What do you get the person who has everything they want for Christmas?
That is the question my mother faces each year as she hunts for Christmas presents for her kids.
Every year we tell her not to get us anything and we will still love her, but she insists on giving something.
So, in trying to help my mom think of gift ideas for my sister and her husband, my sister suggested that Mom make them new fleece jackets. Mom thought this was a great idea and I volunteered to add some finishing touches to them once they were done.
On my Mom’s last visit to see my sister, they picked out the fleece, then Mom got busy sewing and then mailed me the jackets. That is when the fun began for me!
I wish I had been with Mom and my sister when they picked the color for sister’s husband’s jacket. It was decided long ago that Mickey Mouse would go on his jacket.
My plan was to put just a plain Mickey Mouse on the back of the jacket, but when I saw the color of the jacket and knowing that 60% of Mickey is black, I figured when I got done with the embroidering all you were going to see was a pink face, red pants and gold shoes.
I searched my designs for a Mickey with more color, but did not find one I liked. I have several designs of Mickey with Donald Duck or Pluto, but they would not work either. Finally, after explaining the problem to my husband, he came up with the idea of framing Mickey.
You would definatly be able to see a big yellow dot on the dark gray jacket.
So, I chose a classic Mickey instead of a current Mickey design so he would have a white face. I also really dig the front and back designs of Mickey especially with the surprised look on Mickey’s face. With the aid of my husband’s digitizing skills, the designs for the Mickey jacket were ready to stitch.
The Snoopy designs were far easier to pick. I knew I wanted the whole gang on the back. With the new Dakota designs, it was easy to pick just the right one. I also knew that I wanted just a plan basic Snoopy on the front so that was an easy pick too.
Next the stitching started. I had to hoop the jackets with a top stabilizer due to the fleece being so fuzzy, but my regular water soluble stabilizer is cut the for a 4 inch hoop, so I had to use a package of Ultra Solvy (extremely stable, as the package said) that I had picked up.
I have never worked with this heavy of a stabilizer, top or bottom before and this made hooping interesting.
By the time I had a bottom stabilizer, fleece jacket, and heavy top stabilizer, I could hardly get the hoop to snap together.
Once again though, with my husband’s help, I got the jackets hooped and moved on. The stitching went pretty smoothly. I took my time because I wanted the jackets to turn out well. It was a lot of fun stitching the jackets, but they took a long, long time to stitch.
It was about 5 hours for the hooping and stitching front and back for both jackets. After the 3rd bobbin on the back Mickey design, I knew a lot of stitches had been sewn. I thought the heavy top stabilizer would give me grief while stitching, but it did a good job at stabilizing and I am glad that I used it. It held in there with all those needle punches.
The problem with the heavy top stabilizer came after the sewing at removal time. When I use my light web top stabilizer, I can pull most of it off and then use a small amount of water of dissolve the edges. Using this Ultra Solvy I cut as much of it away as I could, then soaked the jackets in cold water, rinsed them and sent them to the washing machine. I really did not want to wash my sister’s Christmas present just in case anything happened in the washing and drying cycle, but I had little choice with the Ultra Solvy.
Luckily though they make it through just fine and polar fleece really does not shrink.
I am happy with the end result on both jackets. Mom did a great job with sewing them and I like the designs that I put on the jackets.
I shipped the jackets to my sister in a box marked “Don’t open until Christmas”. I am excited for my sister to see the end results, but I refrained from posting this until I was sure she had opened the package since I did not want to spoil any Christmas surprises.
She gets to open it early because they are going out of town to see the their latest grandson.
Yay! One more little nephew for me to sew for!
I am jealous though that my sister is getting the Snoopy jacket. I wanted it after it was finished and turned out so well! Oh well, maybe next year I will have Mom make a new fleece jacket for me!