Gifts Sewing

Ken’s Suit

We have a great sense of humour in my family. All through my life, my Dad (Ken) has always found great creative ways to be funny, and that’s passed on to me. Some of my finest moments include things like a New Years Eve awards ceremony when I was around 16/17, and I hosted it and bought one of those wooden mannequins which acted as the main award, a bit like a BRIT or a BAFTA; the kind that you used to have to sketch at school in different poses (although all the poses looked exactly the same when I drew them – art was not my strong point). Other more recent ones include booking a holiday for Mark’s birthday, and then putting an “invoice” in his card as a way of telling him I had booked it, and also a way to tell him how much the outstanding balance was too.

When I started sewing, I got a message out of the blue from my dad saying “I could do with a new suit”. I replied with some jokes about time and materials and forgot all about it. A few days later, I realised that Father’s Day was coming up and I was trying to think of nice home made presents or creative things I could make him as I wasn’t going to be seeing him for it this year. That’s when the creative side came out and I decided that I could find a pattern for a (small) suit and send him one of those in the post as he requested.

A few Google searches later, and I had the best find of my life. PATTERNS FOR KEN DOLL SUITS. It was genius. Why hadn’t I thought about it before? A suit for Ken. I messaged my Mum and my friend with how proud I was of this idea; it kept me amused for at least a good hour.

Cue manufacture day and what better fabric to make it with than some of the left over Tartan. I found a printable pattern to work with for a suit jacket and trousers. Having already made the life size pyjama trousers, I knew they would be a doddle but a jacket was new to me, and a Ken doll sized one was going to prove even more challenging. 

I had decided to stitch on a cream bedsheet lining for good measure, and that was phase one of construction. It looked fantastic, until I realised I’d stitched one of the linings on the wrong side of one of the pieces. My trusty un-picker (I feel it needs a name as it’s featuring heavily on this blog already) soon resolved that issue though and I was ready to put the pieces together. 

The back and sides were really simple, but the sleeves were confusing, and really fiddly! I am hoping that this is just for doll sized jackets and that they won’t be that complicated on life sized clothes with sleeves. I guess I’ll find out when I come to make my next item of clothing. A good 4 hours or so later and I had the jacket completed. 

The trousers were originally in 2 pattern pieces but I found it easier to amend these in line with the ones I had made before so that I had a front and a back piece for each leg, and I managed to complete those in about half an hour. I must admit I couldn’t stop laughing at the point I found myself hand stitching a tiny trouser waist. There’s a first for everything! 

No jokey present is complete without the jokey gift wrapping. The bit I’m most proud of was the little miniature coat hanger I made out of 2 paperclips wrapped in some masking tape. I put together a branded compliments slip, and finished it by wrapping it in some tissue paper ready to post. 

Et voila – Ken had a suit for Father’s Day, and I had just created Stitched Up at Straws. Who knew something so daft could inspire something so fun!

Let’s just hope Ken appreciates said suit…

Em x

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