Saturday, March 30, 2013

CPR For the Mouse

Creative Process Resuscitation Needed!
And, you may ask, What is that?! Well, its Creative Process Resuscitation.  And, this is certainly what I needed after designing the patterns for Polly's Yellow Chinese New Year dress.  Oh, yes, I know.  Chinese New Year was some time back.  I truly hoped to be able to give this to her for Easter, the dress being yellow and all that.  But, I was tired, and needed a break to finish a second set of gym clothes for my own Lettie and Polly.  AND, make a football.  I'll spare you the finished product of the football, but it is out of nutmeg brown pigskin, and I doubt she'll ever really play with it.  The problem?  A little pointy on the ends.  Nothing a bit more stuffing wouldn't fix, but we must move on, mustn't we?

Nice Fit - Just 3/8" more needed on the collar
Recently a lovely woman from one of my groups wrote to ask me where I learned how to sew, and was so kind to tell me that she thought I was gifted.  That touched my heart so deeply.  Little do many folks know, but I once wished to be a clothing designer for people.  Canada College (pronounce with a Spanish n like can-ya-da), in the Bay Area where I used to live, offered a design program I thought I might get a degree in.  I'd even gone so far as to walk through the halls and rooms of the San Francisco fashion design institute, to see what it was all about.  Scared the heck out of me!  I'm very much an introverted little mouse, and the idea of driving such a distance two or three times a week, while working full time, unnerved me.  I wonder sometimes, what I may have learned at either institution that I have not taught myself over the last couple of years.  You certainly wouldn't be seeing me on an episode of Project Runway!

Drowning In Paper Towels
And, there you have it.  No Project Runway for me, just Project Paper Towels.  For some reason the neckline of this particular dress, coinciding with the armhole openings, gave me the hardest time.  Do understand that we are dressing a doll for perfect fit.  I suppose you could conclude by looking at this dress, that all you'd need is a circular neck hole.  Nope.  Not even close.  As you can see from the final mock up fit of the neckline, and the pattern of the collar, we did achieve a perfect fit, but its more of a horseshoe shape.  I was drowning in paper towel throw-aways by the time I was happy with this pattern.  So far there hasn't been one dress or outfit pattern I've designed that I could use for another outfit.  Each is very unique in its style.

Polly's Yellow Chinese New Year Dress
Before I set out to make the gym clothing, I was playing around with how to get the white belt look of the dress.  I understood that it was most likely threaded through, so I made mock-up welt-pocket slits.  When I begin to actually make the dress tomorrow, I suspect there will be four of them (slits).  Two in the front, and two in the back, so the belt can come out the back slits and tie in a bow.  To make the inside of the dress neat, I will probably once again line it fully.  This really is the nicest way of achieving the perfect length hem with a smooth finish in a circular hemline.

Obviously we see that the collar piece needs to be cut about 3/8" longer so it can be hemmed under to the topside of the dress the way I did Mary Marie's.  Remember her?   (wink-wink)  Poor Mary Marie just doesn't have the exciting clothing Lettie and Polly have.  The most you can do to jazz them up, is use exciting fabrics.  I do intend to make her romper shortly, however I have to make this yellow dress before I bat another eye.  I love yellow, and spring is full of bright yellow wildflowers.  Its a high energy color and it makes me happy to work with it.

The best part will be in making the hat (teaching myself a new technique!), but we'll save this for my next entry when the dress is well on its way to completion.  By the way, the parasol has been finished for two months!  Wait until you see it!!

Love,
Miss E. Mouse



As soon as I unwind, I'll get started on the dress!

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