Thursday, August 12, 2010

Changing Gears from the 70's

Since yesterday was a sewing bust with all the organization I did, then undid I figured it was time to get the sewing machine back in action. I gave the 70's dress a break today. Not really sure where to go with that. I think I just need to do more research into that era to find out what exactly I want. There's no point making something that I really don't think will work from the get go. So I hopped back into the 50's today, an era I'm much more comfortable in.
I needed to make a dress for the new Ponytail I'm expecting, although I do have clothing that fits, I'd rather make something that works for her, than put her in something I have handy. I have the worst time dressing Vintage dolls. Since I have a bunch, whatever works is already on dolls. So that means to be happy I have to either get something new, or make it. And I'd rather make it than buy it, that means I can save my money for more dolls!
I was able to skip the search for inspiration phase since I had already found a dress that I wanted to try to emulate. It was a cute sundress with a short collared jacket. It was so very 50's and totally adorable!I decided to use the same fabric that I used for Stacey's sundress. It's in scale for the dolls, and it's got a retro vibe. Also I spent a lot of money on it, so I might as well use it. With that decided on it was time to focus on the actual sewing, basically the dress was a simple sheath dress, something that I've made a lot, and I do mean a lot. I think the sheath dress is the first Barbie sewing project that I mastered. Since it fit the Vintage gals, that means I made a lot. For a while I was a sheath dress making machine, especially since this was when I got those six nude dolls from Shirley. Out of the four women, three were wearing sheath dresses or variations. And I made a lot more than that. Although only one is still being worn in the collection. I've since branched out for more variety. But I was sure that I could make it, I've already worked out all the kinks with the dozen or so I've made before.
But this time I used the corset pattern for it. I like this pattern, so I wanted to use it again. It went together pretty quick like it always does. I got all the way to the attached skirt when I realized my issue. The corset ends on the hips, not on the waist. This left the skirt hanging much lower. Also when I hemmed the back I couldn't get it to close in the back. Overall I wasn't too happy with it, so I cut my losses and started over again. This time I used the vintage Barbie bodice pattern. I also changed the skirt pattern too. It went together like a dream, I was so happy how it came out, should have done that from the beginning. But I was cocky. When the sewing was done I added snaps and reinforced the seams all in one shot, so that was done. I also did some gather's at the bust, compared to leaving it flat, this adds some va, va, va, voom! And you can never have too much of that.
With that completed it was time to focus on the jacket. The jacket was a demon on another level. Something that I had never really done before. I had futzed around with it when I first got the pattern, but it involved a lot of rounded seams, so I've never actually had a finished product I was happy with. I'm bad at seams normally, but add curves and I'm done. One way to combat this is to line it, that way you sew it all flat, and flip it right side out, and boom, nice seams. I tried this, and the jacket was way too tight. So I blew up the pattern to 110 percent. That one came out a bit better, but it was a bit too big, so I took it in in the back. I think if I were to make it again, I would try 105 percent, but since I doubt I'll be making this again soon, we'll just wait to see how that goes.
After I had defeated the jacket I also made some accessories for the whole outfit, the pearl necklace and bracelet. Since I had the jewelry stuff out I also made a spare pearl necklace and a couple other necklaces too. After that all I needed was a pair of shoes, and thankfully I had a pair of Reproduction clear sparkly heels that worked with it. I have a hard time finding shoes for the vintage dolls too, it's never easy for them. It's a labor of love.
I just hope that this works for her when she arrives, if it doesn't I'm just going to give it to the other Ponytail, whatever happens someone's going to wear it, even if I have to wear it! This this isn't going into the bag at any point!

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