Friday, July 12, 2013

Sewing for My Boy - Stuffed Friend from a Child's Drawing

My son wanted me to sew something for him, too. He brought me a drawing of some kind of person or monster creature, and asked that I make him a doll that looked just like it. This tutorial helped make it happen. The original drawing was very small and I wanted to be able to actually trace around the picture for accuracy, so I asked my son to draw a picture as large as a sheet of copy paper. He did and I cut it out and used it as a template. He wanted it blue, so I cut the pieces out of navy blue felt. The character has lopsided eyes made from mismatched buttons, a red felt mouth, and a triangular nose made halfway of blue and white gingham fabric and halfway of red and purple print. I topstitched all around the nose and down the center dividing line between the two different fabric halves with pink thread (because that's what was loaded in the machine and I was lazy to change it) using a tight zigzag buttonhole type stitch. I know it's a buttonhole stitch only because the button on the sewing machine that produces this stitch has a drawing of a button on it, but I really know absolutely nothing about making buttonholes. I would love to learn, thought, because it seems like it would be useful if I'm actually going to be making a variety of clothing. My son did not mind the pink thread at all, he actually loves pink. None of this detail was based on my own creativity at all, as I was working from a drawing, so any lines or seams are based on what the drawing showed. But he did not color the picture, which was a good thing because then I could use whatever fabrics and colors I had available. When sewing together the front and back of the doll, I left the top of the head open to put the stuffing in. I then made several zigzag seams from contrasting red thread to both close the gap and serve as hair. I did not have any batting to stuff the little guy with, so I got creative. Remember in the previous post I told you about those bed sheets I had that had gotten very thinned and worn out over time? Well, I cut them up to little pieces and crumpled them up to use as stuffing for my son's little friend. I also add a bit of dryer lint - it's clean, so why not recycle?
The funny thing was, when my husband first saw what I'd made, he had some criticism - he wanted to know why I had made the head so lopsided, the eyes mismatched, etc. Why hadn't I straightened the details that didn't turn out nice on the drawing? I explained to him that our son wanted me to copy what he'd drawn, and that's what I'd done. But his theory was, our son is just a little kid, and obviously his drawings aren't going to be perfect, but that didn't mean he wouldn't want them to be. He drew mismatched eyes not because he wanted a doll with lopsided eyes but because that was all he could manage, and I should have understood that and done a better job than he had. But it was done, and I wasn't going to redo it.  We'd just have to see what the kid said. Well, when I showed our son the doll, the first thing he did was ask where his drawing was. I gave it back to him, and he immediately laid the doll on top of the picture to see if the shapes matched. I could see him comparing the features of both. Then he wanted to know why the doll lacked an odd random corner he'd drawn into one side! Ha! I explained to him that I'd tried, but I'm not that good at sewing and the corner turned out more like a curve after I'd sewn the two halves together. Satisfied that everything else was in perfect order, EXACTLY as he'd drawn it, he fell in love with his new friend, talking to it, and carrying it around everywhere. Score one for Mama!

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