Sunday, August 8, 2010

The First Post About Set it aside Sunday.


At the close of this day, I would dare say that Set it aside Sunday was a success. Although I must admit I did touch Charlotte, so I'm a bit of a liar. But wow, I got a lot done, I also learned a lot.

I decided that our first Set it aside Sunday should involve my newest Ken, since he needed clothes. Yes, I did say that I would pick dolls that needed to be re-dressed, but he needed to be just dressed. And I don't have many Ken clothes. They're a much rarer find than Barbie's. Especially since Ken has bulked up a lot since his introduction in 1961. That means modern Ken clothes are way too baggy on him. Also a good chunk of my Ken clothes are actually G.I. Joe clothes, and there's no way those are going to fit, Joe has been bigger than Ken since day one. So in order to have him wear anything that I like it was up to me to sew it. So that's what I set out in my mind to do.

I started off looking at photos for inspiration. This is usually the first step for most of my projects. Having a picture in front of me helps give me an idea of what to try and make. This time I had a bit more of a limit to work around. I wanted to use the cape that I had, since it covered up his missing arm. So off to Google I went. I liked the look of the cape, but inspirational pictures were slim. Everything I found was superheros or period costumes, neither that worked with the rest of the collection. Although a superhero would be cool... nah, what's done is done. Then I found a photo from NYC's fashion week, from the early 2000's. It was a man in a cape with a vintage school boy outfit underneath. How retro. That's what I set out to do.

Once I had an idea I had to see if I could actually replicate it. I have doll sewing patterns, which saves me money, but like with clothes, I only have one for Ken, and much more for Barbie. So I looked though that to see what I had would work. That's where I learned something. The pants pattern I've been using were actually for the ken pjs, which explains why they used elastic for the waistband. Same for the shirt, which explains how weird it was opening. I was wondering why it was so weird, I was just chalking it up to the Patterns being designed easy for children. Turns out I was just using the wrong pattern... for like 8 months or so. Although the pants aren't that bad. But anyway, now I printed out a bunch of patterns for Ken. Today I doubled the number of Ken patterns I have printed out, easy.

I started of making the shorts that I wanted for the outfit. Before I learned how I was using the wrong pattern I started with tweaking the pants pattern I had. It came out cute, but not as cute as it could be. Then looking over the Ken Pattern I found both pants and shorts pattern, so I printed them out accordingly. It turns out that the shorts pattern actually closes in the front, compared to the back. I made a pair according to their instructions, but I don't think it came out really nice. So then I made a pair using the new pattern, but making them how I usually make pants. I liked how they came out, but I messed up the legs, so it got trashed. I ended up using the first one I made, although I think that I'm going to need to keep working with it. It won't be my last shorts, not by a long shot. I also made a pair of socks too. I had to draft this pattern, but I've made it for both Barbie and Momoko, so it wasn't complicated at all. That was the easy part. It was the top of the outfit that I was dreading.
It was making a dress shirt, something that I haven't even been able to master with Barbie, followed by a vest, something that I didn't have a pattern for. I was going to adapt a blazer pattern that I printed off. I started with the shirt, using the brown broadcloth for the test product. I've never made this before, so who knows how it would turn out. I shouldn't have been worried. It came out really nice, especially for the test garment. I ended up actually finishing it, all it needs is a hemming and snaps. So now I have a decent Ken shirt for a spare. After I found out that this pattern would work I used the white broadcloth to make a better one. This one's finished and looks great! I really like this pattern, and I might actually make it again for other Kens. It goes together pretty easy, so who knows where else it'll find itself.
After I made the shirt it was time to make the vest. I was a little hesitant since this was a pattern that I had to tweak, one that I never made before, so I was just going at it with zero knowledge base. I did a quick tweak, and dove in. I used the red calico fabric since, I was getting tired of sewing, and I was a little bold since my success with the shirt. But the first one didn't work out so well. It went together okay, with not a lot of problems, it was just I needed to fix the neckline. It really didn't take a long time, but I was certainly ready to be finished. I got a lot of sewing done today. I also got all of these items reinforced and added snaps. I don't think I've ever made a whole outfit in one day like this. It's exhausting, but totally worth it! I think it came out awesome, how dashing!

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