Tuesday, July 07, 2009

pacman dungarees

dungies front viewdungies back view
So I finished my first evah sewing pattern!!1!1 How exciting. It is Burda 9652, picked because it claimed to be Very Easy. I wouldn't quite go that far, as I don't really have much experience of this sort of thing, but I seem to have got through it ok. There were some sentences I had to read several times, particularly during late night beer assisted sewing sessions, but generally it was pretty straightforward.

Drunk on the excitement of actually finding the pattern comprehensible, and possibly the aforementioned beer, I may have got sliiiightly carried away with the applique there.
Pacman is being chased by Inky on the back. On the front are some bonus cherries. (I originally fancied an apple or a strawberry, but they would have been trickier, and Mr. Rubbishknitter didn't believe me that you ever got these as bonuses. Obviously because he wasn't as awesome a player as I was). It seemed important at the time for my son to fully appreciate the marvels of the 8 bit era of computer gaming. I started by copying the original pacman sprites onto graph paper. Being incredibly anal I like representations of classic video games to be pixel perfect, and I even toyed with the idea of cutting the characters out with blocky edges, but I doubt I would have been able to get it neat enough, so I rounded out the edges of each original sprite for a slightly cuddlier effect. There are much more suitable ways of representing pixels accurately in the world of textiles - cross stitch, crochet, knitting - so I thought it might work better just to do something simpler.

I made the appliques using bits of scrap fabric. Using a double thickness of each, I drew round my graph paper templates and machine stitched them together nearly all the way round. I trimmed the edges, turned them inside out and hand-slipstitched them onto the pocket pieces. I know this is probably a weird way to do applique. But the scraps of fabric were cheap and flimsy, and after some earlier flirtations I'm now getting a bit bored of zigzag stitch. My previous rubbish attempts at applique have been a bit fally-aparty after a couple of washes. Crapplique, if you will. As this garment is for a child who likes to drag himself around the floor all day, pausing occasionally to dribble chewed up biscuit or throw up on himself, it was imperative that they withstand a few machine washes. So for the teeny tiny details, like Inky's eyes and the cherry stalks, I hand embroidered them on. Yes, it took a while, but it was damn good fun, and each pocket made a pleasingly portable project for sitting in the sun with.
wot no power pills?om nom nom
I put buttons at the top instead of poppers because I thought they might hold up to a bit more bouncing around. The other major modification I did was to put poppers along the inside leg seams for ease of nappy changing. I bought a pair of baby dungarees recently from a high street shop, marvelling at the cheapness, then was horrified to realise i had to wrestle the child all the way out of and back into them every time he relieved himself. So this time, poppers it had to be. In the past, I have always used those ones that you have to hand sew on, and the way I attach them they generally fall off quite regularly, causing the air around me to turn blue. This time, this time I would conquer the art of the reclosable seam. I was highly enthused by the idea of popper tape, but could only find it available in white, which would have looked a bit weird on such dark fabric. Dying it could have been an answer but I spotted some dark brown bias binding in the exact right shade in my local fabric shop so opted for making my own using this and a pack of hammerable innable poppers. This turned out to be quite a learning experience. I learnt the following things, which may be useful to others:
buttonpop pop pop those poppers

  • At all costs, avoid wielding the hammer too close to your fingers. shudder

  • You should, however, avoid concentrating on finger avoidance so hard that you fail to notice you have hammered in 4 poppers in a row upside down.

  • Do not hammer on a pine table. You will leave little popper-shaped impressions. Also when you hammer the table, the loose poppers that are lying around on it are liable to jump off in fear.

  • Avoid making popper tape out of a single thickness of bias binding or other flimsy fabric. You need to put some heavy duty interfacing behind it before putting the poppers in. Otherwise, your first attempt to open your nice new popper tape will be greeted with a rrrRRRIP! noise that may make you cry.

  • I tried a couple of types but the Prym ones were the best - sturdier, more difficult to accidentally hammer in upside down if you are being a bit stupid, and, crucially, slightly shinier.

  • Maybe not a good idea to try and machine sew over poppers.

So after several popperfails, I am pleased to report the end result is sturdy and easily openable. Phew!

To verify the general sturdiness, here's a few action shots of the dungarees, as modelled by rubbishknitterjunior. I think he likes them.


Kate said...

Those dungarees are completely brilliant. :-D

Jelibe said...

Those dungees are sooo cute and junior suits them well!! Great work!!

CatR said...

Such fun! Very useful popper instructions too. (my verification word is fittingly "expolosi")

Bamiyan said...

These are so adorable! You did an excellent job ♥ I love them :D

teaginny said...

These are adorbale, and you did such a nice job on them!! What a cute little boy too.

LadybirdLinz (:i:) said...

Awwww they are fantastic...you have the cutest model!

brittunia said...

You know when Eva's birthday is.. that leaves you a whole year! No, just kidding- so amazing! And such great photos. Watch out Brooklyn Tweed!

rubbishknitter said...

brittunia: lol. I think brooklyntweed's photos would deffo beat mine in a fight though. I have a few manuals to read before i get to that kind of level!

thanks for the nice comments everyone you are all very kind!

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