Blackcabbit (aka. Dionnie Takahashi) is an illustrator living in Japan. She loves drawing whimsical animal characters, as well as doing handmade crafts to beautify the world she lives in.
A year ago, I was worried that winter may be too much for my skinny cat to bear, so I made a jacket for her (see Gracie’s Jacket). This year, it’s my 8-month-old that I’m concerned with. So I decided to be a good mummy and made a fleece body suit for my baby boy in preparation for the chilling days ahead.
Fortunately for me, unlike Gracie’s Jacket, I don’t have to start from scratch. I found a bunny/bear suit pattern in one of my many Japanese craft books – Title: Hand Sew Organic Cotton Wear for Babies.
First, I traced the pattern on plastic sheets. Next, I pinned them on the fleece. Then come my favorite moment, almost always a fun and unnerving experience as the scissors slice through the fabric.
Baby was born in March this year and according to our Chinese/Japanese Zodiac, that makes him a Tora (Tiger). Hence, I added stripes to my cream-colored fleece fabric. Presto! A white tiger suit.
One of my many modifications – added elastic band to the leg area.
The hood with the badly hand-sewn tiger ears was the most challenging! Killed a lot of my brain cell during the process!
To be honest. I think the book is for intermediate level. Since the illustrations look deceivingly simple, I took on the project without realizing I’m still on dummy level. So the consequences… I had to brake-pause many time, stared blankly at the sewing instructions, yanked out a few strands of hair and wondered aloud… “HOW ON EARTH, did they get to this step!!!” (Okay, I confessed… I had to do-it-the-way-I-know-how, plus all the sewing flaws, the suit is now officially nothing like the ones in the book. Despite of that, I’m pretty proud of myself, and Tora Boy does look good in it. A big pat on my shoulder :P
Time to introduce my little Tora Boy…
Tora boy looking for his feline siblings… (BTW… Gracie, who usually kept her distance from Baby, actually came near and sniffed Tora Boy. Of course, that sent Baby into happy-shrieking mode and expectedly, Gracie had to flee.)