This client was referred to me via a mutual friend. His mother had passed away about a year ago, and the family was understandably having a difficult time. The grief counselor suggested having something made from some articles of her clothing, and commented that a bear was usually a good choice as it could be hugged as needed. My client showed up with 6 beautiful Gund bears and a bag full of his mom's clothing in tow, in colors she had loved wearing (and pieces that held some sentiment for his dad, his siblings, and himself).
|Clothing, and trimming, and bears - Oh, My!|
I had to think about this for awhile, since I'm not a master pattern maker by any stretch of the imagination. Suddenly it hit me - I have several books filled with baby patterns that I've bought over the years, and with a little tweaking, they might just fit these bears.
|LIGHT BULB MOMENT!|
|After completion, I sent this pic in a text message to the client that read:|
"In the beginning, there was a t-shirt. And the t-shirt fit. And it was good."
He loved it.
|One of the blouses, cut as close to the original seams as I could get, in order|
to save as much usable fabric as possible.
|Matching blouse fabric with t-shirt fabric I culled from my|
remnant bins. I buy these when I see them at my local fabric store -
they are usually less than a yard apiece, but you'd be surprised how
handy they are to have sometimes.
|Matching up tops and bottoms, deciding which ones would be|
more girly and which ones would be more boyish. Some turned out
to be in-between-y.
I should totally trademark that last word.
I had so much fun, I ended up stripping the threads on my camera's tripod connector. OY.
|Two of my favorites - especially the salmon colored one.|
("PSST - I've got a secret to tell you!")
|This was made extra special by taking advantage of the pocket placement on the front of|
the original blouse, which then became the back pockets on this pair of overalls.
|Okay, I'm beginning to sense a pattern, here.|
|You can't tell that this is my favorite of the group.|
|Not. At. All.|
("...99, 100! Ready or not, here I come!")
|Sigh. Still my favorite.|
|I wuv my kitteh.|
|Another Henley and pants combo.|
This one reminded me of my own mom for some reason.
|And here we are, back to the starting point again.|
|The Henley crew.|
I ended up sending all of these photos to the client. In addition to presenting a bear to each of his siblings, his father, and himself, he made a little documentary about the bear project which included photos of the clothes, the bears, the presentation, and pictures of each recipient with his or her bear. In the photos he took of his siblings and his dad holding the bears, you can see some of the photos of his mom in the background - and in one or two, she was photographed wearing some of these garments in life.
One of the most poignant and rewarding projects I've ever been asked to help with.