|Polly's Yellow Chinese New Year Dress|
|My Little Buttercup!|
The slits caused me a lot of grief. They had to be placed in just the right area, just the right length and width apart on the front of the dress or it wouldn't resemble the illustration. Two had to be made on the back as well. I've said it before, but dressing a doll is a lot different than painting a watercolor paper doll dress. I will conclude early on here, that the outfit turned out much differently than I'd hoped for, so I'll shrug and proceed.
|Notice the shape of the hat.|
I ran a pretty double-faced silk ribbon through the slits to make the sash, and I still contemplate whether or not a long self-made tie would have given it a more ruched look as in the illustration. I doubt it. Its only an inch wide so there's not much room for ruching. I also did an embroidery stitch about 1 1/2" above the hemline to give it the "look". I'm not sure what Sheila intended here, but its close enough.
|Baskets of Blue|
|Polly Pratt's Yellow Kite|
|Slits in the back for the sash.|
For one thing this is nylon braid, not straw. It doesn't behave the way Swiss straw does. I tried gathering the edge to form a little circle to begin at the top of the crown and that didn't work. Two rows down, I had a wee bowl. I tried starting from the edge of the brim, but there wasn't a form to stick it flat down to! So I slept on it. The idea not the braid! The next day, I thought I might begin smack dab in the middle of the crown with a circle that was slightly larger than Polly's head. I'd read to use a zigzag stitch with such a braid, and so I began. When it came time to start rounding the crown towards the middle, I'd go back and do a gather stitch along the edge, pull it, knot it, and begin the next row.
One of the tools that was most useful in getting a nice shape was my handy little travel steamer. With the steam pumping merrily away, I pulled and formed the braid until it became a nice shape.
If you think I'm being to critical of this overall process, do remember that we need to be critical of our work in order to do better next time. I see too many people throw something together and never give it a second thought. My aim is to be just about as good as I can be and better. I'm doing something a lot of people won't even try, and that's design my own patterns and try to figure out how to put them together. There was a lady I wrote to recently, for whom I applauded her efforts in making a beautiful French regional costume for her doll. She wrote back thanking me and stating she was in awe of what I could do with miniatures. Miniatures? !gasp! I guess unless you're sewing for Bleuette, your work doesn't count for much. hmph
Below you'll find some photos I took of how I approached the horse hair braid hat. I think its important to try new things and stretch yourself. If you only do the same things over and over again, you'll get very good, and fast, at making them, but where's the fun in that?
This has been a long post and I can't thank you enough for staying with me - if you've gotten this far. Your comments are most welcome and are always very encouraging. Thank you!!
Next? Something simple...please!
Miss E. Mouse
|Beginning with a middle row|
|Going back to gather stitch|
|The top of the crown.|
|First phase of completion. Two more rows were added and the hat steamed for a smoother shape.|