Monday, March 5, 2012

Stripes & Wales Outfit #2 Progress: Piping! Appliqué! Cats!

Ottobre "Pupu" Corduroy Overalls in Progress: Kitty Appliqué!

Fun fact: sewing overalls with cat appliqués on them is 53% more fun than sewing any other types of clothes. Meow! Never you mind the embroidery hoop marks.

It's a sad equation, but the more precious evening minutes and weekend naptimes I spend blogging, the less time I have for actual sewing. So this weekend I deliberately resisted computer temptation and threw myself back into finishing my UFOs, most especially the Tomten sweater hoodie and Ottobre "Pupu" overalls from the Stripes and Wales outfit for my sweet toddler:

Stripes & Wales Sweater & Overalls toddler outfit sketch

The overalls are almost done--I had cut them out ages ago and then put them aside while I waffled over the design and construction for the front appliqué and back patch pockets. Little Z could care less about bunnies, so I knew I'd need to put a cat on the front for Maximum Toddler Overall Satisfaction. And my husband nixed the original heart-shaped back pockets, as he said they reminded him of those tight adult women's sweatpants with silly words on the butt.

I ended up cutting out bits of the cat's face freehand from scraps of my Triumphant Trousers (which, thankfully, shrank a bit in the wash and now fit PERFECTLY again... I even had someone stop me in a store this weekend to tell me how much she admired them, "they look tailor-made for you!" YES! I WIN!) ... I then used Light Steam a Seam 2 to stick all the bits down before stitching.

Considering how many new techniques I've been trying lately, I should probably join the Curves, Patterns & Pins technique-checking sewalong... For these little overalls alone, I've tackled:

  1. Making bias binding (using the cool infinite loop-style technique from the Colette Sewing Handbook)
  2. Flat piping (yes, the fear is gone!)
  3. Double topstitching (it's a bit wobbly, but serviceable--I'm using the triple-stretch-stitch since I couldn't find a topstitching thread in the exact color I wanted, and my edge-stitching and top-stitching presser feet.
  4. Appliqué, which I am super loving--it satisfies the artist in me. I must now resist the urge to cute-i-fy all items of clothing with little sewn-on bits.
  5. Hand embroidery (for the whiskers). My mom and aunt taught me some techniques back in the day but I had forgotten all the stitches and had to reteach myself from a book. BUT I do not advise trying to hoop a fabric with a pile--it leaves marks.
  6. Patch pockets with pretty piping. I drew them freehand because I was too lazy to use a template or the computer, and I wanted to go for a more "funky" look. With mixed results.

As for the sweater, even though I mostly knit on the subway or at lunchtime, I FINALLY finished the hood and got to the sleeves. I'm doing the sleeves in two colors instead of four because I didn't want to pay for eight balls of yarn when six would do--we'll call it a design feature!

Luckily it's gigantically huge on her--she'll be able to wear this thing for a while yet!

Striped Toddler Tomten Jacket in progress

Isn't she the cutest little elf?

Striped Toddler Tomten Jacket in progress

And here's the flat view:

Striped Toddler Tomten Jacket in progress

If all goes well, these will be done very soon and I'll move on to Joan blue bow dress overload!

So, how about you, Polka Dot readers: tackled any UFOs lately?

P.S. Bonus cat-related project photo--here's "Vincent", a stuffed blue wool tweed cat I made for my mother-in-law Gail for Christmas back in 2008 (pattern from the Denyse Schmidt Quilts book), shown here with Gail and her sweet cat Flo.

Vincent the Blue Tweedy Cat


  1. Cuteness overload! I can see how you'd get sucked into a project with so many little extra details.

  2. In 2001 I knitted a striped scarf in exactly the same colors as the sweater, but your elf definitely looks cuter!


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