Sunday, September 26, 2010

Guess who got some sewing done today?

And I don't mean that shoddy sewing where I'm just churning out dress after dress in order to clothe those donated dolls. I actually got to sit down at the machine and do something creative, and it felt so good. Now that I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel that is the Blue box of doom, I'm finally able to put my mind onto other projects. Don't think that I'm finished with the blue box yet, we still have a ways to go, but I am making progress. But now I'm thinking about projects that I actually want to do. I think this break from sewing that I did has actually helped me. Before I was just sewing to just say that I did something with my day. Now that there's other projects that time up my free time, I get to take a small break and get to sew things that I actually want to sew. When I woke up this morning I decided I wanted to sew something for me, and for Charlotte. She needed a new dress, she's been so neglected lately.
I already had a project in mind as soon as I decided to sew something for fun. Remember that pink fabric that I purchased from Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago? When I purchased it I already had a project in mind for it, but then life got in the way and I shelved it. Now that things are starting to get somewhat back to normal I was able to go back to it. I've been thinking about this ever since I saw that fabric in store. There was just something about it that just spoke, "50's sundress" to me, but I ignored it. The next time it spoke firmly, "50's sundress". And I still ignored it, last time I was there it yelled, "50's SUNDRESS!" Finally I admitted defeat and got a quarter yard. I figured it would be simple since I already had a pattern to use. It was the dress pattern from the "Barbie in Japan" book. You should be familiar with it by now since I've used it a lot, especially the bodice. This time I was going to follow the pattern pretty much like how it is in the book, not tweaking it all over like I usually do. This time I was going to change the straps, since they are a little dressier than I was planning for. I was just going to use straight halter neck straps on it. Very similar to Stacey's dress from way back when. When I find something that works I tend to use it over and over again, until I'm sick of it. I just hope you're all not sick if it yet, because I'm not. With that in mind I jumped into the project, hoping it would come out how it was looking in my head.
First I cut it out, I used one pair of the new to me scissors. They cut decently, but they could stand a sharpening. Although, I will say this, they are heavy! Eventually I had to go back to my older scissors, to give my arm a break. I'm such a baby sometimes. The initial sewing of the bodice was pretty easy. It should since I've been making enough of them. But since I was getting so comfortable with making them, I decided to toss a kink into the works. This time I had to deal with an actual pattern. Since this fabric is striped I had to deal with that. Before I started cutting I decided that I was going to make the pattern go vertical. I know enough about design that horizontal stripes are a no-no. I ended up putting one of the solid pink stripes in the center part of the bodice. It looked pretty good. When I was cutting out the skirt, I decided that I wanted to continue that line into the skirt, since it looked nice. So when I attached it I made sure that it lined up correctly, holding it with a pin. It came out well, the first time. A lot of the time I have issues with the gathers slipping below the sewing line, and you can see them at the waist. Meaning I have to tear part of the skirt out and sew it again, and again, and again. I hate when that happens! Luckily it didn't happen this time. Although, I do think I added the skirt too low on the hip, but it's too late to fix that now. It doesn't look too bad, it just affects some of the fit. With that done, I had the basic construction of my dress done! And so far it was looking pretty nice. I hadn't fallen into any of the pitfalls that sometimes happens! Success!
After that it's mostly hand sewing. I also made the shoulder straps on the machine, but hand sewed them to the dress. I certainly don't trust the machine to do something so small, and visible. After I did those I was able to turn off the sewing machine. The straps also match the vertical lines of the pattern. I would like to say that I planned that, but I just hoped for the best when I was working with it, although I did try to get them to line up when I was cutting them out. After I attached them it was time to look at the overall look of the dress. I was at a point where I could visualize how it would look fully finished. I also added some gathers at the bust line. I wanted to do this to add some embellishments to the dress, but when I was looking at it, the dress looked so plain. It's such a bold and interesting fabric the few minor decorative touches I was doing, just were lost on it. So I added a little bit more dazzle, still keeping in mind my 50's time era. I snagged my pearl beads from the bead container. I added three of them to the dress at the bust gathers. It instantly added some nice embellishments, but was still classy. I love pearls. Adding some snaps was pretty much all I had to do after that and then I was finished!
And now I must admit, it got a bit murky. After I finished I put it on Charlotte to admire her in her new dress. She was in it for less that a minute before I was tearing it off her to give it to someone else. It's not a glamorous job being my muse. I wanted to put it on a Vintage doll, but the issue is, they're all dressed how I want! That's never happened before, I guess that means I need another Vintage Barbie. (wink, wink!) I ended up putting it on my ponytail reproduction. She needed to change clothes anyway. It also helped that she was already wearing shoes that worked with it. For styling I made her a pearl necklace, and bracelet. They look really classic, but it effectively finished up my supply of pearl beads.
I'm not going to lie, I really like how this came out. You can tell I really like something when I take it from Charlotte and find someone else to wear it in the collection. I love Charlotte, but she changes clothes so often! Most of the other dolls rarely change clothes, especially after they find the outfit that I thing really suits them. I think this dress is going to be displayed for a long time.


  1. Such a pretty dress. Looks just like vintage Barbie clothing. Your work is so amazing.

  2. Aww, thank you.
    It just looks amazing, you wouldn't say that if you saw it up close. lol