Saturday, August 20, 2011

Childhood Nostalgia: Doraemon Sweatshirt

Who am I? Can you guess?
In the process of packing and sorting for our upcoming move, I found a project that I'd almost forgotten about! Which is really sad, because my sister and I made this two summers ago, and I promised her I'd take pictures, but then the school year started and my free time was nonexistent.

When we were growing up, in an attempt to help us retain our Cantonese, my parent would rent us Doraemon movies that had been dubbed in Cantonese. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of watching this blue robotic cat from the future help out a dorky kid, let me quote Wikipedia:
A majority of Doraemon episodes are comedies with lessons regarding values such as integrity, perseverance, courage, family and respect for elders. Several noteworthy environmental issues are often visited, including homeless animals, global warming, endangered species, deforestation, and pollution. Miscellaneous educational topics such as dinosaurs, flat Earth theory, wormhole traveling, Gulliver's Travels, and the history of Japan are often covered.

We seriously watched Doraemon (known as Ding Dong in Cantonese) every Saturday night for a period of oh, five years? I loved his yojigen-pocket and all the ridiculous gadgets he would pull out of it; for the longest time the pink go-anywhere door and the little helicopter-hat were staples of the stories I told to my siblings during long car trips. Anyway, a couple summers ago, my sister and I were bored at home and somehow decided that the perfect cure was to make a Doraemon sweatshirt. Using an old sweatshirt as a basis for our pattern, we cut out the appropriate pieces from royal blue sweatshirt fabric and white fleece. We glued on the facial features and even made a detachable bell from a sample square of gold fabric (which we had to wheedle out of the begrudging fabric store owner). The best part was trying to figure out what to do for his tail -- we tried making a 3D one, but it just looked too ridiculous, so in the end we just sewed on a red fleece circle. All in all, it was a hilarity-inducing two days.
With the hood on, I look absolutely deranged. Oh, and I can't see anything.
Kind of like a sillier version of the catgirls at anime conventions.

Close-up on the bell.
I think the backing is an old plastic folder? I don't even remember anymore.

Look at the grody stitching job on the inside!

Unfortunately, this sweatshirt has never seen any wear. It's polyester, so it's extremely warm and sweat-inducing, but the glued-on pieces don't seem conducive to washing. This was also before I knew about knits that only stretch one way -- and of course I cut the blue sweatshirt material to stretch the wrong way! It's a little tight to get on and I can't wear it if I gain any weight around my hips.

Oh, and it looks ridiculous. I mean, wearing a sweatshirt with a cartoon character on it is one thing. Wearing a sweatshirt that itself IS a cartoon character is another. And wearing said sweatshirt when you're in your late 20s and the cartoon is so obscure that most people won't have any idea what it is, is just silly. Well, maybe I can wear it for a special event (like a kid's birthday party, not like a business school event). In the meantime, every time I look at it, I just laugh. Doraemon was such a critical part of my childhood, and my sister and I had so much fun making the sweatshirt; even if it never gets worn out into the real world, I think it was a worthwhile endeavor.


  1. LIKE. A thousand times like. 小叮当 was an integral part of my childhood as well. Does being only 20 means that I would be allowed to wear this in public? :D

  2. @deborah

    You're allowed to wear it, but none of us will acknowledge you in public... *grins*

  3. YC might wear this in public.


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