Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Precious Pachyderm

Recently I learned to sew. Correction: I re-learned how to sew. In middle school I took the required home ec classes, where I sewed a pillow that looked like a giant pencil. That was the extent of my sewing, however.

I love knitting, though, and thought that sewing would be a great next step. My mom bought me a sewing machine for Christmas, and it's taken me awhile to feel ready to tackle a project other than sewing scraps together or creating a pencil case.

I chose to create a small toy elephant from the book, Sew Everything Workshop. Because I wanted to be green, I decided to upcycle some fabric from thrift store clothing. I purchased this stunning outfit at my local Goodwill:

Wily is hoping his mama isn't going to wear this outfit. It would be so embarrassing.

And then, using techniques I learned from the book, Sewing Green, I "deconstructed" the Tommy Hilfiger men's shirt (I so wish I could have seen it on someone) and magenta shorts. In other words, I cut them up and ripped the seams.

I chose the project because it was small and looked like it wouldn't take long, and because I thought I could give the finished product to one of my nieces. What I didn't realize was that sewing around small, curvy fabric pieces is not easy.

One big mistake later (head inset sewed on backward) and a lot of trial and error, I had the following:

Boneless elephant.

All he needed was a little stuffing.

While he's not perfect, and he's not sturdy enough to go live with any of my baby nieces, I learned a lot from the project. All that sewing around corners was annoying, but I feel like a much more able seamstress now, and I'm ready to tackle some bigger projects. Project Runway, here I come!


Darci said...


Amber Mann said...

That's a very lovely elephant! Nice work.

grace said...

very cute! way better than the original. ah, middle school- on a recent trip back to my parents' basement i found the pillow i'd made in home ec and the lamp i'd carved and wired in industrial tech. too bad i no longer know how to do either.

Melanie said...

I would be more than happy to let you hem several sets of curvy lines involved.