Our family and our girls are as Star Wars obsessed as the rest of the American youth (and public at large) at the moment, so I am very excited to be here on Star Wars month! Watching the movies with my kids has given me a whole new appreciation of the series. They are very into all of the characters and the plot line and play Star Wars all the time. It was so exciting to see the Force Awakens with them this winter and experience it for the first time all together.
My youngest daughter, Althea, is an animal person (I mean that literally per her mind - she has a feline and canine persona that are both named, and that she converts to upon request of her sister, or at random. Also, she told me the other day that she is a magical creature and when she grows up her children will be various types of animals). Her favorite Star Wars characters are Chewbacca and the Ewoks. She does a great Chewie impersonation and has been speaking Ewok since watching Return of the Jedi last fall. "Boota, boota!" she calls as she runs through the house. So there was no contemplation necessary in realizing that I was going to make her an Ewok hoodie for this challenge.
My little critterI used a pattern from my trusty Ottobre 06/2013 which they called Frozen Meadow. It is a pattern for a raglan style, hooded, faux-fur coat, so I didn't alter anything except for adding ears. The outer coat fabric is this super soft, almost silky plush fur type fabric from JoAnns. It says it is machine washable, so that is a plus. I used a knit that I had which is a thick cotton for the cuffs, hem, trim along the zipper, hood edge casing and hood drawstring. The coat is fully lined, which makes it look very nice on the inside as well. The lining is a combination of old flannel baby blankets: a brown on white print with a touch of green that reminds me a bit of the Star Wars rebel symbol for the body and a green with green stars for the sleeves. I lined the hood with the same plush fabric that the outside is made from, so that she can get really cozy in there. The ears are stuffed with fleece scraps to make them stand up nicely and are hand sewed on to the hood.
Here she is showing off the lining of her Ewok hoodieSo this makes a very nice and snuggly little layer for her to wear in spring and fall and on cool summer evenings, whenever she is feeling a little wild (aka always) - it serves well as a bear as well as an Ewok.....or dog......or wookie......or whatever mood she is in.
Snugged up in that fur-lined drawstring hood
Fern modelingI enjoy the challenge of turning a drawing into a physical item and discovering how a two dimensional shape translates into a sewing technique or a pattern style. Especially when the drawing was done by a 6 year old. According to her, the most important part of her image is the large white circle on the belly of the dress. I decided we would accomplish this with the use of a reverse applique. I found this great white and orange fabric (it's an upholstery fabric that is very smooth on the back side and doesn't seem capable of wrinkling) at a little store in my town that sells repurposed craft materials. All the tutorials I saw on reverse applique left the inside edge of the main fabric unfinished, but that didn't work for me with this project. I turned the edge in and sewed the inside of the circle first, then proceeded to attach the white circle (whose edge was serged) with a decorative stitch.
Fern's image is clearly a dolman style dress with a mock turtleneck. I didn't find an orange of the right color in a knit fabric, so we went with this satiny material with minimal stretch from JoAnns. Not finding a pattern anywhere for a dolman utilizing a non-stretch fabric, I designed this myself tracing a shirt of hers. It wasn't quite big enough in the arms though (the shirt I was tracing was a knit of course), so I ended up adding a wide strip of the white fabric on each side of the bodice under the arm. I really like the way this worked out. I tucked it into a reverse box pleat and sewed it down for about three inches along the side of the bodice and then let it open up to create more room in the sleeve. I also included a zipper on the back of the dress so that she can get in and out. The bottom is a circle skirt, which always makes her smile when she twirls, and reflects back on the round shape of BB8. I played with the differential on my serger a little bit to give the sides of the mock turtle neck a touch of ruching.
Clockwise from top left: Underarm detail; neck ruching; zipper detail; reverse applique close up
Posing with some cactus because she considers BB8 to be a desert droid;
wearing her hat sideways so the flower is in the center like the "eye" in her drawing
Zipper flower up close
It is also fun to see them have so much fun in clothes that I made them (and that they participated in creating!). We went to Smith College to run around in their amazing gardens and greenhouse for these pictures. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I have!
Thanks for having me and may the force be with you!