|The grace of Japan, the beauty of Africa, and the cuteness of lolita all in one outfit.|
That week was an alternate week--something off her usual release schedule. And she had released---wait for it--a WellieWishers pattern. Okay, the top image gave it away, but that day I got flappy hands. And one that wasn't historical based, frilly frou-frou aprons and ruffles and bows like a doily and a ruffle foot had gone off the rails and both eaten the doll halfway and met in the middle, generidress (but now with bow!), or something that a person whose aesthetics for a seven year old's dressing fashion had stopped somewhere around 1958 had made? Sign me, as they say, the fuck up.
Her first Wellies-sized pattern, the Wa-Loli Dress For 14 inch Kid Dolls, came out in August. She's calling the size 14" Kid Dolls, so this covers Wellies, Heart4Hearts Girls like Rahel, Mosi, and Shola3 and those Glitter Girls I saw at Target for a blip before they went to get retooled and haven't shown back up yet near me. That covers quite a few dolls of the style.
But it got better. She wanted to promote the new size she was trying--because she didn't want the size to fail and her to commit designing for a a size people weren't interested in. So she offered a new promotion. If you buy the first pattern, make a version of it, and message her on Etsy with an image of the completed test of the pattern, then she would add you to a list to get her next 14" Kid pattern absolutely free! And if you make the second one before the third's release, then you got the third free. And so on and so on and as it goes. If you get the pattern, can make it in a month, and then keep it up, then you would stay on the list to keep getting free patterns as long as she made patterns.
Conditions apply, read the fine print. You have to buy the first pattern--the one she had just released, the Wa-Loli Dress. No getting in on pattern #2. And you have to make it and show her you made it before the next one comes out--in about a month. And the moment you don't make the next month's, you're off the list and you don't get back on. Well, it was a month at the release, now it's less than a week. So if you can buy this and make it by the 21st of September and show Requiem, she'll send you the next one free. Yeah, I should have blogged about this sooner. You should have been following me on IG because I told everyone there on day one. Bllpth. Also if the size didn't sell at least 15 in a year, the pattern would be considered a failure size and she'd stop making patterns. Well, it sold more than that in the first week. I'd like to hope I added to the buying with some IG and posting on AGC.
I did as I was offered, bought the pattern, and went out to get some fabric to make a doll dress the next weekend. I had initially decided that, since Ashlyn and Zeblyn are my two half-Japanese Wellie twins, I was going to make a dress for each of them--or at least one for Ashlyn. But in Joann Fabrics, I came across kente cloth and the plans instantly changed to making a set for Kendall. The gods are capricious, knew I was being too ambitious, and wanted to remind me that Kendall was first one to arrive and like Addy, deserves the best. The pattern includes pieces and steps for a dress, underdress, and faux obi-style sash with optional center and bow.
Note that if you're a person who needs a pattern to give a total walkthrough from layout to closure, full color step by step images of every seam and how to sew it, and everything on every pattern marked so you get your hands held, then you're going to need to work around that for Requiem's patterns. Requiem's patterns have the patterns to proper scale, some basic data on the pattern pieces so you know what goes on the folds and all that, and then all the steps in text of how many pieces to cut out (and if you need long rectangles, their dimensions) and how they go together. No pics walking you through every seam, press, and step. They get to the heart of a pattern and expect you to know what you're doing. This to me is kind of refreshing. The pattern tells me what to do, gives me some details, and then expects me to know what I'm up to and how a thing goes together. I like that, especially with how long I've been sewing now. I don't need to be told how to gather, press, run a straight seam--just tell me how the thing runs together and let me do it. The guidance is slim and if you can't tell a seam ripper from a zipper foot, you might be in trouble. Time to jump that hurdle!
Go under the cut for deets on Wafrica, Lolita dress, wa-loli, and how I made one damn cute outfit for Kendall. Also guess who found the aspect ratios on her phone? Yeah, buddy.
First things first.4 Let's do some education about what "Wafrican-Loli" means.
But isn't Wafrica cultural appropriation? First of all, some of you are asking this to trying to catch me in a trap like every asshole who claims because I speak English, use the internet, and wear jeans I'm appropriating from white people like my ancestors weren't imported, so stop it. Go eat vegan pet food.5 Secondly, it's not appropriation, it's appreciation. Appreciation is when I invite you over, make you a nice meal, and if you ask nicely I offer you the recipe so you can make it at home and ask if you want me to teach you how to make the sauces. Appropriation is when you break into my house after hearing I was making dinner, smell what I'm cooking, grab the whole pot without asking including the jam that was for me alone, tear it apart to make it how you want it, and open a restaurant claiming that you're the ones who discovered Korean barbeque in this town before the Koreans. Don't make me explain it to you again, fucknugget.
So wa + African + loli = Wafrican-Loli. Tada! You can do word math. On to the review of the outfit.
|The whole dress again.|
|Right over left, certain death.|
Left over right, outta sight.
The closure is like kimono. This means you put the doll's proper left over the proper right. Don't do it the other way. If you do it the other way that is how they wrap the dead and that means your doll is a ghost. Don't fuck it up.
|To the back.|
There's a seam on the back of the main sash, but the center is glue-hemmed and then glued onto the main sash. I...hadn't used fabric glue before. I tended to think that glue makes things stiff and doesn't last when you launder a garment. But when you start going this small and this narrow, you kinda want to...not sew hems. And so I swallowed my pride like so much calamari, glued the edges and folded them over, and gave it a little press with the iron. And it wasn't stiff at all! Thanks, I learned a thing.
|Bow on the butt.|
|Under the dress.8|
|No dead dolls.|
|Sleeve. Or lack thereof.|
|Ruffles and front.|
|Bonus: tulle petticoat!|
|Gathered, no gathered.|
|Finishing touches on top...|
Best part of making it: I love that almost every long rectangle piece on this set--the collar and the ruffles--that normally make me scream with tiny hemming did not require me to hem anything. Just fold, sew in, or gather,and go! It looks so much nicer especially on this scale, and I didn't have to make narrow hems or double hems or any of that. Reading directions on most patterns has me feeling like a kid on their first project who's being treated like she doesn't know her way around a needle when they tell me to press a seam before doing the next one, but this pattern did the opposite--it assumed my brains were useful and I could make sense of the directions without being told every little thing every way and having to be told to use a straight stitch to sew the back together.
Worst part of making it: For the first time in a while, I struggle to find a bad part of a pattern. Printing it out and cutting it? Nah, that's standard, put on some TV and cut out paper. The lack of directions? That was one of the best. Checking the patterns to make some marks? I do that most of the time If there was a worst part, it was me getting over my issues with using fabric glue, and I'm now past that. We're all past that.
Does it look good on the doll?: Oh yeah. I'm really glad I went with Kendall the first round of what I hope can be a whole span of Wellie sewing. I like lolita styles--not for me I'm not the kind of person to enjoy wearing it but I love the aesthetics--and learning about wa-loli was a delight. And I got to teach y'all about Wafrica so double awesome.
Would I use the pattern again? I plan to after I keep up with my giveaway. My Wellies gang might end up with a whole gaggle of themed loli dresses by the time this is all over.
Final Thoughts: The pattern is awesome, the outfit came out perfection, and I'm so looking to my next pattern by her! And um, now I have motivation to blog new Wellie clothes once a month, at least.
|Wellies: Now with piercings!|
1 I follow not only a lot of the OBC that's on IG, but some of the Broadway folk and everyone on Philip Tour that has an IG. This means lots and lots of looks backstage and seeing everyone being a goof. I love actors so much.
2 Yes I know the line is dead and dying. Doesn't mean I can't make tiny doll clothes.
3 I I'm likely going to update and repost my Mosi and Shola Review that I posted years ago on Toy Box Philosopher. It was my words, after all.
4 I'm'a say all the words inside my head, I'm fired up and tired of the way that things have been, ooh ooh~
5 Today in shit that pissed Neth the Entire Fuck Off: So there I was on IG, like you do at six a.m. And there was an ad suggesting people have their dogs go vegan for meatless Mondays. Not only is that one of the whitest fucking things I have seen in the last 24 hours, but dogs and cats should not be vegan. If you want a vegan pet buy a rabbit. Cause bitch, I don't even have a cat or dog but you can bet your bottom dollar by all the gods I worship that if you tried to push me to make my dog go vegan his next meal would be your ass.
6 Not the book by Nabokov about how fucked up men will justify sexual abuse.
7 Just because I'm queer doesn't mean I can't ruffle straight.
8 My white balance on the phone camera was off. It happens.
9 Fun story. When I bought the tulle the cutting counter person accidentally typed in 33 instead of three on one of the sets of tulle. I wondered why the cost was high, checked out to not hold up the line, checked the receipt, and then had it fixed on the spot without being a public nuisance. It was an honest mistake and the checkout person that helped me fix it made the joke that people only buy that much tulle for a wedding.