When I made a real life Hot dog Fairy, I was surprised to see reactions from the people who don’t even know anything about Penny Arcade or PAX. I don’t know why but it must be something to do with the combination of a hot dog and a fairy.
With PAX Prime approaching, I made a list of plush I wanted to make and The Hot Dog fairy was on the list. But it seemed too easy to make it just for Mike and Jerry (The Penny Arcade guys). I thought It was simple enough to make bunch of them. As I was deciding on how many I’d make & who to give them to, I thought about what other things only PAX goers would know other than Hot Dog fairy… then I thought of the Enforcers.
Enforcers are what make PAX possible. They’re dedicated volunteers who guide and assist attendees, organize the crowds, and keep PAX fun and safe. At our first PAX, (it was PAX East), we were both floored by their dedication to the Penny Arcade community. Derek even did a comic about Enforcers.
So I decided to give away some Hot Dog Fairy plushes to Enforcers and some to my favorite Penny Arcade staff as a token of gratitude.
And I came up the number, 15. 15 Hot dog Fairies. Which meant 15 hot dogs, 15 buns, 30 hands, 30 feet, 30 wings, 15 wands with a star. Each Hot dog Fairy was fairly simple but when you have to do it times 15 or 30, it wasn’t so simple anymore.
The hands and feet were made with double-layered felt sewn together. I initially tried cutting the fabric first and sewed around the edge, but I quickly realized that was a horrible idea. The piece was too small and got eaten by the machine. So I changed the method. I drew the hands and legs on a thin piece of paper, put it on the double-layered felt and sewed on the line. This worked out wonderfully. I made each wing the same way, and sewed it onto the buns.
After I sewed and cut out the limbs, I sewed them onto the hot dogs and buns. Then I glued wiggly eyes and sewed a mouth onto each hot dog. The mouth is loosely sewn, so you can use your finger to move the thread to make it smile or frown.
My biggest mistake was that I didn’t tweak the patterns so I could sew the hot dog onto the bun by machine. I was just too optimistic when I started making it. It took 20 minutes to securely sew a hot dog onto a bun. It doesn’t sound bad, right? Now do that 15 times. Without breaks that’s 5 solid hours of sewing a hot dog onto a bun.
For the star on a wand, I sewed and cut the stars in the same way I did for the limbs. And I used a pipe cleaner to make a wand, stuck the star on top and sewed it together.
I was planning on making it for every PAX from now on, so I wanted to put some kind of indicator for this particular PAX. I couldn’t come up with a good idea then, so I just packed them with my sewing kit and left for Seattle.
After we checked into the hotel, had dinner and came back to our room, I started sewing a “10″ onto each bun because it was the 10th PAX. I could’ve gone with “11″ for PAX 2011 since that’s how it’s usually printed (PAX Prime /East + year) but now that they have two PAXes a year, I wanted to make sure that this batch of Hot dog Fairies are exclusively for this PAX.
I think many people who received the Hot dog Fairy thought the “10″ meant the number of the specific Hot dog Fairy out of certain number of Hot dog Fairies. Sorry for the confusion!
The first one went to, who else, Robert Khoo! He probably doesn’t know but he has the rarest one.
I was also tweeting it but here are the Enforcers who went home with a Hot dog Fairy. It was hard to decide who to give it to. I believe every Enforcer deserve it… but these Enforcers were ones that stood out. The photos of Enforcers that I took with my cellphone & tweeted can be seen on my yfrog page.
As you can tell, that’s only 14 Hot dog Fairies in total. I couldn’t give away the last one because the unexpected cancellation of our flight totally stole the last couple of hours of PAX. We had to sit down, make bunch of phone calls to re-schedule, and didn’t have the time to give it to an Enforcer. I’ll name this one Irene…
Some Enforcers were SUPER excited to receive it, and that totally made me happy. Some looked a bit confused and a bit suspicious of me, and I don’t blame them at all. For those Enforcers, sorry if I scared you!
It was as if I was working in a sweatshop. But in the end, it was all worth the effort, time and sweat. Because that’s also what Enforcers are willing to sacrifice for each PAX. So yeah, thank you, Enforcers. You guys rock!
For more pictures of this plush, visit stuffed stuff: Hot Dog Fairy – PAX exclusive set!
You can also check out more stuffed stuff on my flickr.