Friday, April 21, 2006

Backtracking a bit.

My current knitting project is still progressing very slowly. I'll try and make some worthwhile progress over the weekend and get some pictures posted next week.

A few weeks ago I participated in a swap through getcrafty. If you've never checked out getcrafty, it is a great forum full of very talented people from whom I like to steal ideas.

The premise was to send off a random craft supply that you have been hoarding for too long. Once you received someone else's random craft supply you could make whatever you wanted and send it back.

My partner sent me her old girl scout uniform. I was never a girl scout but I vividly remember that they got to wear their little green vests to school when they had meetings instead of our regular school uniform. A break from green plaid skirt monotony was almost tempting enough for me to join.

Anyways, while in possession of my first ever girl scout uniform, I decided to make a handbag. I tried to use the infamous jordy bag tutorial, but I am too much of a novice sewer. I couldn't even remember how to operate my sewing machine for the darn thing, so it is all hand stitched.

I made two small rectangles for the sides of the bag and a bigger rectangle for the front-bottom-back. I used some iron-on sticky stuff to finish the edges of the rectangles. Probably could have skipped this step and just ironed the rough edges under, but there's a learning curve to this stuff.

I just reversed the process to make the lining. The little girl scout blouse comes with a tiny pocket in the front and I wanted to keep that for the inside of the bag, so my big rectangle had a bit of armpit included, but once the lining was sewn into the bag, the wonky bits were fairly well hidden.

To further take advantage of any pre-existing seams and keep my sewing to a minimum, I used the little neckerchief thing they wear as a handle. This also allows the bag to snap closed, albeit slightly off to the side. And I used the curve of the vest to make a pocket on the outside of the bag.

This is the finished product:

I also made her a little stuffed giraffe out of the leftover fabric. I got the pattern for the giraffe here. He is supposed to be bigger, and made out of felt, and named Ms. Cuddles, but frankly, none of those things were happening.

The khaki fabric for the giraffe and the bag was from an old pair of pants with a stain on them that pre-empted their donation to Goodwill. My mid-90s denim fraying skills came in handy with his mane. This was my first stuffed animal attempt and I was pretty impressed with the gussets, but since my hand sewing was a bit tacky looking, I went over all of the seams with embroidery floss to make him a little cleaner looking.

I initially planned to sew all of her girl scout patches back onto the bag, but I ran out of time. So the only patch that was put back in circulation was the little girl scout wings. Thought the giraffe might need to fly.

Credit for the second photo goes to Sarabellum, the former-girl scout and new giraffe owner. She takes better pictures than I do.

All in all, not too bad for my first attempt at bag and animal making. I had to buy a giant bag of fiberfill in order to stuff the giraffe, so more toys and stuffed things are sure to come.


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