Nothing like a project I can start and finish within a few hours. And nothing like bears in pajamas.

The bears in question belong to my friend Alex‘s nine year old daughter. The big guy is “Upstate Bear” and his little friend is “Daisy.” They’ve been waiting patiently on our love seat since January to have custom sleepwear fitted. I’d originally made a set for Upstate Bear with an 18 inch doll sized pattern, but that was without laying eyes on the fluffy fellow. When I had Alex bring him over to measure for a hem, we found the whole thing would have to be bigger, but I had to launch into work on our Klingon wedding costumes before reworking the PJs.

Little did I know it would take four months to complete all the Klingon wedding stuff or that I’d be sewing the night before the convention and talking a hand-sewing bit for the car ride to Atlanta.

I was so relieved to have a small project to jump back into after we got home. But first, I moved our sewing area from the dinning room into our office and put my desk in the dinning room. Crafts breed chaos. When you have a connected living/dinning room, working on a big, long project out there makes it feel like we don’t have a living space at all. I will eventually post pictures of our sewing room when I’ve got things set up how I’m envisioning. I really want a giant spool and bobbin rack, an cork board and maybe a peg board to hang our fanciest tools on.

When I finally sat down to make the pajamas, I wasn’t sure how well the skills I learned modifying patterns for our wedding garb would translate to working with dolls and bears. Let me tell you, it’s much easier to work with a bear than a person. And the pattern shapes are much simpler. Measure the waist, cut the pants pattern down the middle, tape in some of the cool giant graph paper we’ve got and presto, it fits. The shirt is a little more in depth to explain without diagrams, but a cake walk compared to fitting the bodice of my dress, for sure. The little pair needed only to be shortened. I used a Ken doll sized patten and it was perfect.

I’m proud of myself for learning a skill I’ll hopefully be applying for years to come for costumes, dolls & toys, and possibly even day to day wear clothes. Without being to cocky – the seam ripper is always handy for a reason – I feel like I’ve got the basics down. For someone who never had hobbies before besides reading and writing which, at the core, are basic skills everyone learns in school, it’s a darn good feeling.

Upstate Bear and Daisy went home a couple days ago. I hear their owner is very happy with the results. Without a doubt, that’s the best part.

Author: Tina Louise

Nerd. Geek. Dork.

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