My buddy and co-worker Ted turned 40 last week, and I had promised him a custom doll based on one of his favorite movies, 300. I knew this was a favorite because Ted not only owns the uber-fancy Sideshow premium format statue of King Leonidas, he also has a life-size replica of the Spartan shield propped up somewhere in his office upstairs.
Given all this, it was clear that I’d have to take a shot at King Leonidas myself. I went with an antique brass tone zipper for him, and crocheted his hair and beard freehand in one piece. The removable helm was made in three separate pieces: cap, a wraparound piece that included the front crown and cheek guards, and the plume, which is further stiffened with black felt and the selective use of a glue gun. His shield was crocheted with a double thickness of yarn for more stability using a larger hook. The cloak was made from a nice stretch knit with a lot of drape and tied with red bias tape. He’ll be getting a proper spear made from a painted bamboo skewer with a polymer clay spearhead tonight to finish his look.
I was told by my sister that I should use some powder bronzer to give him some abs, but I thought that might be taking accuracy too far, no?
What I like about making these dolls is that each one presents a new challenge that keeps things fresh. This week’s project was to transform the latest Prince of Persia into a Sackboy, sword, clawed gauntlet, hair, clothing, and all.
It took longer than any of the other dolls I’ve made, but it was well worth the effort. I got to glue gun some polymer clay onto yarn for the first time, too. 🙂
I put the final touches on Hell(Sack)Boy today including revised legs, shorts with a hole for his tail, decorative top stitching, and a cigar. I kind of liked him without the decorative stitches, but he’s cute this way, too.
I finally got around to refashioning this 2XL tee from Threadless. It is a design called “Treasured” by designer Chow Hon Lam. I used Simplicity pattern S4380 (out of print) which includes raglan baseball tops for guys and gals, loose-fitting drawstring PJ pants, a stretchy tank top for women, and slippers.
Here is the original t-shirt before I started cutting away:
Next, I cut off the sleeves, then cut the sides open. The pattern pieces for the front and back are cut on the fold of the fabric, so I opened up the shirt (which was still connected at the shoulders and neckband) into one long piece and folded it in half lengthwise before pinning the front and back pattern pieces on and cutting.
The sleeves were cut from a plain black Fruit of the Loom t-shirt I picked up for under $2 on sale at the local Michaels Arts and Crafts.
I sewed the sleeves onto the front, back, and collar band of the shirt, then stitched up the sides and the underside of the sleeves in one long line.
Final product (Front):
I, Maggie, pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of “new” manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 6 months. I pledge that I shall refashion, renovate, recycle pre-loved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovated, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that my thriftyness brings!
This past weekend I sewed a rather festive looking dress out of a hodgepodge of fabrics and materials that I had on hand, including:
– Mens’ 2XL “Happy Harvest” Threadless t-shirt
– Orange cotton broadcloth from Halloween 2006
– Brown paisley charmeuse from Hancock’s clearance rack (spring 2007)
– Part of an old full-size 300-thread-count cotton sheet
I used two different patterns because I liked the top from one but wanted to make the skirt out of the 2XL t-shirt:
– McCall’s M5380 (upper bodice and waistband)
– New Look NL6375 (skirt and underskirt)
Here is the result:
The color choices are a bit out of my comfort zone since I usually stick to jewel and icy winter colors plus black and white, but I went with them anyway. The original patterns didn’t include the orange belt or the brown and orange band around the hem of the skirt, but I added them at Chris’s suggestion to tie everything together.
I really like the final result, but have been wondering if it was just too off-the-wall to wear out.
Well, as of last night I am no longer concerned.
While channel surfing, I caught the latest Disaronno amaretto commercial on TV and realized that my color choices were merely fashion-forward and precognitive in nature:
Check out my review of this project at Pattern Review for more details.
Simplicity patterns are on sale through Monday at Joann Fabrics and Crafts for $1 each. If any of you are Project Runway fans, this includes the line of PR-inspired patterns that Simplicity has put out since fall. Most of the PR designs don’t look particularly difficult to sew, so if you haven’t touched a sewing machine since high school Home Ec class but have Mom or Grandma’s old machine stored up in your attic, those might be good starter pieces to get you into apparel sewing.
I resisted buying anything for myself when Chris and I went there today to pick out fabric for his Valentine’s Day gift, but I did walk out with three fab patterns from which I plan to sew some presents for my mom and Chris’s mom for their upcoming birthdays at the end of the month.
And somehow this little gem made it into my shopping basket, too.
I really hope Slinky and Neville don’t smother me in my sleep when they discover that I plan to put CLOTHES on them this Halloween. The cat model on the pattern envelope has the same look of semi-vacant malevolence that Neville does. That’s what sold me on it. A disgruntled looking kitty is a photo op waiting to happen.
(And I find it sort of funny that the pattern numbers for the party tops I am making all three boys in my life are the same–3570.)
Here’s the party dress I’ve been working on for the past two nights:
It’s Butterick B4389, made out of textured, printed white chiffon and gunmetal blue-grey stretch satin from a Hancock’s clearance rack. Total cost of materials, thread, and pattern = $12.75-$15.00. I only used materials, thread, pattern, and notions from my current stash and bought nothing new for this project.
I cut it out in pattern size 12, but had to take it in by 1.25″ because it was WAY too loose on me now that I am shrinking down to a 34A again. I just need to hem the skirt, slipstitch the bodice lining, and sew in a second hook and eye above the zipper since my 1″ increase in the back-waist length made the 12″ zipper too short.
As a bonus, I discovered that I needed to dial myself a smaller bust and booty on my Singer dressform when I compared its measurements (set around August 2007) to my current ones. Hurray for the shrinking backside!
My full review of B4389 is up at Patternreview.com for the curious.
I still covet this Jalie running skirt pattern! I think that a workout skirt with attached shorts would be so cute, not to mention a hell of a lot cheaper to make myself than the $40-$50 these things are going for online.
Wah! (Counts the weeks until June 6 when she can spend money on clothing, fabric, patterns, and other related stuff again.)