December 1, 2008

a gift unveiled, to great success.

luckily for my blog's interesting levels, my family celebrated maggie's birthday early this year, for the sake of more people being at home (stragglers from thanksgiving weekend). my presents were quite well received, i am glad to reveal!

perhaps attentive readers will recall my recent comments on hand-sewing? i can now say why. i decided to celebrate maggie's turning eleven with two handmade gifts: a cuddly shawl in the colors of her newly painted bedroom, and an American Girl doll sized fleece.
maggie recently took a liking to a two-toned purple shawl that my aunt/uncle/cousins sent me for christmas a year or two ago, mainly because of how lovely and soft it is. i took it back to chicago this winter, and she was so sad to see it go that i decided i might as well tackle a modification. for her shawl, i chose a two-toned light blue cuddle fur at the vogue fabrics. i initially planned to imitate the fringe on my shawl, which follows the purple color scheme of the rest of the piece, but when i got around to the fringe on maggie's, it was looking fuzzier and linty, so i went back and picked up a bit of regular (no fray!) fleece in the light-almost-neon-lime green that serves as an accent color in her bedroom. this cut very nicely into an attractive fringe, and now the shawl matches her room perfectly.
she loves it and will not even take it off long enough for me to take a picture. she even took it to bed! very flattering for the maker!
however successful this shawl was... my real pride and joy of the moment is the second gift. hours and hours of hand sewing followed my very humorous excursion over to the American Girl Place on michigan ave., where i scoured the whole store to find a jacket-like item of doll clothing to take approximate measurements of. i had a lot of gawking nine-year olds worried. while i not-so-stealthily took down notes and wrapped my tape measure around the arms/neck/body of a 'varsity jacket', i wondered what the little shoppers thought of me. was i stealing? doing a performance check on the company? maybe they thought i was cool enough to work for American Girl (um, i WISH!!!).
i used the same cuddle fur, a utility zipper meant for a wallet, some nice shiny crinkling ribbon i had lying around (looked great for the cuffs and 'reflector' on the back), and i my own two hands! although my machine did come in handy for a few minutes on the sides of the body. this was my first experience in drawing a pattern by myself from start to finish. it wasn't hard, but who knows what would happen if i tackled the true human anatomy? :)

in any case--check out my handiwork. it's being modeled by 'emily'--molly's playmate come over from blitzed britain, if you don't recall your american girl stories. the lovely multicolored scarf lying on top of emily's adopted siblings was handmade by maggie herself. she and i have taken up fingerknitting, and her dolls are reaping the benefits.

now maggie wants me to go into the business of boutique doll wear. who thinks she might have more motives than my employment in mind?...


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