Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hand-Embroidered Geometry: A Felt Dodecahedron

In one of the books I've had since Sophia and Olivia were young children, there is a pattern for an embroidered dodecahedron. I have wanted to make this little toy for some time now, and finally did so earlier this month.

So, what is a dodecahedron? In geometry, a dodecahedron is any polyhedron with twelve flat faces. In this case, I used 12 pentagon shapes to create the dodecahedron.

A wool felt dodecahedron.

I cut 12 pentagons from six colors of 100% wool felt: red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise blue, and purple.

To sew it, I blanket-stitched five of the colors together to create a row (red, orange, green, turquoise blue, and purple). I repeated the process for the same five colors to create another row.

Then, I sewed the red and purple pieces together of each row.

Next, I hand-embroidered the yellow pentagon to one side of the row - so each of the colors now were attached to the yellow pentagon.

This is one side of the dodecahedron. 
The yellow I consider the "end;" and 
the other five colors a "row."

Once the two sections were sewn together, the next step was to attach them to another to create the dodecahedron. It was important to shift the pentagons over a couple spaces so that the same colors in the different rows were not adjacent to one another.

Another angle of the dodecahedron.

Once the majority of the dodecahedron was almost embroidered together using the blanket-stitch, I began to insert sheep-wool stuffing into the interior.

It isn't over-stuffed. Rather, it is a soft shape that clearly shows the pentagon shape. If it was stuffed full, the shape turns more into a sphere rather than a dodecahedron. 

This was an interesting way to combine embroidery, geometry, and play all into one thing. I'm thinking about doing some more three-dimensional shapes. It's an all-natural way to tactically feel and experience math...hopefully making it more memorable as the names of the shapes are learned.

1 comment:

Rita said...

Never heard of that shape. Love the "ball" you made with all its colors. :)