Monday, January 26, 2015

Doctor Who Crafting Con - The Making of the Whoodies

Today I'm a competitor over at CraftingCon for this month's theme of Doctor Who, so go check it out here! (And then go read the other competitors' posts, if you haven't already.) If you've been reading, you already know I'm a Whovian, so I jumped at the chance to sign up. Truthfully, though, I had plenty of nerves. Even though I've been sewing forever, I've never done a competition before, so I was worried about coming up with a competition worthy idea. There were a lot of ideas - I had designed outfits for Ellie based on Clara, Little Amelia, Jenny Flint, and the TARDIS, both the phone box and her incarnation as Idris. I had some trouble with most of those becoming too much cosplay, so when the idea for a weeping angel inspired hoodie hit me, I just had to run with it!

Weeping Angels move fast!
I had been wasting time browsing Pinterest, and this ladies' tee with an angel wing cut out pattern popped up. I went "hey, that's cool!" and decided it would make a perfect Weeping Angel. Only for a kid, I really didn't want to just leave it open, especially since it's January, and somewhere around freezing here. Instead, I sketched an angel wing and went with reverse applique, which I have never attempted before. I cut out the pieces for a Greenstyle Lacy n Lane, and basted a full lining piece onto the back for the applique details. After I figured out that I couldn't do the stitching on my regular machine without adding a lot of stabilizer and taking the time for a ton of practice, I sewed the wing outline by hand. That still took some trial and error. The first try I used too thick of a template piece, and a running stitch. When I tested pulling the pattern off, it pulled all of my stitches out, so I switched to using my pattern tracing paper and an embroidery backstitch. My back ached, my shoulder popped a lot on the days after I spent time on it, and my stitches weren't as straight or uniform as I would have liked thanks to all the shifting of layers, but overall I'm really pleased with the end result. And so is she! In comparison, it took me all of maybe 5 minutes to write the lettering on the cuffs with a fabric marker.
When in doubt, use the sonic to help with tricky sewing maneuvers.
Cyrus loves Doctor Who, too, so I couldn't leave him out. I ran down a list of ideas for him, too, including the 5th, 9th, 11th, and 12th Doctors, and Rory's outfit from "The Angels Take Manhattan". In fact the idea I used started as 9, but I wound up back at my favorite Doctor, 10. With some help from my husband, we tried to think of something that would be 9th doctor-ish. Some time later, we wound up at bananas, and decided that the best quote about bananas was 10 in "The Girl in the Fireplace", and it stuck. Brown and blue are sort of 10's colors, so I made a Peek-a-boo Hangout Hoodie since it has the hood trim and placket for a contrast color. The pinstripe button was in my stash, and when I came across it I thought it was a perfect way to give a nod to his pinstripe suits. For the banana applique, I actually grabbed a banana from the kitchen and used it to trace the banana shape, then sewed it on by hand. It was ridiculously faster than outlining the wings, but I don't think I've done this much hand sewing in ages. Initially I wanted to stencil the lettering on the back, but it wasn't working out right, so I used chalk to be sure of the placement, then freehand painted it on instead. This happened at the last minute, so we had to speed the drying along to get to the photo shoot!
Child labor! He actually had way more fun than I was having, and I had time to look for buttons.
 These were a whole lot of fun to design and put together, and they make my nerdy little heart sing. Clearly my kids need more clothing like this. I love making it, and they have fun wearing it, so everyone wins!

We aren't totally sure what's happening here, but the Doctor appears to be meditating with the Angel.
He's not a phantom. He's not a trickster. He's a monk.

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