Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Creepy Crafts

Just a few more days and Cins and I should FINALLY be able to get episode five out! I hope everyone is still sticking with us, and would like to mention that this hiatus is ENTIRELY my fault.

This is the time of year where I start to get dreamy, and find myself thoughts drifting of their own accord to my favorite time of year which is, of course, Halloween. According to one of my favorite websites, Halloween is Here, spooky times are only 123 days away as of this posting. Hell, by the end of next month we'll be seeing Trick or Treat candy in stores! And personally, I LOVE it.

So this seemed like the ideal time to share the accidental Halloween craft I ended up doing for a loved one. One of my nephews is still very small, and he has developed a deep and profound love affair with his two Care Bears, Harmony Bear and Funshine Bear. While at my house he was rooting through my eBay stuff, and stumbled across some Care Bear accoutrements I had forgotten I possessed. He found a dress for the same-sized CBs he has, as well as a sleeping bag and a pillow, also the perfect size. He immediately claimed them as his own, and I gave them to him, wondering how hard his dad was going to let me have it when he discovered I'd given his son a dress to play with. (As it turns out, my brother took it all in stride, and just rolls his eyes when he sees it.)

After discovering that these items were several years old and therefore unlikely to be found at our local Fred Meyer's (Kroger's to all on the East coast), I was press-ganged into making him a duplicate of each item. How this became a Halloween craft lays in my cloth inventory: almost all of my fabric stash is Halloween themed because a: I'm planning on making myself an All Hallow's quilt, and b: I just really fucking like Halloween.

The Tiny Terror picked the fabric he liked which I immediately nay-sayed; he picked purple fabric for a purple bear. He got black instead. I will sew for him, I will not offend my own aesthetics for him! Plus he was fine with the black.

Here are the pleats pinned into place. I stabbed the shit out of myself several times doing this, and two of my nephews kept taking off with my pin cushion; apparently that was the coolest fake tomato-and-strawberry combo that ever was.

Anyone who has ever had to hand stitch pleats will understand my frustration. Normally with a machine you pin your pleats and then zip a line as fast as fucking possible, but my machine has apparently been watching The Exorcist a lot and getting ideas; at the moment it just turns into a hell-mouth and bites at me whenever I try to use it.

Here the pleats and hem have been poorly sewn. He's six, he doesn't give a crap.

I was SO glad to be finished with those pleats. Small hands kept trying to "help" and subsequently the pins would slip. I may have flipped off the skirt after I had it all sewn. Hard. Like, the ligaments in my finger hurt afterward.

Waistband attached. Not sure why a bear with no waist needs one, but hey, I'm just the seamstress.

This part was fairly easy once I got everything folded and pinned. I am fortunate in that I have nimble fingers, and also that I have about a bajillion pins and would gleefully pin shit into submission, then taunt it.

This looks so flirty, especially for a Care Bear.

Here the straps that will become the sleeves are attached the the apron front. The other dress has little ruffled cap sleeves attached to the straps, but I was suddenly struck with the notion that I would have to hem on a curve and then pleat AGAIN, then attach, and I decided it was now more of a sundress. Harmony Bear needed some vitamin D. "D" for "Don't do that to yourself".


And there's the finished product. I have to admit that it was gratifying to succeed in this; I have never taken a proper sewing class, and did this dress by eyeballing it, as patterns both frustrate and intimidate me (I don't know how to do darts). Fortunately, I'm very good at taking things apart in my head, so I just reduced the simple design of the dress down to shapes and ended up with my own variation. To date I still need to attach a pocket, but over all, I consider it done. The Tiny Terror loves the dress, and really, that's all that matters, right? Plus, I have to be honest: little boys playing with Care Bears is adorable, and there's not a damn thing wrong with it.

So there's my post on how I made a creepy dress for a Care Bear! Aren't you glad you read that? Do you feel like a better, stronger person? Do you feel that YOU TOO could make dresses for small relations, regardless of gender? Then POST PICTURES, fool!


Nojh said...

I'm male and I liked care bears as a kid. All the other kids made fun of me for it. But I still liked 'em.

That is a really cool creepy dress. I am very impressed! I've never really done any Halloween crafting. I think I should start. Or at least start gathering decorations or something...

Stac said...

Nojh: I am GLAD you liked Care Bears! They're gender nonspecific, and anyone who gives someone crap for loving them is an ASS.

You should do Halloween crafting! I recommend Matthew Mead's Halloween mags as well as Martha Stewart for ideas. Here's the Matthew Mead book I have: looks like you can get it used for around 5$. Some of his ideas are hilariously impractical, but a lot are really cool!

For Martha Stewart I recommend her Halloween issue of her magazine from 2008, as it's the only one I have. There are some REALLY awesome ideas in there! This link and a gis search on her website for "Halloween" give up some GREAT ideas!

If you do want to start making stuff (I'm going to make a door wreath this year, I think), you can hit craft stores in August; that's when thy start putting out the goods!

Whatever you decide to do, share it with us, will you? :D

Metal Mikey said...

If I could proudly proclaim to owning once, and STILL owning, an Ewok plush from the original "Return of the Jedi" merch run, any ribbing I would have to send towards any boys that like Care Bears could be thrown right back in my face. ;) (And hey, at least Care Bears have remained consistant. They didn't "change with the times" like poor lil' Strawberry Shortcake!)

I've only done a handful of clothing alterations for various costumes before, but I get your drift about disassembling to get ideal results is easier than building up something from scratch. Pray I remember that as I buck down for my eventual Baseball Fury costume for Halloween. ;)

(As for the episode 5 delay... hey, you're talking to a man who is a MASTER of the fine art of podcasting delays. And for much stupider/dramatic shit, to boot! Heh!)

Jinx said...

That is completely awesome!

Stac said...

Mikey: I got the princess Ewok for my sister for Christmas the year that came out. She still has her!

Care Bears have changed, but only a tiny bit. The cute part is that my nephew loves them all, regardless of wht they look like. If it's Care Bears, it's aces with him. He also ended up with a Halloween pillow and a knitted sleeping bag for Funshine Bear; these were deemed superior to the licensed version and both bears have been squeezed into the homemade sleeping bag! Color me shocked!

The new Strawberry Shortcake dolls suck. I have several old ones, and they reside in a place of prominence in my living room!

Stac said...

Jinx: Thank you! I really love your blog! :D

The Frog Queen said...

Oh my, that has got to be one of the cleverest things I have ever seen. I have to say something that I thought I never would in my whole life. That is a cool Care Bear.



Stac said...

Frog Queen: Thank you so much! She's even cooler in that the Tiny Terror and I found her at a thrift shop, and he immediately fell in love with her. ;)

I'm pretty sure that were my machine working, I could have made this in an afternoon instead of two days.