Saturday, August 11, 2012

Well-attired in Alaska

Readjusting to the lower 48 after two weeks in Alaska.  Oakie had a lovely time and saw many sights and was handsome and dashing in all his different outfits.  He is so famous now around the quilt shop that I felt I must post some photos of him on vacation.
First event aboard ship: go to your lifeboat gathering point.  Oakie is ready, wearing his blaze orange life vest.  Other shipboard guests were not required to don their life jackets at this time, but penguins were free to take every precaution.
Oakie in Ketchikan, making friends with local wildlife, while wearing his new raincoat.  This raincoat was the original impetus for Oakie to acquire a wardrobe, and was the last item I finished sewing.  Damn that pleather fabric!  Oh, it was a pain to sew, and I cursed up a mighty storm.  I tried several tips and techniques, including using my roller foot (not a good choice at all) and matte transparent (scotch) tape (this ended up being the best for topstitching, but the thinness of my particular pleather meant that sometimes removing the tape also removed some of the top layer of vinyl--sad face).  Surprisingly, the best sewing advice came from a thread on  (Okay, maybe not surprising if you know the elaborate costumes people create for their cosplay hobby--but it was news to me.)

All worked out in the end though: Oakie had a raincoat to keep his fur feathers dry in the very damp Alaskan inside passage.  (I just kept reminding myself as I sewed: it's a costume for a stuffed penguin.  That kept the obsessive perfectionist voices at bay.)

A better view of Oakie's raincoat (indoors recovering from the chill with hot cocoa).  The hood has a little bill on it (a modification of the brim pattern from the visor) and is lined with a striped lining material, but the rest of the raincoat is not lined.  Nor is it hemmed.  I decided simpler is better--why topstitich tricky hems when the pleather won't run or ravel anyway?  Still not sure what to use as a closure for the front of the raincoat--hook-and-loop (velcro) seems like overkill--so it is just open for now.  Good rain coverage on the sleeves and length of the coat itself.

The surprise outfit was Oakie's formal wear.  Sweetie hadn't seen me working on this outfit at all, so when he wore it to our formal dinner night on the cruise, it was a bit hit.  It is a sailor-style white shirt (same basic collar pattern as for the life vest) with gray fabric-paint stripes front and back.  It closes with a single neck button and embroidered loop.  There is even interfacing in the collar and front facing areas!  (No, I don't know how to make something uncomplicated.  Simplify is not in my vocabulary.)

Flying home on Alaska airlines, we finally got a sunny day, so Oakie had to bust out his rainbow visor.  He was a big hit on our vacation, and managed to get his fuzzy self into several photos, whether he was invited or not.

Thanks for playing along with my crazy posts about Oakie's wardrobe.  Back to more regular-type sewing now that vacation is over.  Have fun out there!

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