All this talk of first sewing-machine experiences reminded me that jeans renovation featured prominently in mine. A previous incarnation of the skinny jean, c.1980, required them to look as though they had been sprayed on. I couldn’t afford to buy them (or maybe they weren’t even available to buy) so had to adapt what I had (straights? I think we’d already abandoned flares). As far as denim was concerned, this was the pre-Lycra era, making skin-tight pretty difficult to achieve. But with plenty of pinning, trimming, sewing and endless trying on (and peeling off), the more grimly determined teens among us got there. How sad that I can find no photographic evidence!
Well, I’m more likely to deconstruct jeans completely nowadays, and turn them into something else. Or sew on the odd knee-patch for Little Scraplet, who can hole a trouser in just one wearing. Little Scraplet’s friend’s 11th birthday party (actually back in September, but forgive me for being slow to post about it) sent me to my scrap bag looking for a suitable gift idea.
I leafed through Pip Lincolne‘s charmingly fun retro-styled Meet Me At Mike’s book and found a sweet kitty pattern. Looked good to me, and Little Scraplet approved. This is a really appealing project book, but I think there may have been a problem with the pattern-drafting (seam allowances omitted?) as I thought my kitty emerged looking like the one in the book after a celebrity crash-diet. And the instructions didn’t tell me to cut out the correct number of pieces (forgetting you need two for each arm and leg). Getting caught in an instruction-/pattern- failure ambush tends to puncture the ‘can-do’ approach just a little. I’m sufficiently experienced to read around the instructions and figure out how to fix it without the book’s help, but I thought it would be a pity for someone attempting a first project (the book’s real audience, I would guess) to be derailed so soon. End of rant. Well, it all came out OK in the end, though my kitty was a bit skinnier than she might have been.
The rest of her is scrap or thrifted. Her face is cut from a felted 2nd-hand sweater. She’s stuffed with a 2nd-hand bag of unused toy stuffing (the stuff I find in cupboards!) plus some lavender. She can’t be washed but smells s-o-o-o relaxing.
I was slightly disappointed by her final mouth, realising that I liked the effect of the pin that had been holding her nose on during construction (vertical line and dot) and I should’ve tried to emulate that. Nevermind. Maybe another time.
Feedback on kitty was good. Sort of. Recipient’s older sister had purloined it as her mascot (she was taking exams), and was refusing to relinquish it. The mother cooed and said I should be making and selling them. Well, obviously I can’t ‘cos it’s not my pattern, but it’s a nice thought.