Friday, September 24, 2010

Every dog has his day

Every dog has his day. Except in the Bear household. Here, every dog has her red velour circle skirt. And exactly how does one procure such a luxury? One makes it, of course! Want to see?

Patterns for doll clothes are surprisingly expensive. Actually, patterns in general can carry a pretty hefty price tag - often upwards of $15.00. Yikes! So I fished out an old pattern for one of Emily's past Halloween costumes.
Simplicity pattern 0588 purchased Fall 2005
It turned out okay way back then, if I do say so myself.
Look at cute 15 month old Emily!
My favorite part of this costume (besides the wearer) is the class ring on a chain around her neck. The whole thing is just so cute!
Okay, I'm back from memory lane. Obviously, this skirt pattern was for a 15-month-old child which are, typically, larger than the average stuffed animal.  I appealed to Ben's mad smarts to size down the three-part pattern. He suggested I measure the puppy's mid section and cut a strip of paper to length. Then I made a ring from the strip:

Hard stuff, right? Then, I drew lines to divide the circle into fourths and traced the curve of one section onto another piece of paper.  Emily generously offered up her enormous stack of semi-used construction paper.
I then measured the top and bottom curves of the original pattern piece so I could do some figuring with ratios and lengths and other crazy math stuff to come up with size of the bottom curve for my new pattern piece.  Make sense? I ended up with this:

The original pattern had two of the triangular  pieces, but, since they were identical, I just made one. Place one of the long edges against the fold of the fabric, then cut. Repeat.  I did't take photos of the plaicing and cutting so if you are lost (and I don't blame you) refer to Ahsley's sewing tips. I've talked about Ashley before and really, her blog is just lovely.
Pinning and cutting are the longest part of any sewing project. Once I had my material cut to the appropriate size I could just follow (most) of the sewing directions from the Simplicity pattern. Because we were clothing a stuffed animal I opted to forgo the zipper for a simple hook-and-loop closure instead. Please excuse the bluriness:
Now, for the very best part: Emily wanted to help!  Mother-daughter sewing sessions are one of those things that have fallen to the wayside so I was thrilled she wanted to participate beyond picking out the fabric. I taught her a simple whip stitch so she could hand sew the hem herself. (If interested, you can learn it from Ashley at another of her tutorials).
Here's my busy girl:
Busy at work (the puppy is stuffed under her arm)
Mama, aren't I the cutest sew-er ever?
Whew, this is thirsty work.  Let's take 5
And then it was done:
 Puppy is all ready to have tea with Em when she gets home, but in the meantime somebody else has gotten a hold of her.

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