Sorah’s Seahorse Dress

People are always posting pictures of such cute dresses with some quirky, adorable fabric, so I’ve been on the hunt. JoAnn’s has not impressed me with the quirk, so I’m going to need to trawl etsy and Spoonflower but this no-spending period of sewing through my stash means it’ll be a while.

BUT I did manage to find this cute seahorse print in fat quarters, and decided to try my hand at making something in the hopes it wouldn’t look too babyish. I debated the pattern for a while, needing something feminine but not toddler. Forever 18 Inches’ Geometry Class Jumper called to me and did not disappoint!

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I didn’t zoom too close in on the details, but the dress has a fully lined bodice, top-stitching along the skirt side and back seams, a wavy stitch along the enclosed hem, hot pink buttons, and blue snap closes in the back. Might as well get practice writing a description, since I actually made two of these! Once has found its way to the “someday etsy shop” stash, which has grown faster than I expected.

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I had expected to use this fabric for Kanani, but she wasn’t very interested in the pastels, and Sorah very much was. I think it’s perfect on her, and even matches her hearing aids! At least for now, they’re pink. I’m thinking I might make them lavender…

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Parisa’s Bird Dress

There was a sneak-peek of this dress in a previous post, but I’ll give it it’s own post anyway, especially since it was a first-time pattern for me. I’d seen Melody Valerie Couture’s New Girl pattern a long time ago but not really had any clear vision for what I’d do with it. Suddenly, something about this bird fabric called to me for that pattern, so I decided to give it a try.

To be perfectly honest, I think Melody Valerie Couture patterns give you an awesome result, but they seem to me geared towards people making professional doll clothes to sell. Things feel to me like they’re done the complicated, longer with. I followed the instructions on this one but in future when I use the pattern, there are a bunch of shortcuts I’ll take if it’s just for my own use.

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For instance, there is so much hand-sewing on this. Probably more hand-sewing than just about anything besides a new Medieval gown for Evelyn I still need to photograph. The hem and arm binding are both handsewn, plus the bodice lining, plus the buttons. I don’t mind hand-sewing, per se, but I am SO SLOW at it compared to my zippy machine.

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I also decided not to turn the arm-binding under because I like the contrast. I seem to do this to a lot of my short-sleeved shirts.

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I like the dress a lot and will definitely use the pattern again. I’m a little bummed that if her hair is covering that bird on the bodice, the birds look a little too sparse. Since it was a fat quarter of fabric, I didn’t have much choice in how I cut the pieces out. But it’s not too bad.

Now the real question: will I ever dress Parisa in something other than blue??

Mystery Girl’s Blue Roses Dress

I was hoping to have this girl named before I posted more pictures of her but hey, what can you do? She’s being stubborn. It’ll come to me eventually. Anyway, in the meantime, I’ve been working through more fabric! For this fabric, I knew I wanted a sundress but was otherwise undecided. So I fell back onto one of my favorite patterns, 18 Inches Cat’s Meow Romper & Dress.

What can I say? It’s the quickest, easier thing to make. So that I don’t wind up with 20 of the same dress, I’m starting to experiment a little with each one. This time, I cut out the ruffles, and I actually made two different accessory options. In the pictures, mystery girl is wearing the lime green polka dot belt. I also made her a small bowl of the same material which she can use on a headband or pin to the waistband or neckline. Of course I didn’t photograph that and don’t have an opportunity to at the moment, but I’m sure it’ll crop up in other photos eventually.

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And of course her hair is covering the bow. This is what happens when you can hear the baby waking up while you’re taking photos!

Melody’s Yellow Dress

I decided to give Liberty Jane’s A-Line dress another go in a different style to see if my dissatisfaction with my first result was just getting used to the pattern.

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Maybe it was, because I’m much happier with the result this time! May also be because I made my lazy ass actually get the iron out and press things as needed. I also think this yellow color is just darling on Melody (I sound like my grandma!)

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Of course, I did not use a zipper. I refuse to use a zipper on doll clothes, even though it looks so nice, because I am a lazy seamstress. This next picture makes me melt. Her profile is SO STINKING CUTE.

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Also this poor girl needs some shoes and I didn’t consider until AFTER the photos that she actually does have white shoes with her play outfit. But I don’t think they’d go great with the socks and I love the socks here. Hmmmm….

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And one final photo to grow on because Melody is just too cute. Wish I’d done a better job angling her in the sunlight but uh well! Baby’s naps is probably just about over so no time for new photos!

Rosie’s Roller Print Jacket

My original intention with this fabric was a jacket for Rosie, and Felicity’s frock was just a happy accident. In looking at the fabric, I didn’t really feel inspired for Rosie, but in the spirit of sewing through these TWO 20 GALLON TUBS+ of fabric, I decided to plow ahead, returning to a pattern by Evoking History/Past Crafts.

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It’s such a quick sew once you’ve made a couple of these things. I made it in an evening in between putting my fussy baby to bed. Now that I knew how the end result would be constructed, I did a much better job on the seams for the skirt and the basque back –though once again, the point is lost due to the bum roll. I ought to research how women wore the pointed bodice with a bum roll…

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Anyway, I threw it together quickly, knowing I wouldn’t have a skirt for it yet, since I used up all the navy fabric when I made Felicity’s apron. But lo and behold, when I went to pull out her chemise, I discovered that one of the gowns I already made has a light green skirt that actually matches this jacket perfectly. While the navy is pretty for Felicity’s apron, pairing the light green skirt with this differentiates their looks a bit more, and also give Rosie’s dress such a nice spring feel to it.

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I also had been lamenting Rosie’s appearance lately, and for a hot second thought she might be going back to the rewigging table. But after futzing with it a bit, I actually got the curls just so and I think she looks lovely. I need to track down some straw brimmed hats so I can give her one that matches more of her wardrobe –love Felicity’s blue ones, but I think Rosie needs green.

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Moral of the story: sometimes fabric is much prettier sewn than on the bolt.

 

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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Leyla’s Ruffle Dress

Here’s a new girl! #62 is one of the girls I bought to get ahead of pantygate. I’m a sucker for the Sonali mold and was interested in the variety this girl adds. I’m not a big fan of her original hair though, as I don’t feel like it has a ton of options for styling and I have other girls with “easy” hair (Emily, Ivy, Nellie, Kit, etc.). Besides, I wanted to make her a little more unique. Ultimately, I’d like a long black curly wig for her, but until that wig is found, she’s wearing #55s wig and, I have to say, I like it.

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Leyla is a modern girl. She’s Arabic and her family is Egyptian. Beyond that, I don’t know yet! She has a sort of girly-chic style –not as trendy as Parisa, but more adult in cuts and colors than Flora. She immediately claimed the lavendar sprigged romper I made a couple weeks ago, and now made it clear this ruffle dress was hers!

I think I got this Annie’s Ruffle Dress pattern for free from Pixie Faire’s weekly newsletter. It’s been sitting around in my pattern queue for a while, not really calling to me. But now that I’ve made it, I have to say,  I love it. It’s funny how really simple little ruffles can really add to an otherwise nice and basic dress. This is another one where even though the pattern itself is straightforward, I think I’ll be able to modify the pattern for some neat alternates.

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It came out big, even when I tried to make it a little smaller. It’s not too bad, just means the buttons are off-center rather than directly center, and I’m ok with that. Just a slightly different look. I also am POSITIVE I cut out the fabric to make the belt, but the whole thing has disappeared, pattern piece and all. For now I’m using a blue ribbon and actually like the look a lot, so even when the pattern piece turns up someday, I may keep the look like this.

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Doesn’t she look so pretty and classy?