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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Getting My Goat (On)

Good morning everyone!  Hope you aren't feeling too tired as we spring our clocks ahead for Daylight Savings Time.  It's really a very silly exercise, isn't it?  Does it really make any difference whether or not we have an hour more sunshine at the end of the day?  But I digress (as usual!), this post is supposed to be about goats.

I was thinking of a title for this post and the phrase 'got your goat', meaning someone has made you angry or upset, came to mind.  From the little bit of internet research that I did about the origins of this saying, it appears that it may have arose from the horse racing industry of all places!  Often times, goats are stabled with race horses to keep them calm and as companions.  When a big race was upcoming, unsavoury types would sometimes steal the companion goats of the horses favoured to win, which would upset the horses and hopefully cause them to lose the race.  And the phrase, 'got your goat', was coined!  Who knows if it is true, but I thought it was an interesting factoid :O)

The billy goats that I am working on came as a result of a request from a gal on Facebook who was looking for some goat patterns for her doll making.  She didn't have a preference as to whether they were to be bowl fillers or free standing shelf sitters, so I've been working on both versions.  The bowl fillers are just about done, I've got one completed and am working on two others to make up a set, here's a picture of one of the finished billy goat bowl fillers.

These littile guys were fun to make but the free standing billy goat shelf sitter is really 'getting my goat'!  I've made up three versions so far and am getting closer but I'm definitely not there yet.  I decided to make a pattern with a gusset as I wanted to give him stick legs and wrap the fabric around the top part of his legs rather than just cutting a slit and shoving the sticks inside his body.  That certainly works but it's difficult to get much stability as it is hard to get the stick inserted far enough once the body has been stuffed.  Keep in mind that I have NEVER made a pattern with a gusset before and have difficulties visualizing things in three dimensions as you view the next few pictures!

I'm hoping he will look less like a pinto horse and more like a goat once I get his ears, tail and horns in place!!  He definitely looks more goat-like than his predecessors though, the first one had such a long neck that he looked like a llama (hmmmm, llamas, may have to resurrect that guy!)

The gusset part is driving me nuts though, the belly part looks good and I like how the fabric wraps around the top part of his stick legs to give him great stability, but there is SO much fabric between his legs that it is hard to stuff him and looks messy in my mind.

So more pattern tweaking is in the works, I had a thought about changing the angle on the front and rear of the gusset so will see if that helps at all.  I will complete this guy because I want to make sure that the ears, tail and horns look OK once I've added them and I'll paint his eyes and nose and give him his billy goat 'beard' to make sure that everything is in scale and that he does actually look like a billy goat when he's done!

The whole other side to this project though is making a legible pattern that someone else will be able to follow!  The bowl fillers will be easy enough, but I'm having nightmares already about how to describe the sewing process for the gusset on the billy goat shelf sitter.  It is one thing to see how something is done and something else entirely to try and describe it in words.  Wish me luck!

Have a lovely Sunday and I'll be back once I've finished Mr. Billy Goat to let you see if he does actually look like a goat and to let you know how the pattern tweaks are progressing!  Talk soon (I hope!)



  1. Deb, I think your goats are looking pretty darned good! Can't wait to see the finished standing Billy :)
    Interesting facts about the origin of Got Your Goat :D

  2. It is hard to put it into your own word but he is looking FANTASTIC!! Can't wait to see him complete with his beard! AND the bowl fillers! Great job as ususal, Deb!

  3. Ah, the prototypes... that's always the hardest part... but once you've got it down to the way you like it, I know it will be fantastic... I'm not sure how you are doing your gusset, but two things you might want to try and putting a dart at the legs to get rid of the bulk, or when you cut your belly gusset, then cut your leg parts to a narrower shape, ie. to the excact shape of the outer leg shape like in your first image... don't know if this is clear enough for you, or perhaps you already are aware of these options (and if so, my apologies)... anyway, just thought I'd throw in a couple of suggestions...

  4. I'm attempting to make a couple patterns with my DIL right now and I can well understand what you are going through...we tried a gusset on something thinking it would help 'widen' the body, and it did nothing! I love your goats...especially that first one! Keep plugging along!

  5. Very cute! Thanks for the "got your goat" explanation. Interesting!

  6. These are so cute for Spring...or any time! I love them!

  7. I love your goat bowl filler:) I often get asked about patterns for my mice but it's getting the how to's in writing that have me stumped. It's very hard to describe some of the steps. Maybe one day:)


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