Monday, January 21, 2008

Sew and sew

I spent yesterday afternoon cutting out one skirt and one jacket pattern each for Nikki's wardrobe.   When I was done, I made an emergency phone call to my dear Allentown sister.  I had all the pieces for each garment, but I wasn't sure how to go about assembling them.  Do you seam the sleeve and then put it into the armhole, or do you seam just the shoulder, insert the cap of the sleeve, and then seam the arm and side together in one long seam?   Where's the best place to tack facing?

My sister calmly and patiently walked me through the assembly process, and then said, "So, you got your machine set up?"  I said, "No."  She said, in a tone nurses reserve for mental patients going through a psychotic break, "You're going to hand stitch them?"  (emphasis hers)  I said, "Well, yeah."   Now, you have to understand my dear Allentown sister does not just sew.  She has a room devoted to several sewing machines which function in a variety of ways I can only guess at.   She is an expert at tailoring and machine embroidery, and she teaches sewing.  So I could just picture her madly flipping through a "Sewing for Dummies" book as she spoke to me , hoping to find easy explanations for the sewing simpleton she had on the other end of the line.   Talk about being sorry for answering the phone!  Anyway, in addition to the assembly advice, she suggested I use a product to stop fraying and she said, if Nikki had rubber legs, to be careful about how form-fitting I made the clothing.  Apparently rubber legs makes the clothes difficult to slide on and off.

So, I sat myself down and hand-stitched two garments, and they look pretty good if I must say so myself.  The jacket matches the knitted green wrap skirt, and the skirt looks good with the celadon mohair turtleneck sweater.  I think I won't use a closure on the jacket, although I saw the cutest teeny-tiny buttons at Hobby Lobby today and they'd look great as an embellishment.   The skirt pattern called for a zipper, but I left the back seam open and I'm going to use velcro for the closure.

And speaking of patterns, K.F. Williams' fashion doll patterns are right on for size, plus they are very easy to understand. I mean, if a novice like me can get two garments looking as good as these two do using hand-stitching, then an experienced sewer should be able to whip up a whole wardrobe in a day.  And the clothes look great on the doll.

Now, I'm off to see where the gaps are in Nikki's wardrobe and make plans for the final two or three garments.  I have to be done by next Monday.  That's when my coworkers have agreed to help me host a fashion show.  They will be bringing their Barbies to work and we're going to photograph the group in the full array of garments.  This is turning into way more fun than I had anticipated.  Who'd have thought that playing with dolls at my age could be so much fun.

1 comment:

Laura said...

These look great! It's been really interesting to see all the different directions everyone has taken the TIF challenge.