Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pimp My Pixar Character

When Porter's mom, Melissa, invited us to his Toy Story-themed-4th birthday party, I immediately thought of this fun vest, made by the cute and clever Jessica at Running with Scissors.   

I stalk lots of craft blogs, and frankly, most of them are kind of annoying.  I try to ignore the constant self-promotion.  I overlook spelling and syntax errors.  And though I'm puzzled by rAndOm capitalization, and saddened by apostrophe's that 'sneak in everywhere except where theyre 'supposed to, I can usually  get past all that to enjoy the pretty pictures and the clever ideas.   But the great thing about Jessica's blog is that I don't have to get past anything.  She inspires me without annoying me, and I like to think if we met in person we'd be friends.   That is, if I don't annoy her with all my hypercritical crafty and linguistic nitpicking.  

Now, where was I?  That's right.  Porter's birthday.  So, the kid likes Toy Story.  And I knew I could get my hands on a pattern for a Woody vest that promised to be easy.  And I knew I had this fuzzy spotted fabric that really looks more like dalmatian print than cow print but might work anyway.  So I set to work.

I printed out Jessica's pattern, and kind of eyeballed her general shape while I enlarged it out to fit my 6 1/2-year-old (who, because he won't eat his vegetables, is barely a smidge bigger than 4-year-old Porter).  Then I cut it out and sewed it together, and really was amazed that it was a 15 minute project just like Jessica said.  Except.  Except!  Except I didn't have any bias tape to finish the edges.  So I thought  "I'll just line it and make it reversible.  It can't take that long -- probably less time than making bias tape, right?" 


Turns out making a reversible vest is a titch more complicated than making a reversible purse.  You can't just sew one and then sew the other and then sew them together, or you won't be able to turn it right side out through the shoulders.  (Don't worry, I don't really get it either.)  So, I consulted with my spacial engineer (my husband), and unpicked a few seams, and added a western style fringe vest to the other side.  

Trouble was, adding the lining made the fuzzy material puff out, and suddenly, this whimsical kid's vest looked like Woody's vest after it spent a day on the set of Pimp My Pixar Character.  So I did some ironing and topstitching, and it all turned out OK in the end.

Still, maybe I should have just gone to the store for cow fabric and bias tape.*

Porter was a little afraid of it (me?) at first.    But he warmed up to it after his sister Addie showed him it was OK.

Look at her, showing off the fringe and the spots at the same time!  She's a natural!
Here's Porter, modeling the fuzzy side.

That's Sheriff Woody to you, Pal.

Anyway, despite its shortcomings, I think Porter liked his Woody (inspired) vest.   And next time, I know to just buy the bias tape.  (Or, as my spacial engineer suggested, a purple feathered cap, to go with the vest.)


* But I didn't, thereby earning me a million stash reduction points.  Since you asked (cause you did, right?), I've had the fuzzy dalmatian print for over a year.  I inherited it from a friend who cleaned out her stash when she moved.  The brown fabric is a velvety stretch knit I bought at Wal-Mart several years ago.  I bought 10 yards at $2 a yard, and hung it all up as curtains in my dining room.  After a year or two, I got sick of them there and hung them in my bedroom.  But they were too dark there, so I decided the next best thing to do with them would be to sew an Easter dress out of them.  Unlike some experiments in wearable window-treatments, this was a phenomenal craft fail.   On many levels.  But, on the bright side, that unshapely, unsightly, unworn Easter dress eventually became a Jedi robe for my husband.  And there were still many yards left to use on other projects, like Jedi cloaks.  I've also used it for more practical things, like concealing all the junk under my craft table, and covering cardboard boxes.  We're down to just 2.5 yards.  Do you think that's enough to give that Easter dress another try?


Peanut said...

Ah, the bias tape! I'm about 50-50 between buying bias tape v. making my own when I need it.
But I really like the inventiveness of a reversible vest with fringe on one side. You are awesome.

Erica said...

I get so annoyed by all the craft/decorating blogs and their grammar issues too! My personal favorites are the word "Lurve" (what does that even mean?!) and how everyone says at the end of a project, "Wallah" instead of voila. It drives me nuts! I'm glad I'm not the only nit-picker. Ha ha!