Sunday, August 12, 2012

Off the Grid!

Morning Dress and School Hat
Ahhhh... A little time out for the mouse. The day is hot, the AC cool, and a pleasant Sunday is shaping up. The sewing room has been tidied up, and we're leaving no loose threads. I just finished something for me, or rather, my Big Lettie. I've had this one in the hopper for about a year now, just waiting for the right fabric and right time. I must have spent untold $$$ trying to find the right plaid for this one. Getting into that literal interpretation thing, I wanted just the right color, plaid pattern and fabric. At first I felt I was settling for the lighter blue color, but in the end the color seemed to suit her well. The dress is, again, my own design and it was actually fun doing this in plaid which appealed to my sense of harmony and structure. The plaid worked like a little ruler and when piecing it together. You'd just match up the pattern of the plaid and stitch.
Timeless Style
The hat is a white straw cloche made on one of PNB's new molds, which I covered in lace, and a pleated band. This was the first time I actually liked the way the collar came out, as  I think I'm getting better at designing them.
The Illustration
One of the reasons I hesitated in creating the Morning Dress was due to the hue of the white in the fabric.  It was more on the lines of an off white, or an ivory, and none, not one of the laces I had, was this meiling color.  There were only two laces needed.  One for the hat, a very wide lace, and one for the collar.  After seeing how stark these laces looked against this plaid, I decided best to try and dye them.  I had some ivory Fiber Reactive Procion dye (cool bath to use with soda ash), and decided that while I was at it, I'd dye the Swiss batiste so the lace would blend better on the collar.  Well, wouldn't you know!  I over-dyed the pieces.  I was beside myself calculating the cost of my mistake, and dumped them in a bowl of bleach and water.  I don't know if bleach has changed that much over the years, but it didn't seem to bleach out the dye, but a tad.  Oh, I did try again, but then the new pieces of lace and fabric wouldn't pick up the dye at all!  So I decided to use what I had.  Besides, I'd already covered one of the halves of the Peter Pan collar and it was perfect.  Why waste a perfect collar?
Mock up of the bodice and collar.
To make this all work together, I decided to keep blending the whites for an overall shade of off white.  I used the oldest mother-of-pearl buttons I had, and used the large lace over white Swiss straw for the hat.  I think the overall effect came out much softer and antique-y looking.  
The layout.
I have to admit that I did not have much trouble creating this dress since similar pleats were done on an earlier outfit, and the waistband was attached the same way the ribbon was to the waist of the Violin Concert dress.  One thing I did new, and tried with this dress, was a machine hem. I'd recently bought a new dress that had a deep hem and was machine stitched.  It worked, looked great, so why not try it on a doll's dress?  Boy-oh-boy!  The time it saved!  It was also easy to do since I was following the line of the top of a blue plaid band.  I'd always heard plaid was hard to work with, matching up the plaid and all that, but this was the best part of piece.  I'm satisfied with this one!
One sleeve like the other.
What's Next!
The next thing I'll be trying is working with interlock cotton knit to make a "sweater".  This little fall outfit will be made in two sizes.  One for the Bleuette sized doll, and one for the 18" doll.  I do think I've plenty of fabric to make one for my own Big Lettie, so I guess I'll be making three. 
I'm feeling the need to make a cup of tea and put my whiskers in a good book right now.  I promised myself when summer began, that I would enjoy the simple pleasures and every single day, and not work myself to the bone.  So far, so good. 
Miss E. Mouse

Time for Fall.

1 comment:

  1. Your doll's dress turned out do have much talent. I do not...although I am trying to attempt in making some dresses for my granddaughters doll for her birthday next month. Her mama is taking her to the American Girl store to let her pick at a doll for her birthday. I hope my attempt will at least create some presentable clothes for her doll :) Blessings