Thursday, March 17, 2011

Last Stand of the Stitching Hand.

This is my overly dramatic way of announcing that I officially had my first lesson on a sewing machine today.

My fabulous mom-in-law, took me under her wing (almost literally as she hovered over me to help me thread the bobbin a couple times) and showed me the ropes of her sewing machine and how it basically functions.

It was a GREAT day.

Jan is a fabulous teacher, and it felt really great to finally be getting into this world that I have wanted for so long, even if most of what I did today was straight seams (I say straight with a smile on my face) on a comforter for Ava.

I'll share pics of that next week because I do intend to do a little hand-quilting on it this coming week to finish it off, and right now it's not available for the camera, because she's already asleep in her bed with it as I write this.

Soon, I may be in the sewing-way full time as an early birthday present may be making it's way to me (I haven't let that really sink in actually--it's far too exciting), but for today's Sewing Bee with Julia at Happiness Comes. I'm sharing the project I had done last Wednesday night (at a ridiculously late hour), sewing up a little outfit for Ava's baby doll that never has any clothes. This  poor dolly doesn't actually get played with as much because, well,  who wants to play with a naked dolly?, and the dolly doesn't have any clothes because it was manufactured for the purpose of sitting on a small pink potty to show toddlers where pee is supposed to go.This is why the dolly was acquired by our household 2 years ago, but we've all moved on and now dolly needed to too.

Here's what I did to remedy her sad fate:

These fantastic pair of Jungle pants needed some way to be preserved for their awesome psychedelic qualities. (there's something very "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" about them, no?)

I  measured the doll and fabric and then cut the bottom off of one leg of the pants. I then sliced 3/4 of the way up the cuff to create two legs and then flipped them inside out and stitched.

To cap off the top of the pants I simply turned in a closed hem and made a casing for a measured piece of elastic.
Simple and stretchy so they fit over babies thighs, and they are easy for my little one to dress; no buttons or snaps or even velcro. ( this is why real mamas love sweatpants on our babes too :)

To make a top for dolly,  I pulled out a t-shirt from the rag bag and traced the basic shape of  a little sleeveless A-line top onto the bottom  left corner of  it to make use of the seam and hem that already existed. I made sure to have alot of extra material at the top of the shirt where the shoulders would be stitched and instead of seaming them, I tied the shoulders off cause that just looked cute and was way easier. This time of cotton jersey really doesn't fray either, so I left the ties unfinished.

Here the shirt pattern is lying open and hasn't been stitched on the right hand side seam yet.

I did hem the armholes and neckline however, and seamed the open side of the shirt. Lastly, I created a little snap closure on the one shoulder (so the little tie on that shoulder is really a fake). It works well to accommodate dolly's large head and one snap is doable for a busy mama like Ave.

All-in-all, the whole thing took about 1/12 hours and I"m thinking with my new-found sewing machine skills, I'd have that down to about 15 minutes.... dolly may just be looking at a future with more clothing options.

And dolly's mama was well pleased.

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