Felicity’s Yellow Roller Dress

I bought a yard or so of this fabric from PastCrafts when they were having a sale and it’s been sitting in my fabric box for a while. It works for 18th century up through Caroline. My original plan was to make a dress for Rosie out of it, and I still am making her a jacket to go with a navy blue petticoat… as soon as I get some more navy fabric.

But first I had the sudden inspiration to make a dress for Felicity out of it. The American Girl dolls that are older primary characters don’t get a ton of sewing from me since they have such robust wardrobes already –Samantha, Kit, Josefina, Addy, and Felicity. Molly and Kirsten get a bit of sewing since though they have large wardrobes, most of their stuff is so expensive on the secondary market that I don’t have a lot of it.

Adding to this is the fact that Rosie has been stealing some of Felicity’s clothes. It’s wildly unfair, but some of Felicity’s outfits just seem to me overly fancy for a merchant’s daughter who spends so much of her time running around getting into trouble. I used to be SO particular that only the “official” owner of an outfit could have it, but that seems to be going out the window lately and I’m doing more trades and sharing. So instead of putting Felicity in gowns that don’t feel right to me for her, she’ll just get some sewing from me to make up for it. I think she’s pretty happy with the arrangement.

SO, to start adding to her collection, she got a frock with this roller fabric. It just felt like it ought to be a full-length dress to me, and it gave me an excuse to make the simpler version of KeepersDollyDuds Colonial Daydress.

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It’s such a simple pattern! Even the double-frilled sleeves don’t really add a complication. The ruched bodice version is so much more labor intensive with all the ruching and the fichu bands. But this one came together quickly and I love the fit on even my chunky PM Felicity. I ommitted the darts on the back bodice and am glad I did; even so the buttons are a smidge tight, but just enough that the bodice is fitted. I got the neck ruffle a little uneven but that’s really my only complaint.

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I spent some time researching whether she could have had a dark blue apron and I’m satisfied that she could. The majority of aprons I see in paintings and movies are some variation of white, but I wonder if that’s just picturesque bias. My research insists that aprons were often made with basically whatever was lying around for play or work dresses, and with nicer fabric for nicer dresses. I could see this navy apron being made with the leftover fabric from making dresses –enough fabric left for an apron but not for another complete frock.

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It was also crazy easy t make this bib apron with it’s beautiful mitered corners, completely enclosed seams, and pretty diamond bodice. I definitely will make more! And I still have enough of this fabric even after Felicity’s dress and Rosie’s jacket to make a sundress for one of the modern girls.

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