Regency Ruffle Dress Attempt #1

Ages ago I bought Thimbles&Acorn’s Regency Wrap-Front Dress, and at some point many months ago I even cut out brown fabric to make it. But then I never got around to it, and I wound up using the same brown fabric to make a school dress for Tinuviel, which I think is what I originally intended this to be. But Tinuviel doesn’t need two similar dresses made from the same fabric, and though the style would suit Vivienne, the color isn’t great on her. So I guess this dress will either be chalked up to learning, or tucked away for if I ever get Caroline?

Well, the pattern wasn’t as difficult to construct as I’d feared, but I’m definitely glad I did a test run with fabric I didn’t care about before I start on another version that is for Vivienne and uses fabric I love. Just getting all the ties in the right place is a bit of a puzzle, and there are a few tweaks I’ll want to make when I make it for real. To demonstrate, Emily was kind enough to wear the dress since she is my skinniest doll (did I mention it’s tight?), has hair that doesn’t get messed up when changing, and wanted an excuse to shed her school clothes anyway.

In true dress-up fashion, Emily has left her sneakers on.

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So the first thing you’ll notice is that it looks sort of maternity. It looks great from the back, but from the front the skirt sort of blossoms out and swallows poor Emily. When I make it again, I think I’ll actually cut the skirt smaller, and also concentrate the gathers entirely in the back.

The second thing you’ll notice is that it’s REALLY hugging her arms. In fact, only my skinniest-armed Mattel girls could get the dress on at all –I thought it might look darling on Kirsten, but her chubby hands couldn’t even get halfway down the sleeves. I sewed a quite small seam allowance, so not quite sure what happened here, but I’ll definitely widen that pattern piece next time.

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The bodice as a whole too just seems a bit ill-fitting, which I notice more the more I look at it. I’ll have to pay closer attention to make sure it sits right when I sew again.

So… attempt one, not TERRIBLE, but not great. The one thing I am pretty proud of is my ruffle. That’s a beautiful ruffle! Although I couldn’t for the life of me make the string, so I used green ribbon for all the ties, which I like better anyway.

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Emily will wear this for a while, but it may end up in the trash/Rebecca’s costume chest/tucked away for when I have kids and they need doll clothes to destroy.

Also, I guess this means it’s time to add time periods to my tags?

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