|Everyone looks good in lavender. Everyone.|
I get bored and sew things. I get angry and I sew things. I get excited and I sew things. I get depressed and I sew things to feel better. I get sleepy and I don't sew things because I would rather not sew through my fingers, but I dream about sewing things. It's a cool ass hobby that, when I'm done, has something to show for it. My mom started me sewing when I was four years old at the basics, I started putting together doll clothes when I was five or six with my own scrap bags and children's books on dolls, and I've never stopped. I would sew more outfits for myself but I have yet to obtain either a dressmakers double or the space to set one up. I plan to do some things like casual lounge pants--a t-shirt and lounge pants are my home uniform--but pretty historical simulated outfits are a lot more work. Also sewing for me takes like, five or six yards of fabric and laying things out and lots of lace and lining and invisible zippers and buttonholes and modifying nearly every single top or dress pattern to fit around my huge rack o' tatas1 and oh my gods. I'm going to need more space for that.
But doll clothes sewing? Super easy and satisfying for me. It takes a yard or two--and that's more because I overpurchase; if the pattern calls for 3/4 a yard I buy a yard and a quarter to give me space to layout. The trims are generally on the smaller side, and I need fewer of them. And rather than having to set in zippers or, Athene Save Me, make buttonholes, I can mostly get away with velcro and the occasional snaps. Plus, if I want to do a historical look, I have so many people to model my creations. I have stacks of doll clothes and doll craft books in my house (some of which are older than me in both the technical and actual sense) and a whole comic book storage box of just AG sized patterns alone--and that doesn't count the ones I've purchased digitally.
I've got a lot of AG patterns, is what I'm saying, and I like to and want use them. The most recent use has Kit in a new outfit that's very springtime.
Kit’s Lavender Scallop-Edged Dress
Kit is not a flouncy girl, but dresses were de rigueur in the 1930s. So it helps that this dress suits her tastes just right. The light lavender print is complimented by scalloped short sleeves which are mimicked at the overbodice and the plain white collar has double topstitching and a neat button flower accent. She also has a matching button-flower hairclip to pull her hair aside.
|Double the dresses, double the fun!|
Under the cut for crafting deets.
So a few weeks ago, I was poking through my fabric stash like ya do, thinking about spring and the idea of making something for one of the gang. There's several historicals that don't have and need Miss Nethie Originals, and several that have sets already. But I kept going back to making something for Kit, because it'd been a while since I fancied her up. That and I had a Keepers Dolly Duds pattern begging to be used, specifically the 1930's Frock set. I didn't want to use anything pink or too girly, because Kit is not a flouncy girl and I will take that statement to my reincarnation.
And then I pulled out the lavender print and knew it was perfect. This was a yard or so of fabric that I had picked up at discount at Goodwill, folded up, and wasn't sure yet what to do with. I have no idea how old it is, though I can date it to roughly about the 80s or so.2 What mattered was that it was cute, it looked like it would fit into the 1930s awesomely, it was springlike, and I had just enough to make two dresses--if I did some layout tricks and changed some things up. I was also going to use one of the collars from the extra collars pattern I also had, because I loved the side scooped one.
I had originally planned to trim the dress and collar with lavender rickrack--but lavender rickrack isn't sold anymore. Well, at least not by packs in Joann's. Fucking A. So I changed things around, because you have to do that sometimes. And perhaps it's actually cuter than the rickrack would have been. Neat!
Pattern tweaks again were minimal: I changed the open all the way down button back to a closed back with velcro (cause fuck buttonholes) and used the extra collar. Also--because I only had a yard of fabric for two dresses and couldn't spare much of it--I cut the linings for the sleeves and overbodice of white broadcloth.
|A pic so nice I'm using it twice.|
Kit's wearing the socks from her first release/movie reporter set and the shoes from her School Skirt Set.
The neck lining was odd. It used bias, and it took me a good while to figure out how to pin it in. But it worked. And that's what matters.
|Buttons. If I don't have to put in buttonholes, I like them.|
The skirt--A-line cut--is attached to the bodice waist with gathering in two spots, rather than all the way across. Authentic--skirts were on the straight side, but still gathered in spots.
|Tying the perfect bow.|
That blue spot on the back bodice is me marking the back darts with my wash out pen--I prefer those to tailor's chalk. I haven't fully washed it out yet.
|From the back.|
a quilt binding clip. Binding clips are most often used to hold quilting tops to the underside rather than having to pin, but they also make--in proper sizes and shapes--excellent hair clips for everyone, dolls included. In fact, all those colored snap hair clips? Binder clips painted over or plastic decorated. Go forth and clip all the hair back.
Best part of making it: Finding a lovely use for some older fabric. Short lengths of older fabric are great for doll clothes. I don't think this is older than the 1970s or so--the selvage edge had color circle markings that are common to the 1970s and 80s--but it's such a subtle print that it works excellently for the 1930s without feeling like it's out of time or place. I also liked making the bows and flower trim.
Worst part of making it: Not exactly the total worst, but the neckline took me a while. It's bias faced with its own piece. and it took me several minutes of staring at the diagram and then at the bias strip and then at the diagram again before I figured out how to pin it in place. I also had to be super careful cutting it out for the two dresses because I had only one shot and no more fabric if I messed up. Hint? Lay the pieces out on the fabric first. Then cut. That whole measure thrice cut once that is used in carpentry also applies in doll clothes. Also never be afraid to line in an alternate fabric. I keep all that spare white around for reasons. The hair clips also took like, a day and a half to dry.
Historical Accuracy: Patterns from KDD are always researched to their best. The print is also fairly accurate. Overall, excellent for accuracy.
Does it look good on the doll?: Not just on Kit--who likes it a lot--but on Caroline. Not Caroline the 1812 girl--Caroline, Gwen's 1930s girl. I've yet to find a doll that looks bad in lavender. Everyone looks good in lavender.
Would I use the pattern again? Would and will. Into the use again pile!
Final Thoughts: Spring and femme without being flouncy ruffles. Good for Kit!
1 This is not braggadocio. I finally got properly sized and found that I wear a 40J in the English bra sizing, which makes more sense. I can't buy off the rack bras because off the rack assumes that sizing stops around DD and maybe goes into G when you're at Lane Bryant. and patterns still only do about a B-DD cup.
2 I also know that I will likely never find it again. Such is the life of a fabric hunter.
3 Part of my goals in making AG historical clothing is to make things that look like they would fit into their stories in some way.
4 The dress Lucy Ricado wear in the classic Vitameatavegamin episode gives me fits. Why does it only have half a peplum.
5 I picked up several shades this weekend at Hancocks Fabrics. Which by the way is fucking closing. Now where will I purchase fabric and mill about after Costco runs? And don't say Joann Fabrics cause I already do that when I pick up comics, Hancocks was different and now all I have is Joann. Damn economy.