I had a dilemma that I needed to remedy; my characters had no arms or legs, ( sounds more painful than it is.) This posed the problem of them not really being able to do much…its hard to have a tea party when you have no hands to drink tea with! Okay, they still can’t drink tea but with a car, they could get around. A car would allow them to be involved, to go places and do things…kind of like in real life. The car had to cover their bodies so as to look like they were actually sitting and have enough headroom to accommodate many different size dolls. The convertible seems to work the best but not always.
Eugene finds himself in need of a new car, so I thought I would share how I made his. However, Eugene will have to buy it off the lot like everyone else.
First I start by making the pattern; I have made this particular design before so I just had to iron out the pieces. Generally, though, I research what kind of car I want to make and then I customize it to fit into my little world of Merino…play it up a bit. I draw it out on newsprint, figuring out all the layers and details then cut them out and label them.
From there I choose my color theme; I will use the color wheel for most my color choices, be it for cars or clothing or even hair colors. I use the color wheel to ensure a pleasing yet vivid combination so as to add the biggest wow factor. Triadic harmonies are my favorite.
Next, the pattern pieces are used to cut out the coinciding fabric choices. Here I have used two coordinating golden beige colors as Eugene wanted a metallic champagne finish on his new car. Keep in mind that Eugene is a conservative kind of guy so his car choice was bound to be as well. Blue-green and violet round out the triadic combination on the wheel wells and flower. I have used an iron-on stabilizer throughout for added support, it also helps to cut down on fraying. A double-sided, iron-on interfacing is used to attach the tiny felt pieces like the door handle and lights as they can be difficult to sew on.
I will attach the iron-on pieces before I start sewing to ensure a flat ironing surface.
I do all my hand sewing using the blanket stitch, it makes a nice finish and helps to cut down on the fraying. I suppose you could use a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine or some kind of other finishing stitches but I like the calming, focused handwork of the blanket stitch.
All the pieces are layered in their appropriate order and sewn on. I use 3 strands of matching embroidery floss, often having to change colors as I go along.
Last is creating a way to have the car stand up on its own, leaving room for the passengers to fit in behind it. Since these cars are just for my personal use and no one ever sees the backside, I hot glue pieces of an altered metal clothes hanger along the wheel line. If it did need to have a finished back, I would cut another black felt piece to fit and glue it on top of the stitching knots and wire.
There you go, a not so metallic, champagne two-door convertible coupe. I hope Eugene likes it.