the elastic attached is the right side (meaning it will be on the outside when you finish). On the wrong side of the mustache without elastic mark a 1″ to 1 1/2″ opening with your fabric pen or tailor’s chalk.

8. Sew the mustache together with 1/4″ seams, back stitching at the beginning and end. Be careful not to stitch upon the elastic. As you get closer to the elastic, carefully pull it to the opening you have drawn on.

9. Inspect your stitches and confirm that you have: a) not stitched over the elastic at all, b) have stitched through both layers of fabric all the way around, and c) have in fact left an opening. If you have failed to do any of these things remove the necessary stitches (or in the case of accidentally sewing off the fabric add the stitches to keep your 1/4″ border).

10. Clip and notch your seam allowances to obtain the perfect mustache shape.

11. Turn the mustache right side out. I often use a chopstick to get the tight spots fully turned.

12. Stuff the mustache with fiber fill. Only stuff it enough to keep the mustache’s shape, you don’t want to bust a stitch. Again a chopstick comes in handy to negotiate the sexy curves of your mustache.

13. Hand sew the opening shut with a whip stitch.

14. Cut a small patch of your fabric or felt to cover the elastic on the back and sew it into place by hand. I have in a time pinch glued this in place with instant dry craft glue, but it rarely turns out well. Then again if your gang is waiting for you at Ye Olde Liquor Shoppe and you just have to get out the door with your disguise, then by all means!

15. Wear your new mustache with pride.

Bizarre phone photo, please ignore my glazed over stare.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial as much as I enjoyed making this mustache. Think of all the fun options, a glitter ‘stache for a gala, a plaid ‘stache for a weekend in the country, a clear ‘stache for that avant garde party I know you plan to attend…the options are endless!

So long for now interneters,

Henny Penny


Needling Away

As I was attaching his arm I realized little Thulu looked a bit dictatorial.

Would you look at that, a week went by and I didn’t pop in to say hello. I hate to say we’re off to a bad start, but that’s clearly the situation. Ah well, I’m here now to tell you about my adventures in Crafty Town over the past while.

First off I completed a few needle felted fellows of note. There’s little Thulu, a future world leader to be sure and his birdlike friends, feathery and malevolent fiends. I’ve learned the blue fellow is called Jerry but his given name is Witherford the 14th Earl of Downyfield. It would appear that he has quite a seedy past. His half-step-uncle cried fowl play when he found Jerry standing over his sleeping half-step-aunt. Turns out she hadn’t slept a wink in 20 years and the entire family was convinced she was dead when she finally went down for a few winks. Mayhaps Jerry had something to do with it, or it could be he was just in the wrong nap nest at the wrong nap time. The maroon bloke, Carlos, has recently been let out on parole after a hefty sentence for 1st degree littering. Needless to say he’s one hard-boiled brother. The three of them have been terrorizing my plant stand for the past few days but are now off to meet their new families through my adopt-a-felted-felon program.

Also I received as a gift an Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S photo taking robot. My first photos are now hanging on one of the most discerning fridges I’ve ever met. I look forward to inventing projects for this camera. So far I am delighted with the little machine. It’s easy to load, even if you haven’t loaded film into a camera in say 10 years or more. The directions are printed in both word form and simple picture form, which is nice in case I decide to drink my way to delirium and then schedule a tiny photo shoot. The credit card sized photos are so much fun and remind me of yesteryear when camera robots spit out your images immediately. Having to really consider the composition of your image is adding a bit of worry to my photo taking. Since the advent and massive distribution of digital cameras, I haven’t really concerned myself with getting my photo right on the first shot. Careful use of the film is upping the ante, but the photos are worth it. Plus think of all the fun that can be had taking inappropriate pictures and mailing them to your confused relatives.

That’s all for now, hope you have fun out there in the cold sea of the internet!

Henny Penny

Look Out Craftiverse, Here I Come!

The handicrafts I managed to get photos of from 2011.

The handicrafts I managed to get photos of from 2011.

Hello 2012,

Glad to see you! I think we should start out on the right foot by comparing you to 2011 and hopefully intimidating you into being the best 2012 you can be. Last year had a great deal of excitement: there was that 3 hour tour I took that lasted 4 hours, the opening of my general store and then the prompt closure due to health violations (who knew meat pops had to remain frozen?), and of course my interview with Mr. Yeti of North Dakota, whom turned out to be just a guy with a funny name (and not a fantastical beast of legend). With all of those exciting happenings it’s hard to believe I had any time to craft at all.

I in fact found quite a bit of time to handicraft-it-up thanks to my hours spent consoling the uncrafty at Uncrafty Anonymous. Of course, many of the members thought I was just showing off and as Hortence put it “rubbing hot glue in their uncrafty wounds.” Regardless of my former group’s feelings I am happy to report that 2011 brought a variety of crafts and new experiments into my life. Delving into the salve and skincare arena was quite exciting and challenging, not to mention smellful. Mr. McCluckin’ seemed to enjoy the fruits of my salve labors and is begging me to make more. Needle felting was also a highlight with the creation of several hair clips to adorn the tresses of only the fanciest of ladies. Not to mention that giant purse I made then camped out in for 3 days (I really should learn more about water-proofing).

2011 also introduced formal education in the form of a few sewing classes at a local trade school. Despite my excitement, the classes didn’t end up being as enticing as they seemed. I am told that the higher level classes are far more engaging, but the preliminary coarse work was grating beyond belief. I can’t promise to return to that particular trade school, but I do promise to learn buckets of things, 2012.

So what do you say? Shall we make a go at it? Or should I power down until 2013? I say onward and upward! Let’s get to making things bright and merry all year long.

Henny Penny