The following is an account from George, a little teddy bear who had decided to come on holiday with us….
Hi, here is a drawing of me in my new vest (above) – it is as smart as my old one (left). I am extremely pleased, as the new one is very comfortable indeed, and very attractive. Evelyn’s mom made it – I think she is very skilful. I had to stay with her while she worked, so I managed to see how she made it. I am making notes of the process (I hope I have remembered correctly); in case, Evelyn wants to make me another vest in the future.
It was extremely exciting for me for I have never had a new vest before. Firstly, she took my old vest and traced the outline of the front and back panels onto old newspapers. She cut along the tracing with a pair of scissors.
There were 3 panels cut of newspapers – a large back panel, and 2 smaller front panels. At this stage, I was getting a little worried. I didn’t fancy a new vest made of old newspapers. That would not be very attractive or practical. In fact, the vest will not be soft or comfortable. Most importantly, I seriously doubt that I would get many cuddles wearing a paper vest. I am also afraid that all my teddy bear friends will laugh at me.
Thankfully, Evelyn and her mom started rummaging through a pile of fabrics. It was such a big pile and I was secretly hoping that they would select a nice colour. I felt relieved when they agreed on 2 pieces of fabrics in red – for the outside of my vest, plus a lining fabric for the inside.
Evelyn’s mom placed one fabric on top of the other, and pinned the newspaper panels onto the fabrics (as shown below). She cut the shapes of the panels, leaving about 2 mm all around the newspapers. The resulting fabric panels resemble the newspaper panels, but are slightly larger. Now we have 6 panels in fabric.
Then she started to join the pieces, firstly along the shoulders as shown on the left (along the dotted lines). She sewed the tops together, first the left panel to the back panel, then repeating with the right panel. She ensured that she sewed on the underside rather than the top of the checked fabric.
After sewing the 3 checked fabrics into one, she repeated the process with the lining, again ensuring that the sewing was on the underside. There were 6 panels to start with. Now she had joined 3 together twice, so we have 2 large pieces – one checked and one lining.
Evelyn’s mom laid these pieces flat. She also opened up and flattened the newly sewn bits by ironing these sections. She was very careful with the temperature of the iron, to avoid accidentally burning my new vest. I am very glad that she took care of my vest.
Now, she prepared to join the 2 pieces into 1. She placed them together, one on top of the other. The underside of the fabrics face each other on the inside. She carefully aligned all the sides and secured the fabrics with pins. She joined all the edges together, except for the sides. I have shown this using blue dotted lines in the drawing on the left. She also left a little gap on both sides of the bottom edges. I find this a little difficult to explain, so hopefully the picture on the left helps illustrate. Notice that on the top and bottom, the dotted lines do not extend to the end, leaving gaps at the corners of the bottom edges of the vest.
I was getting excited – she has now joined all the separate pieces of the 2 different types of fabrics into 1! She turned the piece inside out. As a result, the seams were now on the inside. It sure looked like it was coming together!All edges were sewn except for the sides which still have frayed edges..
Evelyn’s mom folded the vest so that both sides aligned. She placed the vest on a table, with the lining facing up to her. As I have mentioned before, she still has to work on the sides. She had used a sewing machine so far, but now she sewed the sides by hand. She took time to select a piece of suitable and matching thread. I am very pleased that she had selected a red bit of thread, because it is very similar to my vest and matches it really well.
Now lets go back to the sides. Because of the gaps that she deliberately left earlier, she was able to sew the checked sides together on the inside by hand. This way, the seams remained on the inside of the vest. I thought it was very clever of her to think of that! She worked on the left side, and then the right side.
Now that she has sewn the checked sides, there was only the sides of the lining fabric left. This was the last bit that needed sewing. It was quite near to completion! With the lining still facing upwards, she used a needle and thread to sew the left and then the right sides, ensuring any gaps left earlier were sewn up. She also made sure that the edges stayed on the inside, so that frayed edges are not exposed.
At this stage, I was beside myself. The vest looked lovely. She was really speedy and in just a short time, she made a new vest for me. I could not wait to put it on! But it was not yet complete – Evelyn’s mom then selected 2 matching buttons from her large collection. I have never seen so many buttons before – she chose 2 black ones. They were rather smart :). She sewed them on the top of the left panel. Then she sewed 2 press studs on the underside to secure the 2 front panels.
Then she let me try on the vest and it was quite a beauty! I felt very handsome and smart. When Evelyn saw it, I could see that she was very very happy. I have place a photo below. I hope that you like my new vest too :).
Evelyn’s mom made my vest 2 days ago. I hope I have recorded the steps correctly. She was very speedy and I had to pay close attention. I looked away momentarily a few times and when I looked back, she had completed what she was doing before I stopped looking… so I have to fill in the blanks. If you find that my steps do not make sense, please tell me.