A friend of me asked me the other day if I wanted to help him make a jiu jitsu outfit for a stuffed toy. His friend was going to have a jiu jitsu exam not so long after and he wanted to give him a present in case he successfully completed the exam. His idea was to make a jacket for a stuffed animal with a brown belt.
First, he figured out what the favorite animal was that he needed to buy in a stuffed toy version. This turned out to be a leopard. A leopard was found, bought and delivered to his home and then he brought it to me. We (me..) decided that he was going to sew the entire jacket himself. He didn’t have much experience using a sewing machine but it all went very well.
First we started drafting a pattern for the top. It was basically me with a measuring tape, a bit of tracing paper and no fear. I looked at the way the creature itself was put together and figured out a way to make a pattern with 4 pieces. It was all stuck together with painters’ tape (one of my favourite sewing notions) and tried on the toy. It actually worked really well first time around, I only had to change the fronts a little. The leopard was not symmetrical so the pattern pieces for the front were a little different, but that made it fit fairly well.
I instructed my friend to pin the pieces on the fabric we chose and add a seam allowance of around a cm, he wanted to draw it in so he got some chalk. Then cutting it out, which went fine. Lunch! We did some practices on the sewing machine and all went well. This was followed by the most difficult part: figuring out which bits have to be sewn together. Right and wrong took some getting used to, but in the end (with some direction) it was all sewn together. Then came pressing and finishing. I cut the selvedge from a bit of brown fabric and considered the belt to be done.
Last pressing stage done, and the leopard could be dressed. We both couldn’t get over how well it worked. He also did all of it himself! This is the result:
So, I had a fun day with a good friend, we made a present that was appreciated, I made a pattern and my friend learned to sew! All in all I think that’s a good score for a single day. What do you think?