first off, here is the pic of me and my fancy-pants dress at the wedding last weekend:
but enough about me. Today was a total Dumpling Day. After a few errands, I decided to put my craftiness to the test and solve a problem. I bought some adorable fabric online last week and was going to make Dumpling some really cute clothes. But I've never sewn for her. So I bought some basic-shaped patterns and was going to alter them to make some more fashionable and modern kids clothes (have you seen the pattern books lately? My holly hobby dress from 1978 is STILL in there!). But after I cut out the pattern pieces, they looked huge to me. So I measured Dumpling, and while she is a size 2 in waist, 3 in length at most kids stores, according to the patterns, she should be in a 12-18 months in the home-made clothes! I remember from sewing clothes from myself that there is always a discrepancy in sizing, but this is ridiculous!
Not wanting to ruin my very pretty fabric, I decided to resort to something I had done for myself a few years back when I was plus-sized and couldn't buy a seamstress dummy: I made my own.
Step one: clad Dumpling in an over-sized t-shirt that will be stuck inside the dummy forever:
Step 2: wrap Dumpling in layers of wide masking tape. No, this isn't a new child restraint method! We told her we were making a Dumpling Robot. She was quite happy with the process, until I did the shoulders and her arms got pinned.
Step 3: cut Dumpling out of the dummy by making a long cut with scissors down the back. Mark the waist and belly button while they are still in it!
Step 4: tape it back shut, tape the neck shut and fill it with plastic grocery bags.
step 5: find a way to make it stand, at the same height as the Dumpling. I used a fabric roll (I actually had to take out the bags, put the roll in and re-stuff the bags). Then, I wanted it to stand up. A search of my furnace room produced a electrical wire bobbin, which not only provides a stable base, but is actually the same height as Dumpling's knees, so I know exactly which length to make dresses!
I present to you my low-budget Dumpling sewing dummy:
Finally, just before her bedtime, I was still a bit scissor-happy.... her hair was getting quite long and with swimming and sandbox both on her daily schedule, I decided to give her her first real haircut. We've been trimming for the last 2 years, but we've never changed her look before:
Watch out, I've still got my scissors!