In my world, protests are pink and furry.

A few short weeks ago, I learned the dreadful news that one of my favorite shows of all time, Ugly Betty, was not going to be renewed for another season. Now, for YEARS, I have declared my undying love and admiration for this show. Week after week, I would laud the writing and acting abilities of those employed with the show, and remark as to how great it was for young women to have such a fantastic role model on television.

Many people might criticize the show for its crazy telenovela-esque plot turns and outrageous fashion don’ts, but I think the show is wonderful. The plot twists keep you glued to the television week after week, and almost every episode feels like a season finale. But at its core, the show really has heart. Betty is a young woman trying to make a life for herself, in and out of the business world, without compromising her principles, and without losing sight of her long term goals of changing the world. Betty’s family is a loving and supportive unit, composed of Betty’s widowed father Ignacio, Betty’s sister Hilda, who lives at home, and Hilda’s son Justin, who was born when Hilda was still in high school. Underneath all of the hilarity and the drama that occurs in Betty’s life and in the lives of her family members, there is a real undercurrent of unconditional love amongst these characters. They accept each other, flaws and weakness and all, no matter what. And at the end of every episode, you have the sense that you’ve learned something about humanity, without feeling like you’ve just sat through an after school special.

So in protest of the cancellation of this wonderful masterwork, I have re-created this bunny, which Betty-philes may remember from a season 1 episode of Ugly Betty called “The Box and the Bunny.” To find out more, and to learn how you can make your own bunny, please continue reading “behind the scenes”:

As a quick note, I just want to mention that all of the images I have posted here of the show are the property of ABC. I do not stand to gain from them monetarily, in case anyone at ABC might be concerned. So, moving on..

To give the non-“Bettucated” among you (I know, that was terrible) some back story, Betty is a clear outsider in the fashion world. She has thick-rimmed glasses, adult braces, is not a master of hair product, and her outfits frequently defy description. On one of her first days of employment at Mode fashion magazine, Betty tries to give her plain white desk some personality and homey-ness. One of the items she chooses to display is a pink bunny with a graduation cap, given to her by her family to commemorate her graduation from Queens College.

Many of Betty’s coworkers already consider Betty social outcast, because of her “unfashionable” appearance. All of the knick-knacks Betty brings in for decoration only serve to illustrate just how different she is from her new peers.

It’s not long before Betty’s bunny goes missing from her desk, and “no one” seems to know where it has gone.

In the middle of what is already a stressful workday, Betty starts to receive ransom-style notes, depicting her poor little fluffy friend in some rather unfortunate situations.

Hung up in a closet

Bound and gagged in a desk drawer

And finally -UGH- in the office toilet.

At this point, the rather mild-mannered Betty is at the end of her rope. She stands on her chair, in front of her whole office, and declares “This is not funny! Who thinks this is funny?!” At which point, everyone in the office raises their hands. Betty then responds defiantly with “Well, whoever’s doing this, if you think you can break me that easily, you’re wrong. You can take my bunny, but you can’t take my spirit.” Absolute gold. Anyone who has ever had a rough workday, or a rough work or school environment, can identify. But unfortunately, the situation does not improve….

Betty’s bad day at work gets worse when an innocent mistake blows up horribly in her face, and puts her boss in a potentially embarrassing position. And to top it all off, the unthinkable happens. Betty’s coworkers, or at least Amanda, the catty receptionist, destroy Betty’s little friend. My inner child was absolutely heartbroken at this moment…

But, this show is nothing if not a roller coaster. It brings you down to the lows of life, only to lift your spirits again in a really touching way. The show is also really great at turning characters around. No one is incapable of being redeemed. Even Amanda the bunny-destroyer grudgingly becomes Betty’s friend eventually. Betty, and this show, will always win people over if given a chance. No matter how odd something may appear on the surface, there is often something really special and beautiful underneath.

Betty does have at least one friend and confidant at Mode: Christina, the kind-hearted and bluntly honest seamstress who works in the Mode fashion closet. Christina fixes Betty’s little friend, or at least she tries her best. And the potential PR fiasco that Betty unwittingly almost caused gets turned around in a really satisfying and life-affirming way.

So, all’s well that ends well. Betty ends up on top despite all odds, because she perseveres toward her dreams, no matter what obstacles or cruelty might cross her path.

But what about the bunny?! I’ll fix him for you Betty!

Ta-dah! The bunny lives!

If you would like to make a bunny like the one above, I have attached a jpeg below with the pattern pieces. Please excuse the hand-drawn nature of the pattern. I really don’t know how to use modern technology very well. You are free to make this pattern and pass it along to your friends, but please do not sell any bunnies that you make from this pattern. And please link to me if you put this pattern on your website or blog, or if you pass along the pattern otherwise. This is my original pattern, which was based from someone else’s work (whoever made the bunny originally), and not really mine to begin with anyway. You will need:

  • 1 pink towel (try Target or Wal-mart); By the way, this was a new towel and never in “circulation” so to speak
  • Fray check or some other product to keep your fabric from fraying (truth be told I used Elmer’s school glue to reinforce my pink terrycloth seams before I turned the bunny right side out
  • 1 square of green felt or a similar amount of green fleece
  • Some green thread to attach the felt pieces to the bunny
  • Some soft white felt or fleece for the bunny’s teeth
  • Stiffened black felt from the craft store for the graduation cap; also some soft black felt for the brim of the hat
  • red embroidery floss for the mouth
  • A small sewing needle for the majority of the sewing, and a larger-eyed sewing needle for the embroidery floss; Or a sewing machine if you’re not afraid of yours like I am of mine
  • black polymer clay (or beads/buttons) for the eyes
  • red polymer clay for the nose (I used Sculpey III red hot red here)
  • Some clear gloss glaze/sealer to paint the eyes with if you use polymer clay (clear nail polish would work too) and a needle tool to puncture the nose and eyes (again, if using polymer clay for the nose and eyes)
  • yellow embroidery floss for the tassel (for a tassel tutorial, please click here)
  • 1/4″ yellow ribbon for the diploma
  • Some recycled paper or scrap white felt for the diploma; Cut a rectangle about 1 1/2″ wide, and about 2″ long and roll it;
  • Some white thread to attach the diploma to the bunny’s hand, and to sew on the teeth
  • Polyfil to stuff the bunny with, or a stuffing material of your choice (old yarn or felt scraps, fabric bits, etc etc)
  • For information on the stitch that I used throughout this project, backstitch, please see this link.
  • For more info on sewing techniques, many instructional sewing books will have a big section at the start of the book to give you the basics. This book does. Otherwise, the internet is a good resource. If you have any specific questions about this project, please comment on this post and I will try my best to point you in the right direction.

Now, you can make your own bunny in support of Ugly Betty, and in support of Bettys (and bunnies) everywhere. Because, after all, they can take our Betty, but they can’t take our spirit!


2 Responses to “In my world, protests are pink and furry.”

  1. 1 Sandy Beaudry March 1, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Love the blog, Sarah. Keep it going. You are a good writer and have an interesting and quirky viewpoint. I really enjoyed reading your posts back to the beginning.

    • 2 fiddlerontheblog March 9, 2010 at 12:36 am

      Hi Sandy! Thanks so much for reading my blog and commenting! It was really sweet of you to drop by! I really appreciate the encouragement. Thank you for the kind words. Hope you’re having a great March!

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