Change of Plans

Tonight I had plans of posting the beautiful doll dress I have been working on complete with pictures and descriptions so that you could all see why I have not been posting quite as much the past few days. After finishing the final dress this afternoon, I have decided I would much rather add a couple pairs of shoes and a head piece before the big unveiling. So like everything else this week, my plans have changed.

There are 4 outfits in total, and you have had the chance to see progress on a couple of them, but there is plenty more to see. In addition to the dresses, sashes and a shawl, I would like to add a Mantilla to the one party dress, as well as experiment with shoes. One of my best friends has agreed to see what we can do to hopefully get that professional look from home. When I have put shoes togeher in the past, they look very home made and blah. I am hoping that a second perspective will help achieve the look I want to go with the outfits.I am hoping to make a pair of black dressy flats and a pair of brown leatherish shoes to go with the four dresses. Shoes give the outfits a complete look.

I took the opportunity to research a little about the Mantilla. They are lave head dresses that are on hair combs. Combs are usually tortoise shell, and they range in terms of extravagency. I enjoyed researching and looking at the different styles and tyes. They are usually to your shoulders or a little longer and drape from the hair comb. Some styles wrap under the chin while others hang freely. All that I looked at were elegant. I can not wait to attempt to make a couple!

I am excited to get this set done and move on to the next set that I am planning. It is all the little details that take a simple dress to something special. These dresses have taken longer to put together than some of the ones I have previously done, but the darts and princess seams, or ruffled sleeves really make it something exceptional. All the little details make the fit that much better, the lines hisorically accurate and flattering, and the trims let the garment stand out. I have had fun with the laces and ribbons, matching, contrasting etc. I can not wait to see these as finished outfits let alone start on the next ones!

 

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Cinco De Mayo!

I am proudly an American! but celebrating Cinco De Mayo was in the air today! I was reintroduced to Mexican cuisine just over 2 years ago and have frequented a local restaurant regularly since then. No, I did not go today, but Spanish inspired things have been popping up in my mind lately.

As I have mentioned before, Josefina was my favorite American Girl Doll, and I played with her a lot as a kid. Her clothes always fascinated me with their simple but almost elegant style. Recently I have started sewing outfits, for dolls, that have the Spanish style that Josefina would have worn. I have enjoyed putting together the camisas and skirts, choosing prints that reflect the Spanish culture and lifestyle.

With it being Cinco De Mayo, I thought I should share my latest sewing project, as it totally put me in the Spanish mood today!

 

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Please be look at my beloved Josie with gentle eyes. I have had her for many years and we have shared many many memories! Some of those memories left scars and marks, but you can tell that she has been well loved!

This outfit is another from the American Girl pattern, made by Butterick. Since this was my first time making this pattern, I followed the instructions to the letter, and had to make some alterations when it was finished. The neck line on this was way too loos and saggy, so I added a couple pleats by hand to bring it up to where it belonged. There is more than half of a yard of trim on this camisa and it just brings everything together! I really liked the blue patterned fabric that I found for this skirt. I love the design and the colors. The burgandy belt pulls the whole look together! I burnt the ends of the ribbon so that it will not ravel even after hours of use and wear.

I enjoyed sewing this outfit up on a dreary rainy day here in Ohio. The colors and the final product just bring a smile to my face! I still have two dresses waiting to be sewn, maybe tomorrow afternoon, and I cant wait to take and post a picture of my latest work! The only negative thing is then I have to figure out what to work on next! I have several ideas, but narrowing them down is not always easy!

Stay tuned for the fourth and final Spanish style dress! Coming soon!

Spanish Style Doll Clothes Part II

I was sewing the other day and made several adjustments to the pattern I was working on. This is another outfit from a pattern made by Butterick for the Pleasant Company. I am working on Josefina’s clothing, and next on my list was the night shift. I made one of these a while back, and decided I wanted to try a few things differently.

This garment goes together pretty quickly. I found it easiest to put the elastic in the sleeves by pinning the elastic only where you started and finished and then stretching it between the two points. I had too much trouble when I tried more pins than that.04061618190406161846

The pattern calls for beaded lace, which I used the first time I made this. However the neckline was very sloppy and I did not care for the fit at all. So I made an elastic casing at the neck edge and ran 1/4 inch elastic through it. This simple change gave the garment a much neater appearance as well as fit. The neckline was no longer sloppy, but still had the similar lines and fell in much the same manner as the ribbon strung through the lace as the pattern directs.

The red bow that the ribbon at the neckline ties into, is a focal point for this outfit, so I tied a bow and hand tacked it onto the center of the front at the neckline to give the same appearance and have the same detail.

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There was a lot of room in finished garment, so I didn’t worry about adding any extra to the neckline to allow for the casing. I am very pleased with how this came out, and I don’t miss the lace one bit at the neckling of this particular garment.

Again, I like the way that snaps look as opposed to hook and loop, so that is what this will get also, is a set of snaps. The entire back of this is open also, with a narrow hem finishing the raw edge. I’ve discovered it is easier both in construction and on younger children to finish garments his way.

There are several more posts in the works!

Spanish Style Doll Clothes Part I

I have many hobbies, one of which is sewing. These days I priarily make doll clothes, for 15 and 18 inch dolls. I had some extra fabric and decided to make a Spanish style outfit and night shift. Special care for these dolls was instilled in me from the time I was young and sewing with my Grammy. She purchased Pleasant Company’s Josefina doll for me when I was about 9. The pattern that I have used to create this outfit set is from the Pleasant Company and made by Butterick.

When I was younger, I rememer drooling over Josefina’s Birthday dress. I was lucky enough to be asked to make one for a special Christmas gift this past year for a special young lady and I had some extra fabric! So what better to do than make another set? The first time I make a pattern, I always follow the directions to the letter, after the initial trial run, I make adjustments to pieces and construction to improve the fit or look of the overall garment or outfit.

I have thought about investing in a gathering foot to fit my machine, which woudld make these 6 piece sleeves go faster, but I haven’t yet.

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On the ruffle pieces, instead of stitching and folding and pressing and then the final stitching, I simply put a narrow hem in. I have gotten better at that the past few years, and I like the nice, neat appearance it gives my garment.

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I chose to do the neck ruffe the same way, by narrow hemming the raw edge. I like to keep things simple. The sleeves and neck ruffles are the most time consuming part of constructing this garment. It took me about 2 hours to get that far and then the rest of it came together quickly.

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In this pic the garment is completely together except the bottom hem and the snao=p closures. The pattern calls for hook and loop, but there are some things that I prefer snaps on. This is one of them. I like the neater look of snaps. They are less bulky and for this outfit I prefer them.

0407161325.jpgThis is the final product being modeled by my childhood friend Josefina! She has had lots of love over the years and is still willing to pose for pictures!

Coming up will be the oher garments to comlpete this outfit, including a skirt and shawl, as well as a night shift! Make sure to like my blog before you go and check back in for my next project!