Monday, May 7, 2012

Flowers For Mother's Day

Two days ago the world experienced an incredible phenomenon.  This was the perigee moon, that the media referred to as Super Moon.  The term, gently translated, addresses an unusual orbit of the moon in close proximity to the earth; brighter, larger in appearance.  I'm a star gazer and the phases of the moon are always a special feature to me in the night's sky.  Large or small, beauty transcends.

The Paper Doll Illustration
This weekend, another small miracle happened.  I finished my very first outfit for the Bleuette doll body.  In my last post, I introduced Little Lettie, and now she has her first paper doll dress.

This particular illustration comes from Lettie Lane Comes Home for Christmas, but it is just perfect for the first days of summer.  I was preparing to make this particular outfit for my 18" Lettie Lane when I came upon a small remnant of cloth that begged me to make up this outfit for the 10 1/2" doll.  I knew I'd have to be very careful, and not make any serious mistakes, since there simply was no extra fabric.  Of course I started with a mock up, and derived this from an original Bleuette pattern redrawing the neckline and shortening the length for the top portion of the drop waist dress. 

The Quick Mock Up
One of the most tedious and difficult areas of constructing the dress was making a true lace collar.  Collars will continue to haunt me, and every single dress I wish to make has one.  Each is different!  Since lace is made on a ribbon line, even if its scalloped, there is no scallop that actually matches the curves of a collar.  Then you have the size of the pattern to deal with.  What I ended up doing after ruining a foot of expensive English cotton lace, was cut four of the scallops off and piece them together around the neckline, finally hand-stitching the edges together.  The long bodice of this dress is fully lined the Magalie Dawson method with interior tuck stitching to the actual three-tiered skirted bottom.

Half Done
Added Belt, Working on Hat
The second trial was in making the belt.  Since we cannot see what is actually going on behind the illustration, I decided upon making a bow attached to the belt to compliment the tiny row of blue bows marching down the front of the bodice.  After fiddling with a detachable bow, and many attempts to make it lay flat in the back, I slipped the belt through the back loop of the bow and that seemed to do the trick.  This is something I'm certain to repeat in the future.

Of course, then, we needed a hat.  I had one Bleuette sized hat mold and I formed the sticky, wet buckram over the mold, then hit it with a hair dryer.  The over fabric is that lovely silk and the hat is lined in an heirloom muslin.  The tails or ribbon of the hat gave me another chance to scratch my little head in wonder.  My first attempt was to embroider these flowers, but even with one thread, it was not a clean look.  Hand-painted silk has long been a lovely accessory for women, so I took the opportunity and did just that using Jacquard's fabric paint.  While I'd painted the bands of the indian dress for Daisy last fall, painting on fabric is whole new ball game.  All those tiny fibers sit up when dabbed with wet paint, so extra precaution must be paid to get the detail.  I don't know if there'll be another opportunity to do this, but I have a full pallette of colors to work with now. 

Hand Painted Flowers
Finally we add a pair of socks and shoes.  Shoes are not my specialty, if I have a specialty at all.  But, I did have to design a little pattern for these Mary Janes so they could be cut in one piece.  I first tried top-stitching one shoe and the stitching overwhelmed the look, so I cut out another one and made them up with tiny white shank buttons. 

Adding lastly, a basket of roses to complete the costuming, the outfit was finally done.  Now I won't say I'll do this every time, but designing a new pattern on a small doll is alot quicker since there is less to work with.  Now I have both a pattern and practice behind me to create two for the 18" Lettie Lane.

Each day I take the time to find a little sunny corner and enjoy what nature is blooming forth.  A little time to read or reflect nourishes and inspires.  Enjoy this re-energizing time of year!

Miss E. Mouse

A Final Look

1 comment:

  1. I love that you give minute details on all that you are doing in creating the outfit. Georgeous outfit.