Foggy Sunset

Foggy Sunset
Photo by Aisling Doonan

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Emma's lilac Suit

This must prove that I’ve evolved or rather morphed into designer mode! My daughter’s birthday is just around the corner, she will be 4, and I had given her one of my Steiff bears as a present. For a momentous birthday, I think you need an extraordinary present and a steiff bear, to me, sums this all up. So she picked herself a 28cm black bear with a red nose and red stitched claws. After a few strange name combinations that she couldn’t remember, my daughter decided to call her new best friend Emma. So now, Emma joins her in bed, joins us at the dinner table and can be found wherever my daughter is. This is great as this is what I had intended all along. It didn’t take my daughter long to figure out that Emma was essentially naked and needed a full wardrobe of beary clothes. So I was commissioned by a three year old to kit out her new best friend and I have to admit that I jumped at the chance.
Imagine the possibilities? Ribbons, buttons, lace, fitted garments, loose garments, underclothes, appliqué, embroidery, crochet, socks, etc. I could imagine an entire wardrobe of beautiful clothes that I would want to wear myself! (Personally, I love the fact that all this was happening. I had spent a childhood reading about beautiful Victorian dolls kitted out the last in the latest Parisian fashions and desperately wanted one for myself. So now, I was reliving my childhood fantasies and nobody was going to commit me to the asylum as I was doing all this for my daughter!) So I puzzled for a while, rooted out my stash of lace weight wool, put pen to paper and started designing.

I have never designed and knit a cardigan before for a full sized person so it was fun to miniaturize it and knit it in a beary small size (sorry, this entry will be full of ‘bear’ references, ha ha!). It gave me a very clear idea of how all the pieces fit together and it’s so much easier to knit it and see, then rip back and try again. If I were doing it, full size I think I would lose the will to live if I had to rip out several hundred stitches worth of knitting.

So I started with a skirt (my daughter had given me a beary big list of requirements – skirt, top, cardigan, socks, shoes, underwear, jumper, trousers, dress, nightdress, coat, hat, scarf and bag – she is also adding to this list daily. Emma will be better dressed that the rest of us at this stage.) Surprisingly it all worked out and gave me the confidence to keep going. I’m currently completing an item a day, with my daughter watching on with a critical eye. I am most pleased with the shoes, though they still need a little tweaking and as I’m not a huge fan of sewing seams, I’m trying to have each item as seamless as possible. Every item has working buttons and everything is removable. I may keep going until my stash runs out!

So now all I have to do it write up the patterns and post them as free downloads on Ravelry.

Next step, grown up cardigan, next step after that, take over the world!!!

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