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Ridiculous Sewing Projects

tmorris1 | Posted in Gather For A Chat on

Now, I like to have a good giggle every now and again, so tell me what the most ridiculous thing you have ever been asked to sew.

I sometimes think that I have been asked to sew about everything known to man from crotchless panties to Tee Pee Tents. This past fall, however set me back again.

I had a man call me and ask if I could make him an ocean survival suit that folds out of a suitcase. I thought okay, a survival suit could fold into a suitcase easily, but nooo… This man wanted a survival suit where the arms come out of the sides of the suitcase, your body and legs go down the bottom and the suitcase itself has a porthole to see out of as you float in the water.

It turns out that the man is afraid of water, and had heard of this as an old patent. He is going to BC and was hoping that if his ferry sunk, he could just jump into his suitcase and be safe.


  1. PrincessKatja | | #1

    Wow! I guess our excellent ferry safety record here in the Northwest still isn't enough to make him feel better.

    Wish I could think of something truly silly but my requests are usually quite practical. I did fix a fencing lame' for a friend once by free-motion stitching spider webs all over it with electrically conductive thread. He's a big Spider-Man fan.

    Edited 4/17/2007 7:02 pm ET by PrincessKatja

  2. Ralphetta | | #2

    You know how you think of something that is going to be hysterically funny, and then after working and working, you wonder why on earth you ever came up with that idea? 

    One year for Christmas we drew names were supposed to bring a gift not to exceed $25.  As most of you, it didn't enter my mind to BUY something.  It's a really funny, sarcastic group of people, and as the party rapidly approached I wracked my brain.  The name I drew was of a very elegant, ladylike person..so I decided to make Day-of-the-Week Hats. The absolute LEAST likely thing she would be caught dead in.

     I can't remember all of them.  One was a delicate embroidered organdy/lace made in a deer-stalker style with ear flaps, (my favorite) another was made from the ugliest hand crocheted fabric I found at the thrift store in something I called apres ski, a yellow vinyl beanie with the company name,  Sat. was a giant turban made from a beautiful hand towel, I bought earmuffs on a velvet headband, took off the fur and glued on 2 big red-satin hearts on the ear pieces, and I can't remember the others.  While working on the first two I would dissolve in laughter at the thought of her wearing them...but as I approached the fifth one, I began to wonder what had possessed me to start the project. It was definitely ridiculous and I loved the way they came out.


    1. tmorris1 | | #3

      That is the best!!! It is nice making things for people to wear and enjoy, but obviously equally fun to make something that they would not even be caught dead wearing. I hope she at least tried on the yellow vinyl beanie.

      1. Ralphetta | | #4

        The delicate organdy deer-stalker had a bill and the earflaps tied under the chin...I still laugh when I remember how bizarre it looked.

        1. tmorris1 | | #5

          I hope she wears it when her husband takes her out fishing with him!!!

          1. Ralphetta | | #6

            Just the thought of HER fishing made me burst into laughter!

          2. tmorris1 | | #7

            The crotchless panties that I eluded to earlier were for an 86 year old woman!!! I still shudder.

    2. MaryinColorado | | #9

      I can just imagine how fun that was!  Mary

    3. ineedaserger329 | | #57

      What did she do when she saw all of your hats?

      1. Ralphetta | | #61

        At the last minute she couldn't come to the party, so I didn't get to see her reaction.  She was very gracious and a good sport when she called.  I'd told some others what it was, so we opened it at the party so everyone could get a chuckle.  All of the gifts were  "off the wall." One of the men,  a great big guy of about 40, received a gift that included a subscription to some dumb teen magazine in a feminine form of his name.  (He is single, with no children.) It was the gift that kept on giving and giving.  He received junk mail for a teeny-bopper for years AND then mail to "the parents of..." It was a funny group of people.

        Edited 4/24/2007 5:24 pm ET by Ralphetta

  3. MaryinColorado | | #8

    Whoa!  That is the strangest request I have ever heard!  Mary

  4. MaryinColorado | | #10

    This is a little off subject but that most ridiculous job I ever had was working in a down coat factory.  I worked in a little glass room with a vacuum contraption and scale to weigh the down.  I filled the coat parts with very specific amounts of down feathers. 

    The stuff would fly all over the "room" like a blizzard and cover me.  I did have a face mask but no glasses so half the time I couldn't see well.  I got some strange looks when I'd have to stop for gas or groceries on the way home!!!  I'd just give them the "grinning idiot" look and let them wonder why I had all those feathers in my hair.  My hubby and I still chuckle about that one! 

    1. Ralphetta | | #11

      More! More! I love this thread!

      1. bonkers | | #12

        Well I have a couple of strange sewing requests. Many years ago when my friends` son was in college, he asked me to make him a stuffed model of a toilet stool! I did it. I drew a pattern off of my stool and sewed it out of white terry cloth and stuffed it with old pillows and tissue paper. It really looked like a toilet. I made a cardboard lid for it. It was the hit of the dorm. Also when I had a commercial  sewing machine I used to make cowboy chaps for some of the horse people around here ,also for motorcycle riders. On of the gals had me make her a leather bra and panties outfit. I don`t know if she wore it on the road or not!! Bonkers

    2. tmorris1 | | #15

      Wow Mary, that should have been an I Love Lucy sketch!! I can just picture her spitting out a mouthful of feathers and bawling. You must have looked like some kind of maniacal chicken hater going to the grocery store. What a fun story.

      1. MaryinColorado | | #33

        It was hot and no airflow, needless to say, I didn't stay there long and it took me awhile to decide it was hysterical.  Wish I had photos now. 

        1. tmorris1 | | #34

          Oh, so many things you could have done with it... Walk through the supermarket shoving eggs in your pockets, and when the manager comes up just cluck around and profess that you are the CHICKEN LADY!!! I am a big believer that if you look crazy, you should act that way too. Plus, the worst thing that could have happened was you got a little yolk in your pocket, and he had a story that he would tell everyone he met for the rest of his life!!!!

          1. MaryinColorado | | #35

            Where were you when I could've had a partner in crime?  Ha ha  I had long hair and wore it in a bun too so I really did look a site!  Maybe I should've put glue on and made a costume while I had the chance!! 

          2. tmorris1 | | #36

            Drive up to have your gas tank filled acting like everything is absolutely normal. Then when he starts to notice that you are completely covered with feathers let out your best and loudest chicken impression and go back to being normal...People say that I am odd, I don't know why they say that.I would have worked in that factory FOREVER!!! What a Hoot.Edited 4/18/2007 8:51 pm ET by tmorris1

            Edited 4/18/2007 8:53 pm ET by tmorris1

          3. victoria0001 | | #37

            Stitches.............I can't stop laughing at all these incredible sewing projects.  The tears are streaming down my face.  Please keep it going.  My DH is in bed asleep and I am trying to contain my laughter so I don't wake him!!!

            Thanks for the funnies.


        2. dotty | | #39

          I didn't actually sew this, it was all thrift shop assembled. Years ago my husband and I were invited to a halloween party by a gay couple we knew. I dressed as a groom and my husband stuffed himself into a wedding gown. I thought we looked great. Was I ever surprised when one of the other guests whispered to me "Honey, your breasts are so natural!"

          1. MaryinColorado | | #41

            Oh, that is hysterical!  We gave a Halloween party one year and ignored a close friend most of the night because he had the nerve to show up with a sexy buxom blonde floosy!  We were about to ask him to leave as I am a close friend of his wife. 

            It was my friend under all that make up, wig, and glitz!  It was great!  They really fooled us!  She normally is the natural looking earth mother type red head in casual clothes.  Another year they dressed as a brick layer and a brick sxxt house! 

          2. Char9 | | #44

            This thread is a HOOT!  Now its my turn to keep my laughter down so I don't wake hubby. 

            Gosh, I sure hope this doesn't offend anyone but I have an odd request to add to the list.  A naked lady costume.  First I bought a pair of long johns and died them a peach color.  I cut off the feet and stuffed them from the toe to just before the heel.  Then I cut off just the tips of 2 red baloons and sewed them onto the toe end.  Then I sewed these refashioned feet onto the chest area.  Then I bought some brown twisted yarn, took it apart and.....er.....well I.....uhm.....Well, don't ask, you just know. 

            The man who requested this piece of art wore it to a Halloween party (adults only) with a gorilla mask, gorilla hands and feet and a wig! 

            No, I did NOT get a picture!


          3. MaryinColorado | | #46

            Oh Char, that is hysterical!  I'll never look at red balloons the same!  I may have some explaining to do about why they make me giggle though!


          4. Char9 | | #49

            I'm a substitute crossing Guard.  In the winter I wear long johns.  You have no idea what that does to me!


          5. tmorris1 | | #51

            I can tell a story about not having long johns...Actually, I think that this could qualify as my biggest sewing disaster (maybe a new thread topic). One of my first jobs was waitressing in a family restaurant where they entered a float in the city's Santa Clause Parade every December. The management decided that the theme of the float this year should be "the Little Mermaid" since it was very child friendly. I was asked to play the role of Ariel (the mermaid) and make my own costume.I had no problem with making the tail of the mermaid out of a nice bright green sequined fabric, some tulle, and wire. When it came time to make the purple shell top, however, I was stumped. I had never made undergarments before and had no idea where to even start with it. So, I did what no one should ever do...I sewed the purple fabric over a black strapless bra that I had at home. My manager had promised to bring a flesh colored turtle neck to wear under the top, but of course forgot it on the day of the parade (which I have to tell you was really cold). I was a good sport, however, and got into the costume and shivered my way through the first 10 minutes of the parade until I promptly lost all feeling in my upper body. Here is where it gets bad...I had sewn the purple fabric over that little rubber strip on the top of the bra, not realizing that the rubber strip is what holds the bra up. So as I happily waved at all of the children, my top kept slipping further and further down, and I couldn't feel it. By the time we had reached the downtown area, my top was sitting around my waist, and it was being televised LIVE!!! Finally someone pointed out what was going on (to my horror) and the situation was rectified, but I had to quit the job. People kept bringing me pictures, and flowers. I was just wrong.

          6. Char9 | | #52

            OH, NO!  What a story!  That might even be better than the 80+ year old lady with the crotchless panties.  And this time I did wake up hubby with my laughing.

            But I must ask - why didn't you post one of the pictures?!?!?  Hee Heeeeeeeeee!


          7. tmorris1 | | #53

            I am sure that I could contact the TV station and get the footage if you really want LOL!!! It really is a wonder that I am still sewing.

          8. victoria0001 | | #54

            What a great story.  You must have been completely horrified but the telling is wonderful.

            I may just have to be admitted to the hospital while reading this thread - did anyone ever die laughing? 

          9. tmorris1 | | #55

            When I got home, I was so cold that I went to the building's hot tub room for a big long soak. I had hair so long that I would sit on it, and had to use 5 cans of that halloween spray-in coloring to get it red enough. I forgot to wash it out before I got in the hot tub. I dyed the water, the grout, and myself BRIGHT PINK from the neck down. Did you know that toothpaste is a really good grout cleaner? LOL

          10. MaryinColorado | | #56

            Gee, and just when the tips were getting really good!  Oh, that must've been so embarrassing!  What a way to become famous or infamous! 

            Wow!  When you have a bad day, you go to extremes!  I can just see you opening your eyes in the hot tub and seeing all that red!  What a story!  You should write it down for future generations of your family to read!   What a survivor!!!



            Edited 4/24/2007 10:24 am ET by MaryinColorado

          11. tmorris1 | | #60

            Survivor??? And I just thought that I was REALLY stooopid :)My middle name is definitely not "Lucky!" I went to the doctor 7 years ago because I had a runny nose for maybe a year. I thought I had a sinus infection, turns out I needed Brain Surgery!!! What is that?

          12. User avater
            TwilaTee | | #62

            "I thought I had a sinus infection, turns out I needed Brain Surgery!!! What is that?"It wasn't the situation that made me laugh. It was the indignation... the "What is that?". You are a comedic genius. Sorry about you impending doom though. :( get better, your to precious to lose. -Twila

          13. tmorris1 | | #63

            Thanks for the well wishes, I had the surgery 6 years ago, and seem to be doing fine...if I could only stop putting my house keys in the freezer lol!!!

          14. Ralphetta | | #48

            After laughing, I wondered what on earth the other costumes were.  It's probably best we not know.

          15. Char9 | | #50

            Thank goodness I wasn't on the invitation list!


  5. jane4878 | | #13

    That's TOOO funny.  I saw this device demonstrated recently on Canada AM (a morning news show to those non-Canadians out there).  It was totally useless.   A Doctor's leather bag with a porthole in it closed around the head and the arms and bodysuit were made of oilcloth.  He bobbed around barely able to see or maneuvre.  They mentioned dying fairly quickly of hypothermia!  This guy should pack a drysuit and drag a lifejacket around if he's that concerned!  LOL

    p.s. If this comes up twice, my apologies.  My computer crashed when I tried to post the first version.

    1. tmorris1 | | #14

      That is exactly what it was, The man had seen this thing on some show called The Re-Inventors, and thought it would save him. Guess he didn't see the part where they mention that this thing is made of rubberized canvas, and can get a little chilly in the ocean.

  6. Gloriasews | | #16

    I made collars for dogs once.  Not the belt kind that they usually wear, but real collars like on shirts & blouses.  The male dog's was white with a bow tie, & the female's was pretty white with ruffled lace trim & a pretty bow in the front.  They actually looked cute on the dogs!  These were their dress-up outfits.

    1. User avater
      Thimblefingers | | #17

      I don't recall making anything as funny as some of the projects already mentioned but some of the unusual things I have been asked to sew include a copy of Elizabeth Hurley's safety pin dress, a doll outfit to look like "The Little Prince", a cabbage costume for a school play, a silver zoot suit for a man, a quilted portrait of her father who had passed away sewn into the lining of a wedding dress, a white leatherette wedding dress for a Harley-Davidson riding Hell's Angels biker chick (in her fifties!), a "Magic School Bus" teacher (can't remember her name) dress patchworked of fabric representing all kinds of places the Magic School Bus goes ... I'll have to think some more about this as I have had some pretty unusual requests over the years. 

      1. tmorris1 | | #18

        Oh, you have some good ones there, the quilted portrait must have been hard. A silver Zoot Suit? Too much!! I made a Jessica Rabbit dress as a halloween costume for a lady once. She liked the dress so much that she bought another costume and wore the dress to her staff christmas party!!

        1. User avater
          Thimblefingers | | #19

          The quilted portrait was definitely an interesting challenge.  I ended up taking a 8 x 10 photo and photocopying it numerous times while playing with the adjustments so I could come up with a line drawing.  Then I traced it onto the silk lining with a disappearing marker and quilted it free hand on the sewing machine.  The outside of the dress was quilted, as well, with roses and vines meandering around it (it was a copy of an $8,000 wedding dress).

          And the silver zoot suit was for a self-confessed "swishy kinda guy" for a millenium party.

          1. tmorris1 | | #20

            Wow what a dress, it sounds beautiful. The bride is lucky to have found you. I do not quilt (keep thinking I should learn), if I had made that dress, the bride would be looking at me saying "it is a very nice dress, but why have you quilted a hedgehog on the inside?" LOL

          2. User avater
            Thimblefingers | | #21

            LOL!  Fortunately, I was able to put the photocopier to good use to make the drawing.  If I'd had to draw it free hand, I'm afraid she might have, indeed, said that to me!! 

          3. Ralphetta | | #22

            Please, please keep the stories coming...because I cannot get the 85 year old with the crotchless panties out of my mind...it's driving me crazy!

          4. tmorris1 | | #23

            15 years later...and I still get the willies. Thank the Lord that they invented Viagra, I wont get any more ladies trying to "spice things up" lol

          5. Ralphetta | | #25

            Okay, I've moved on to the biker-chick in leatherette.  I think I'm over the trauma and enjoying myself again.

          6. solosmocker | | #24

            I think the strangest thing I was asked to make was requested by an inventor neighbor of mine. I had to make a lining to this bike racing helmet he invented. I had him make a deal with me first that I would be employed by him and would be in charge of production in his factory if this thing took off. It didn't . It was worth a few laughs though. He is still inventing other things and waiting for his ship to come in.

          7. MaryinColorado | | #30

            That's a great one!  People either think we are magicians and can create anything or on the other hand think we are "crafty" and have no idea the amount of effort, creativity, and talent we have! 

          8. MaryinColorado | | #28

            That dress sounds beautiful, and lots of work and creativity went into it.  wow 

            I think that was a neat way to honor her father on her wedding day.

            Edited 4/18/2007 8:02 pm ET by MaryinColorado

          9. Sew Biz | | #40

            Costumes are so much fun! I made a Peanut M&M bag, complete with barcode on the back, angels (big male ones and small ballerina ones), a serpent suit - jacket and pants (yeah, the snake had legs!) out of a shimmery black and silver fabric, an earthworm (the worm had legs too!), a bunch of wench vests, a lamb and more shepherd outfits than I can count!

          10. tmorris1 | | #42

            Halloween Costumes are great to make, it is a total gas hearing what people come up with to "be". I had a man a couple of years ago who asked me if I could make him a 4 foot tall female figure to go with his halloween costume. He brought me a dark wavy haired wig and very conservative dress to put on the mannequin, and strangely asked if I could sew a 3 inch square of velcro to her face. I was very curious to know what I was making, but the man would not say. Halloween came around, and the man showed up in a very nice charcoal suit to pick up the mannequin. First, however, he asked me to sew the corresponding 3 inch square of velcro to the front of his pants!!! I complied, still confused. When I was done, he put his pants back on, attached the mannequin to his pants...and pulled on a Bill Clinton mask!!! I laughed until my sides hurt. The guy would sit down and bounce his leg a little and you can just imagine what the mannequin looked like it was doing. PERFECTION!!!

          11. sharon227 | | #43

            My daughter and I costumed "The Rocky Horror Show" for a local theater company a few years ago.  I had a lot of fun making Frank-N-Furter's costumes, including two corsets, a garter belt, briefs, and a flowing white satin gown.  The gown was a little difficult for me, because I have a hard time working without a pattern, and the major pattern companies don't seem to carry dress patterns tall men.  I do have to say that he looked lovely, especially with the pillbox hat with pearls and feathers.

      2. MaryinColorado | | #27

        Well, I think those were just as funny!  Thanks for the giggles!  Mary

      3. ineedaserger329 | | #58

        Miss Frizzle....Don't ask how I know that, I'm not sure...I'm full of useless knowledge

        1. User avater
          Thimblefingers | | #59

          Thanks!  I'll sleep better now! LOL

  7. pc3 | | #26

    Shortly after moving to a small town I met a lady who was making a wedding cake for a man and his bride and his last name was Pickle. So instead of using the traditional bride and groom for the top of the cake she wanted me to dress two pickles. One as the bride and one as the groom. My sister helped and we decided real pickles wouldn't work so we took green cotton and make the pickles. Painted on the faces and embroidered French knots around the face for the spots on the pickle. Found a wig for the bride, used a Barbie dress pattern and made the dress and veil, and bought a Ken tux. for the groom. Put a black top hat on him and they looked great. It was fun.


    1. Ralphetta | | #29

      Love it!

    2. tmorris1 | | #31

      Okay, so I read your post a couple of minutes ago, got thirsty, went to the fridge to get a glass of water, saw a jar of pickles and started laughing all over again. The bride and groom sound like they have a wonderful sense of humor. Thank you for sharing.

    3. MaryinColorado | | #32

      Aw, that is hysterical!  I have made stuffed toys and dolls, but never tried pickles!!!  On a wedding cake no less.  What a fun couple they must be!  And not afraid to be themselves and worry about what others will think. Kudos to them!!!

  8. From my Stash.... | | #38

    Loved all of these examples - I've now got mental pictures of some of these items stuck in my head and they can't get out.

    My silliest was simple - a golf ball complete with dimples and ball logo - for a Halloween party of course. Stuffing it to get it suitably round was fun; needless to say, by the end of the evening, it was no longer round and I must have heard every bad joke going. 


  9. User avater
    Becky-book | | #45

    Well I have had the request but not ben given the specs. yet....

    A friend is in the pest control business... (very necessary here in the south) and he asked if I would help him develop a line of anatomically correct bugs to sell as toys!  Not sure how many moms would buy a Black Widow spider or Scorpion for their kids to play with!!


    1. MaryinColorado | | #47

      Oh, I have known alot of kids who are fascinated with those things!  My grandkids have had lots of fun scaring me with them through the years.  In fact, there was once even a toy that made rubbery creepy crawlers and I think play doh had one too.  Then there were "wall walkers" that they threw against the wall and they stuck! My little brother had quite a collection of "bugs" on his nightstand!  I think it was to keep the "girls" out of his room!

      I think if you do this, he should give you a percentage of profits!!! 

      You are braver than me!  I'd have nightmares!  lol

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