One of my favorite creation projects this holiday season was a special little monkey commissioned by my Aunt Carol for my cousin Nikki's little girl Mena who celebrated her 9 month birthday at the start of the new year. My aunt actual presented me with the request mid-November, but it took me a while to find the right inspiration to get Cleo (as in Cleopatra) started. Nikki and her husband Duane are definitely modern, urban parents and I wanted Cleo to reflect that while paying homage to Nikki's simple roots (those of our farming grandparnts). Plus I wanted some fun, textury girliness for Mena.
I've had this idea of designing a pair of overalls for one of my monkeys in my head now for a while, but the right monkey to wear them just hadn't yet come along. The night I was cutting out the girls' PJ pants it hit me. The white, pink, and black polka-dot flannel would make the perfect inspiration fabric around which to center Mena's monkey and so out to find black and white socks I went. While grabbing them it occured to me that my normal use of black features wouldn't be possible on black socks...and then I found silver laced pearl cotton and I knew I had hit the jackpot! A little shiny silver was just what Cleo needed to make her stand out in the crowd as the cool, confident, fearless, fun loving monkey that she is sure to be tagging along with Mena on all her toddling adventures in the years to come.
I'm so, so happy with how Cleo turned out.
I love, love, love the overalls, especially the butt pockets. (Which are actually pockets should Cleo and Mena ever find something small enough to fit in them!) The next pair I make I plan to alter my self designed pattern a bit because monkeys have a bit of junk in their trunks and need a little more space back there than I gave Cleo. I also discovered some great ways to anchor the eyes and feature stiches because I was majorly anal about making sure there would be no choking going on because of stray buttons!
It was such an honor to make such a fun, special gift to help Mena celebrate her 1st Christmas. Thanks Aunt Carol for your request. I'll be ready to fill another order in the future when Mena finds herself with a lil' brother or sister. (Nikki & Duane, that comment's not intended to be pressure to start working on that project. Afterall, it took us 4.5 years to grow our family from 3 to 4. I'm just saying...I'll be ready whenever you are.)