Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My First Sewing Project

Remember how I said I was going to wait until February to start using my new sewing machine? I should have known better I guess because I completed my first project on Friday night.

When we attended the Michigan Sheep Breeders' Association (MSBA) Bred Ewe Sale at MSU in November we purchased two ewe lambs. One of the them had just been sheared and the former owners were nice enough to lend us a Sheep Sox to keep her warm. For those familiar with horses Sheep Sox are similar to slinkies. Basically it is a Lycra tube with leg holes in it. They are mainly used to keep animals clean before showing but also seemed to keep our sheep warm. I tucked a bath towel under her sock for an extra layer.

I left the sock on for a few days when we got home to help her adjust to the temperature. Before I took it off she managed to put a good sized tear in the side. The garment didn't look too hard to make so I bought some Lycra (spandex/nylon). I laid the old sock out and traced the basic outline on to the new fabric. I found cups that matched the leg holes so I was able to trace them as well.

I fumbled a few times, sewing one hole shut on accident and making another seam crooked. I pulled the stitches and redid them. The original had been serged around the leg holes, I did a double zigzag stitch instead. It turned out amazingly well considering I was starting from scratch. My only concern is whether or not the stitching will hold up to a rambunctious animal. The recipients seemed happy with it and are supposed to keep me posted on how it holds up.

I have enough fabric to make another one so I copied the pattern on to a paper bag for future reference and gave back the old and new socks.


Joyce said...

I'm such a city slicker. I had no idea a lamb would need a little coat. I thought they were sheared in the spring.

Jena said...

Joyce - don't fret, you are mostly right. A lot of sheep are sheared in the spring. Some of the sheep at that sale were sheared that day to better show off their conformation to potential buyers. I don't agree with that practice because now she is more prone to getting cold.

I have heard of some shepherds shearing in the fall so that the sheep will stay closer to the barn in the winter and spring when they're lambing. Otherwise they get so warm they might go have their lambs in a snow bank.

Joyce said...

Jena you could e-mail him at michael-at-michaelowenthomas.com if you want to. He does still do some freelancing on the side.