I'll start off this blog post with a photo:I found it the other day while doing research for vintage clothing. For some reason I really liked how the guy on the left looked and with some minor modifications thought that what he's wearing could work for the vintage Ken that I have waiting to be dressed. There's just one problem, I don't have the right material to make the top. I was planning on making it out of cotton (that one looks like it's a knit), but I don't have the light blue/dark blue striped one. I don't think that Hobby Lobby has that either, but it does have dark blue/white striped fabric. But, guess who's currently avoiding Hobby Lobby this month? Yup, still doing that. Took me a whole nine days to need to go there again. But don't worry I'm not going to rush back into the store just yet (I do have that one pass, but I'm not plan on using it for this project). I do have some red and white striped fabric. I decided that I'm going to make the outfit, using the red and white fabric that I have, and if the outfit comes out decently except for that one color change I can eventually get the white and dark blue striped fabric and remake it. Might as well see if the outfit is even going to work before I start spending money on it. I know I've certainly have had several outfits never pan out after I already plunked out some cash on supplies, I'm trying to cut down on that.
I started off with the shorts. I do have a sewing pattern for Ken shorts, that I've used before, but I wanted to make them a bit different. I wanted to make them with the false front pockets like how I made Joe's pants. I took the two patterns and created a new pattern from them, using the sizing from the original shorts pattern, and the general shapes from Joe's pants. I made a quick muslin, then ended up making another pattern, adapting a few fit issues that came up from the first pattern. Basically I chopped off some of the top and added some length to the bottom. After that came another muslin. These came out much better. So then I started with cutting it out of the actual fabric I wanted to make it in. I was using some baby blue calico that I'm almost out of. Sad face for that. I bought it a long time ago, and I don't remember where I got it. This is the last project that I'll be able to use it for. Add that to the "I need to buy this again when I'm shopping at Hobby Lobby again" list. So I started to sew up the shorts. They went together pretty easily. For some reason I (typically) have an easier time with pants. I really need to get my machine serviced though, my top-stitching's been really getting wonkier lately. I really, really, do. I've never had it serviced and I've been sewing with it for a couple years now, and I am pretty rough on it. Anyway, the shorts came out pretty well. They looked good, and the false pockets do add some realness to it, even though his hands aren't flexible enough to ever use them.
After I was done with all the machine sewing for them, but before I finished them, I turned my attention to the shirt. I was again doing some pattern modifications for it. I was taking the usual Ken button up shirt and changing it from a front closure to one that snapped in the back. While I was tweaking the pattern for that, I also combined the two back pieces to one, and got rid of the bottom curve that pattern originally has. I'm not planning on tucking in the shirt so the bottom needs to be straight. I didn't bother making a muslin with this. I just dove into it using the red and white striped fabric from the get go. And it went together pretty easily. Again, for some reason, I have pretty decent luck with this shirt pattern. I did have a problem where I took too much for the seams in the back and had to undo it and sew them smaller so it would close in the back, but I was lucky to catch it early on so that I didn't have to take apart too much when fixing it. I did have to take off the collar, but that ended up being for the best, my original one was a bit too tall for Ken and covered all of his neck. The replacement one was shorter and looked better. When I was done sewing it on the machine, I did something different. I pulled out my paints, mixed up some of the blue in a vat of water and immersed the shirt in it. I want to see if doing that will stain the white parts to a closely matching blue like the shorts. That will be one way to see if I can replicate the light blue and dark blue fabric of the original. I have checked it a couple times, and I'm not terrible hopefully about it. I may have just ruined the shirt, but honestly, I'm not that upset by it. Yes, it was my time and energy squandered, but I'm not really liking the shirt and the shorts together. They just don't look as good as I was hoping, so I'm not sure if they'll end up together.
But it's not a total loss, I still like the shorts. I really like them, and I think he's going to end up wearing them in the collection, I just have to figure out a different shirt that I want to make to pair it with. I thought about it the rest of today, and thought that a polo shirt might look good using the smalls scraps I have left of the blue to tie them together, but I couldn't find a pattern to make what I want. I thought about making one, but I'm having a hard time figuring out how to make the pattern. I guess I'm going to have to give it some more time. I might end up making something completely different for his shirt. But I did finish the shorts today. They are all done, and he's wearing them again. We're making progress on him, and that's always appreciated!
P.S. I'm open to suggestions if anyone can think of a shirt that might work, just let me know in the comment section.