Monday, July 9, 2012

Oakie stylin' in a hoodie

I'm patting myself on the back here: Oakie the travel penguin looks so *fly* in his new hoodie!

As I did when sewing his visor, I was using a Cabbage Patch pattern as my base.  But this time I had alterations to make: the hood overwhelmed his head and made him look like a Jawa, (the monk-looking junk dealers on Tatooine in Star Wars).  The neckline was fine, but the sleeves and body were too long, and the whole thing was too big around.  Much fiddling and fumbling happened along the way.

My biggest question was: what to put on the front?  Should it have a college-style logo-- an "O" (for Oakie, or for Oregon); or something generic like "State" or "Team"; or a patriotic "USA" for his world travels?  I thought it should be something distinctive, but not in any way offensive.  Oakie is an ambassador, of sorts.

Sweetie came up with the perfect logo, but we put it on the back of the hoodie
Yep, the dive flag, international symbol for "diver down", and a way for Oakie to publicly proclaim his love of scuba diving.  It makes sense, as nearly half of Oakie's travels are for dive trips.  I used scraps of old t-shirts to construct the flag, securing them with Wonder Under, and sewing a decorative stretch stitch along the edges.  In fact, I am most proud of that portion of my sewing.

I struggled quite a bit with the tendency for my sewing machine to ripple every seam, even when using stretch stitches.  My old machine had an adjustment for the presser foot, which I used to decrease how firmly it pressed down when sewing knits.  I think I have a roller foot somewhere (is that for knits?  I can't remember what I bought it for), and I might have tried my walking foot.  But it was all a good learning experience.  (I have a knit nightgown I want to sew before the fall.  Will try to incorporate some of what I learned on this project.)
Constant reminder: you are sewing an outfit for a stuffed penguin.  It's not rocket science, and you're not entering any contests with this sewing project.  Let go of the idea that perfection is the goal.
Considered, but not attempted (see above reminder): a kangaroo pocket, and ribbing around the bottom.  Too much detail (and possibly too much headache).  Keep it simple!

Next up in Oakie's wardrobe: the raincoat that started this whole adventure.

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