Sunday, March 13, 2016

What Bronte Made First - The tale of the Paw Patrol Party

I first sewed in Sewing lessons at school when I was 10 and 11. My mother sewed, but mostly for my elder sisters, and brother before I was born and when she was a SAHM. When I started school she went back to work so with two incomes and little time she mostly stopped. From time to time she would make something, and I loved having something made especially for me, so it was always within my 'stuff that normal folks can do' range of thought.

For my 30th birthday my husband bought me a sewing machine (for the same birthday my parents bought me a weed-whacker) I made a couple of maternity dresses, badly but adequately, and didn't bring out my machine much when my kids were about in case they crawled on pins. I mended a few things, and made a couple of little things.

In January my son, Sprog,  informed me he wanted a Paw Patrol party for his 4th birthday in March. I picked up the theme and ran with it. I planned the cake, a "Lookout" tower, then went online for inspiration. There I found someone, Danielle of Danielle's DIY who had made a "Ryder" vest. It looked doable, so I decided to make him one. I looked about at vests, mostly looking for a free one, but decided to bite the bullet and use the same pattern, the Simple Vest from Lady Bird Patterns. After all, it had turned out so well for her son's Ryder outfit.

Then it was off to our local Emporium for very competitively priced fleece. I decided to also make a Chase vest for Sprog, since Chase is his favourite pup, and a Ryder Vest for little brother Widget. While I was at the Emporium I found fleece in every colour at very little cost, so I bought some in every pup's colour (This was after only viewing season one, so no need for Mint coloured Everest pup). This was quickly spiralling a bit bigger than I  initially planned.

I got home and prepared the pattern. Since I was making so many I cut and glued the pattern onto card before laying it out and cutting. I am quite stingy in my fabric use so the pieces were very closely put together with a bit of extra left over.  Which was great because I then had plenty for...

...the extra bits. All of the pups have a badge which I appliqued, trying out that technique for the very first time.  I made a standard Paw Patrol logo for the Ryder vests, just like Ryder's. Fleece is a very forgiving fabric when learning a new skill. That was 14 badges.

For the badges I cut two shield badge shapes out of ice-cream container plastic to keep the sizes uniform. I cut out each colour and shape for the badges, then the inner bits, Chase's sherriff star, Rubble's spanner etc, then used double-sided iron-on interfacing on each. I started with the top layer, ironed, zigzagged the edges. Ironed on the next layer, zigzagged, repeat as necessary. I think Marshall's badge had 4 layers, the rest 2 or 3. I tried to plan them so I wasn't changing my thread too often by matching the colours.

Badges done, I cut other details, a tool belt for Rubble, belts for Zuma and Rocky, Epaulettes for Chase. I attached all the extras as I made the vests, some requiring to be added first, others to be added after, depending on seam placement. The vests for my boys were zippered and lined, the rest were single layer and had velcro closures. I may be a bit nuts, but I'm not buying 14 zippers, that would cost more than the rest of the project put together.

The final count was
1 Ryder Vest for birthday boy Sprog
1 reverse Ryder vest for little brother Widget, both Ryder vests were zippered, lined, and had pockets
1 Chase vest for Sprog, lined and zippered, no pockets (Pup's don't need pockets)
Then in basic, unlined and velcroed
1 Chase vest
2 Zuma vests
2 Rocky vests
2 Marshall vests
2 Skye vests and
2 Rubble vests

Partway through I decided that instead of party-bags this year each invitee would take home a vest instead. It sounds extravagant, but I had got the fleece so cheap it actually didn't cost any more than party-bags would, and I felt much better about avoiding more plastic tat. Our household has enough plastic tat, I'm sure most of the guests homes do too.

So that was the start of my sewing journey, I took my machine out of the store cupboard in January and it hasn't been put away since.