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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dolls: Clothes for Becky

   Those of you who have followed this blog for a while might have noticed that I've been interested in making garments for a long time. You can read all about that here, here and here. However, I always ended up so scared to cut the pattern and fabric that I've not been able to actually make any clothes. Can you believe that?

   Well, since I started making dolls I've been trying to remember what I loved most about dolls when I was a kid. One of those things was being able to play with their hair and the other was being able to change their clothes. The hair was easy to fix by using yarn instead of felt, but to be able to change the clothes I needed to make more clothes. OMG! I seriously thought of giving up and keep sewing the clothes directly on the doll. The felt collar and colored body on dolls like Amanda and Sheila  was the most I believed I was capable of doing. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against that style, but I really wanted my dolls to have real clothes.

   It all started with a regular elastic waist skirt that I learned to make by using a doll pattern over a year ago. This one was made with the remnants of the bubble skirt I tried to make for Becky after I cut off the waist band. I like it better this way.

   Then I tried to make a peasant dress, I've seen this kind of dress everywhere recently probably because of the summer. I watched a video on YouTube and thought, why not? I drafted a pattern based on Becky's body and this dress was the result. I still need to tweak the length because it's too long for a shirt and too short for a dress but it fits her beautifully for a first attempt.

   I'd already made a dress so I felt invincible and decided that it was time for something more complicated; a party dress. I drafted a bodice pattern once again based on Becky's body but when I started, I noticed something... Becky doesn't have shoulders! Then I gave it a lot of thought and resolved that I could use the top of her arms as shoulders, trouble solved. From the picture above: 1) First draft: I attempted to make a bodice without lining... that didn't work. 2) Second draft: I lined the bodice and that worked better. 3) Third draft: I lined the bodice and decided to change the shape slightly. I rounded the neckline a little bit more and made the armholes much smaller.

   This would be draft #4, the bodice is lined and it's almost exactly the same as #3 but a little bit shorter. I liked it enough to make the skirt. I followed 2 different tutorials to make this dress, this one by Stitch in My Side and this one by Oh Strumpets!. The only thing I did different to these tutorials was the finishing of the skirt on the back.

   And I love how it fits her but as you can see the felt collar and the dress don't look good together. I'm fixing that next time by making the head and the body in one piece, so no neck seam. My next doll will be able to use any clothes I make her, I'm SO excited!

This could be a start for me to make my own clothes, what do you think?


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