A Pair of Christmas Presents

This Christmas, so I wouldn’t go crazy, I decided to only make two presents by hand, one for each of my nieces.  For my 6-year-old niece A., I decided to just ask her what kind of dress she would like.  For ease of communication I thought the best thing would be if she just drew the design herself, which she did very seriously.

A.'s design for her Christmas dress.

When she was done she decided she didn’t want an orange circle in the center but rather a red star, so she wrote that big NO so I would remember.  She explained to me in no uncertain terms that she wanted the orange lines on the bodice to continue as purple lines on the skirt, and that the green things were supposed to be feathers. She was a pretty demanding client, immediately noticing everything that was not what she wanted at each fitting. But when it was finished, she was quite happy with the result!

Recreating the pose of her picture in real life.

Once she’d worn it awhile she decided the feathers weren’t really working for her and we took them off. I personally think I could have gotten that crinoline a bit more voluminous, but she didn’t seem to mind. Anyway, as a collaboration, I think we did a pretty great job! I like the colors, especially. It was a good lesson in interpreting a design drawing, too.

A. taking a bow and being adorable as always.

My other niece, K., is a big fan of the Rune Factory series of games, so for Christmas I decided to make her a real-life version of the hat her character has in Rune Factory Frontier. It’s a hat that looks like the cute sheep-like monster in the games called a wooly. Here’s my version.

The Wooly Hat

For reference, here’s what a wooly looks like:

A wooly from Rune Factory

I don’t really know how to embroider so I just used the zigzag on my machine to make some cheap “embroidery”, but I think it looks OK. Once it was on I realized it was probably too silly for a teenager to wear, but who knows. Maybe she’ll wear it to a video game competition or something someday.  The pattern was interesting and challenging to make, it came out sort of looking like a flower. I think if I did it again I would include some kind of padding to hopefully make it hold its shape a little better.

The lovely model



Filed under Works

5 responses to “A Pair of Christmas Presents

  1. Anonymous

    You are a good uncle, sir.

  2. The best kinds of gifts are the ones that are requested! And hand made. I love A’s dress. It’s perfect!

  3. nice work on the wooly hat. I was wondering if you would give me instructions on how to make that awesome hat…GO WOOLIES!!

    • I made a pattern which was possibly over-complicated; it looked rather like a five-petaled flower. You might instead just make it like a beret. Then there was a thin band at the bottom. The face was a patch of black fabric (same as the ears) which I appliqued on and then did a (kind of crude, I’m afraid) machine embroidery on to make the eyes and mouth. I did that and sewed the ears on before I sewed the hat together, though you might do those details by hand after you make the basic hat.

  4. Pingback: We’re winners! | John deBoer Custom

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