Monday, July 23, 2012

Ken's Finished, Ken's Finished, Ken's Finished!

All right, now that I'm well (enough) rested and the sun is back in the sky it's time to get back to that Ken outfit. The good thing is I still liked it and was eager to finish it and move him from the sewing cabinet to the bookshelf.
I decided to start by working on those pants. I'm not the most confident on my repair work so I wanted to start with them when I was my most gung-ho on the project. I had been thinking about the best way to repair them since I decided he was going to keep them. I did think about just tacking in some new elastic in the back, but I decided it was actually quicker and easier to take them apart partially and totally replace the broken elastic. And since I was taking them apart it would actually be easier to fix the broken seam in the back if I did that. Using my seam ripper I carefully took out the side seams, about 3/4 of an inch down the leg. After that I ripped out the back seam where the channel for the elastic was housed. I also had to rip out some extra stitches that was holding the elastic in place. I found out that the elastic wasn't shot, it had just snapped in one spot. But while it still had a little life in it, it wasn't much. I'm sure if I actually stretched it out some it would snap on me. I was able to use it to measure the replacement elastic though, that was helpful.
But before that I carefully sewed the back seam up a little to take in the small part that had come undone. Can I just say, I have no idea how Mattel managed to make this outfit? It's a fabric that frays like crazy and has the smallest seam allowance I've ever seen. It's crazy that the pants survived this long with so little damage. Once I had fixed the back seam I flipped the back hem down and made another channel to house the elastic. I kind of went off course and part of it didn't get sewed down, but I didn't want to redo it in case it would damage the pant's fabric. It was fine enough for my needs. Then I threaded the elastic through it, held it at the edges, and sewed the side seams back up. A quick thread trimming and seam reinforcement and he was good to go. This was my most successful repair to date. They look pretty good, not to toot my own horn. I like it when things work out like that.
From there I worked on the shirt. That was pretty standard. Just trimming lose threads, reinforcing seams, and adding snaps. I would had added buttons, but I didn't have any that were a decent color match. Oh well, he can live without them. It was a pretty simple to finish it. I did end up doing some more sewing on the shirt actually. When I was done it was looking kind of boxy on his torso. I had made it bigger at the waist because the original pants were kind of bulky there and I worried I'd make the entire shirt then have problems with it closing. But since his new pants were thinner at the waist, the shirt looked too big. So I added to darts in the back, really simple fix, and he looks better for it.
And then he was done! Well he was done when I fished a pair of brown loafers out of the Ken shoe bag to complete his look. (I didn't even know if I had something that would work for his outfit). I really like how this came out. And I'm pleased that I was able to dress at least one doll this month. It was feeling like July was going to be a month that no dolls got dressed. And so far I can at least say that one doll got dressed. And it's also been a slow month for new dolls joining the collection. So far we've only had one new doll, this Ken doll actually. Sometimes that happens, the newest doll is the first one dressed. Meanwhile dolls that I've had longer continue to anguish over on the sewing cabinet. Whatever, I managed to get Ken dressed and that's awesome! He looks so cool! (In a 60's sort of way)

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