Not all my clients are human although they have human qualities. Once such sweetie is Clarence and although she has a boy’s name she is all girl.
Clarence joined our family back in 1986 and at the time her fur was abundant and when she joined our family for restaurant meals, the servers would think she was real…sort of like a Maine Coon Cat. My youngest daughter was given the cat by her great grandmother on her 6th birthday which was a date they both shared- Dec 26 – only 80 years apart.
Since then Clarence has traveled the globe with her human mom, Teresa, who made sure to pack her in her backpack or suitcase wherever her studies took her. One year it was to the island of Cypress for her Bachelor’s degree, another year it was to Kenya for her Master’s degree and the rest of the time it was Liverpool and Durham, near Newcastle, for high school and University.
This year, I was so excited to see Clarence and my daughter (of course) when we spent time in the desert. Like with the Velveteen Rabbit, Clarence has been loved so much that she has bald spots on her once luxurious fur and could use a soft vest to keep her from losing any more. Here she is with me and my daughter:
Yes, I have masked out my face as to remain anonymous but also because I had been crying at the thought of my daughter going back to LA after 2 great days of sewing clothes with her. But now let’s get started on making a vest!
Then I took a square of gridded fabric from JoAnn’s (I buy this by the bolt) and started to drape it so the collar could be cut all in one along with the vest. Here we go: Front and back pinned keeping all grain lines straight and level and adding wearing ease…a cat has to move doesn’t she?
Center back fold showing both fronts and curve of collar and triangular armhole. While the armholes look weird, they will be rounded off later. The shoulder seams are the 2 straight pieces just above the triangles going off at 90 degree angles. Here is what it looks like flattened out. And what does a cat like for a vest fabric? Well the closest thing to real plush lush fur…it has to be cashmere and me being the grandmother to a cat I had a small remnant that would work perfectly. This cashmere was washed and dried and somewhat felted so there is no issue with raveling.
Let’s lay it on the fold and cut it out! You can see the masking tape with the dimensions of the wool in the original piece. Let’s stitch the shoulder seams first and then the collar section to the front neck edge. See the red head pin where these 2 seams make a junction? Next flip the front facings to the inside and wrap over the collar so when it is flipped to the right side it will all be attached and hidden.
Once the shoulder seams are basted and the collar attached to the fronts we have the basic shape.
The simple back and fold-over collar.
So that’s how I made an all-in-one pattern for a vest for a much loved cat…but you can do the same thing for a real human…same technique…pin the shape you want with gridded fabric and keep pinning out what you DON’T want until it is what you DO want.OK…maybe you will start small…find a cat or dog and give it a try.
Meanwhile, back on the recovery sofa I just want to share my progress, I am up walking slowly, no pain and that wonderful client that brought me a cake last year for my foot surgery has blessed my house again but this time with a poppy seed cake with caramel drizzle…oh my! Yes, we have already eaten our way through a third of it…time to wrap up the remaining pieces and freeze them for a yummy time in the future.