Friday, May 27, 2011

Stuffed Animal Clothes, Part 2

Yesterday, A started up again. This time she said, "Mom, Little Red needs a jacket."

One thing you should know about my girl, she has distinct names and personality for all of her stuffed animals. There's Little Red, and in the last post, you also saw SeƱor Bee, Alice the Bunny and Pat the Bunny. I'm sure you'll meet more friends as this blog continues...

But back to the jacket.

Up to this point, I'd successfully avoided doing doll sleeves, but this time there was no getting around it. And little did I know that the baby would take a 3 hour power snooze, so I couldn't get around it that way.

So I grabbed Little Red, traced around him and added about half an inch for seam allowances. Then I folded my fabric in thirds and cut it out. I did this so that I created three pieces of material--the left front, the right front and the back. Whatever sleeves I didn't need (the left front wouldn't need a right sleeve, and vice versa), I cut off with my rotary cutter. But I allowed the front pieces to overlap each other a bit.

Then I sewed the sides and undersides of the sleeves up on each side. For the seams across the tops of the sleeves and shoulders, I made sure that I left room for Little Red's neck. Once these basic seams were complete, I decided that the easiest and quickest way to finish the edges would be with bias tape. And with the bright print I used, the bias tape added another pop of color, and tied the whole look together.

I added bias tape first to the bottom of the jacket in a straight seam. Then along the left and right fronts, and then around the collar. I didn't even bother tucking the bias tape because it naturally won't fray. I left the edges raw instead.

The last part was the cuffs. This is really where my challenge was with this project. I tried a few things. First, I tried to actually fit that teeny cuff under the presser foot. What a mess! It was much too small, unless I'd had the forethought to add the bias tape prior to seaming the fronts to the back. (Note to self--do this next time!!)

My next thought was to hand sew the edge--maybe a slight fold using a blanket stitch? Goodness, no. That just looked awful and ratty. So in the end, I decided to chain stitch the bias tape around. As you can see, the left sleeve was completed first, and by the time I got to the right sleeve, my technique improved.

The end result made for a slightly modern and asymmetrical jacket with kind of a funnel neck. The stitches are pretty crooked, but I kinda like it.

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