Saturday, March 17, 2012

More Stress Than Seam in Seamstress?

Sailor Dress in the Works
The Illustrated Paper Doll Dress
The Embroidered Anchor
Its been raining night and day, day and night for a week now.  Four feet of fresh powder fell in the Sierra and this little mouse has been keeping warm and dry in her mouse hole.

Since I began sewing last September, its been interesting that I've not continued to stress the theme of the Creative Process.  Oh, I talk about it, but only when the dress is finished.  That is unlike me to skip the good stuff.  And, so while I await the mini soutache braid to complete the sailor dress, it might be fun to see where we're at on this.

As I've mentioned, I've been designing my own patterns now - more out of necessity than desire.  One of the things I made in the process is a sloper pattern.  This is the basic piece from which all other designs can be made.  My sloper pattern is a simple bodice that fits.  Depending on what I want to create, I redraw the neckline, add a collar drawn from the inside dimensions of the neckline, and so on.  This little sailor school dress is one of the most unusual garments I've ever seen illustrated, so naturally I had to tackle it next.  After conferring with an expert seamstress in Philadelphia, she noted that the front piece resembled a shawl.  This made alot of sense to me and when I went to draw it out from the sloper, I named it a floating vest.  The pleated empire skirt of the dress is actually sewn directly onto the bodice and the floating vest is attached at the shoulders and armholes leave it floating over the pleats, and will be closed with a hook and eye. (You can always click on these photos to enlarge them for detail.)

A high neck shell, closing in the back will go under this dress and the sailor collar will be hand sewn on with slip stitches directly to the finished collar edge so when you flip it over, it will fold over the shoulders.  I couldn't think of any other way to do this.  I initially intended the sailor collar to be a separate piece you just slip over the doll's head (see the mock up), but then it wouldn't resemble the illustration.  And, we all know how important that is for me!

The Mock Up in "Stash Fabric"
A couple of days ago I embroidered, free-hand, the anchor on the sleeve, and a smaller one on the shell's bodice front right under where the high collar will stand.  One of the most fun things I learned to do last weekend, was how to fully line this shell.  I watched a YouTube by Magalie Dawson, titled, Magalie's Technique to Lining a Doll Dress or Coat.  Look it up!  Its amazing.  The is absolutely no way someone describe this in writing with full comprehension on the other side.

The Grey Mauve Dress and Hat
The Paper Towel Patterning
So while I'm awaiting the mini soutache braid for the cuffs, and two collars, I began the paper towelling process of making a pattern for this lovely visiting dress.  I might add that I'm also awaiting yards and yards of special lace from The Netherlands for future dresses (, which is why I chose a dress with no lace.  This does have a little hat, and I so enjoy making little hats with buckram bases!  I also have the striped fabric for the underskirt coming and hope it compliments the Kaufman silk cotton of the mauve grey I've chosen.

So while the rain continues to fall, I'll begin a mock up of the visiting dress and tweek the pattern until it works.  You can see from the mock-up of the sailor dress that the floating vest needed work.  I simply redrew it smaller and made another.

 You might notice that Daisy is acting model while Lettie enjoys her rose dress.  Back to pins and needles!

Miss E. Moue

1 comment:

  1. What wonderful progress you are making! I don't have a pattern in front of me so maybe this would not work, but could the collar not be sewn into the neckline of the floating vest? Does the floating vest have a v-shape? If so, I would think it workable. Both of your dolls are so pretty and I am enjoying watching your process. Just wonderful.