Monday, February 28, 2011

M-m-m-my Ramona

Remember me telling you about the month-long series at no big dill celebrating story book-themed crafting?

Well, I had this idea, you see...

I love Ramona.  I think that book series is timeless and just awesome.  I read all of them to my kids.  All three of them have a streak of Ramona in them, especially Isabelle, who looks eerily like this photo of Ramona:

I wanted to make something with Ramona on it and had the idea of freezer paper stenciling her on a shirt.  Then I thought that they would be more likely to wear a dress.  So I decided to stencil it on a shirt and just add some material to the bottom to make it a dress.  But that didn't really satisfy me.  I went ahead and found two solid color tshirts on clearance, a pink and a purple.  The purple one fit, the pink one was too big, but I was just going to cut it up, so that didn't matter.  As the idea stewed in my brain, I remembered a black and gray striped shirt I bought ages ago with the plan of turning it into a dress.  The color scheme didn't really sit well with me at first, but as I kept passing the three shirts together, it grew on me.  I thought about making the striped shirt the main part of the dress and making possibly ruffles out of the solids.  Eventually I decided on just making strips out of all the shirts and piecing them together.  I've seen several tutorials on it, but I didn't use any of them... it's pretty easy to figure it out.  (By the way, you can find tutorials for just about everything I've done to this dress.... if you are interested and need help finding them, let me know)

I stenciled Ramona's silhouette onto a white tshirt I got from the gym that I had no intention of ever wearing.  I mean, I pay them to go there, I don't really care to advertise for them for free.  Then I cut the long sleeves on the purple shirt into short sleeves and put a lettuce edge on it.  I cut the purple shirt just under the sleeves and then cut different width strips out of all the shirts and sewed them together.  I liked having exposed seams.  I was looking for something a little wild and messy looking.  We are talking a Ramona-inspired creation, after all.  I cut it into a slight A-line  and didn't hem it (tshirt material doesn't fray... it will curl up a little, but that's fine).  Then I put some interfacing on Ramona and appliqued her onto the shirt.

Isabelle refused to wear the dress.  But Olivia loves it.  Excuse the not-so-great photos...
I have to seize the opportunity to take photos when they occur

If I had my real camera she wouldn't have posed...

It was all pretty easy.  It would have been easier if I didn't suck so bad at sewing knits, but I am getting better.  I tried using my walking foot, but I'm not sure what happened... I broke two needles because they kept hitting the foot, even after adjusting it and tightening it back up.  So I went back to the regular foot.  My bobbin started giving me fits then, even when I adjusted the tension.  And I couldn't find my ballpoint needles, so I just used a regular needle. I pressed on and finished with minimal swearing.

I love it.  Love, love, love it.

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