Friday, December 2, 2011

A Blast from the Near Past!

Quiet day today. All I really managed to do today was take care of some business, and yes I do have business... sometimes. That's all I managed to get done today, but my lethargy is your gain! I get to talk about something that I did a while ago, wanted to share with you, but didn't.
I actually made this before I left for my sister's wedding, like literally the day before we left but I didn't have the time or the energy to actually craft a blog post about it. But since there's a lull today, you get to hear about it.
It was right after I had decided to make Christmas clothes for everyone on Charlotte's shelf. I had already decided that I didn't like working with that stretch velvet, so I was at a bit of a loss for what I was going to make for Charlotte. I was online (reading celebrity gossip) when I found a picture of some random celebrity at a Disney sponsored thing. She was standing there with one of those costumed characters from the theme park, Minnie Mouse. The person's clothing was bland and nondescript. But Minnie was actually wearing a cute Christmas ensemble. It was a short red velvet dress with a short red velvet jacket with white trim over it. It also had a beret, but I decided to skip that since I don't know how to make one. But I really liked the outfit. It was cute, totally Christmas, not too revealing, but not dowdy.
I started with the under dress. I decided to use the princess seam dress pattern that I've used forever. It's a re-sized pattern originally made for 15 inch dolls (if I remember correctly) I got it from Dorrie when she made the dress for her Elphaba doll. It's been through several pattern modifications with me, but I still use it. It's actually been one of the patterns that I've used the longest, I started using way back when I was hand sewing and didn't have or use a machine. Still have all those early attempts too (it's only been a couple years). Nobody wears them, but they're still in the spare clothing bags. If I need to make something with princess seams, it's what I use to make it. So that's what I used this time, using that red velvet that I bought last year (that I eventually used to make Vanessa's dress). I also used some white fur at the bottom. I got the entire thing finished pretty quickly. It's just when I went to try it on Charlotte it just seemed dreadfully long. The original dress went roughly knee height, this one was halfway between the knee and the ankle. I thought about chopping off the bottom inches, but realized it might be easier to just remake it, cutting the pattern itself shorter. So I did. And I remade it this time making sure the skirt was the right length. I did have an issue with the neckline not sewing evenly. One side shifts a little. I tried fixing it, even hand sewing the neckline but couldn't get it perfect. Finally I just decided to live without it. Honestly the jacket and dress go together at all times. Without the jacket the dress is really boring. You really need the coat to make the outfit. I don't plan on ever having the dress without the jacket, so it'll be fine with an uneven neckline. I also ended up getting rid of the fur on the bottom of the skirt. It really didn't add much, and looked better without it.
After the dress I moved onto the jacket. This was a bit trickier since I needed to adapt a pattern to make it. I ended up picking the empire waist bodice pattern for my base. I changed the front part of the pattern, changed the neck opening, and changed it to close in the front compared to the back. So I started to make the pattern, using again the red velvet and white fur. Except I used the wrong sleeve pattern. The one I chose tapered at the sleeve, so when I went to try it on Barbie I couldn't get it over her hands. So I had another thing that it would be easier to start over than fix. But before I could do that I had to make a call. I really didn't like the white fur with this outfit. It's just so long that it looks silly on most outfits. If Barbie was real she'd be always choking on fake fur if she wore something like that. So I decided to nix the fur from the next attempt at the outfit. Instead I decided to use that bit of white stretch velvet I got in that lot of stuff from the Christian Second hand store. Not sure what it was originally, but it's a fabric donor now. And the second attempt came out pretty good, better than the first one that's for sure. I did have to take the jacket in several times in the back. The velvet fabric's very thick so it needs to be tight or else it looks too bulky. I even sewed three hook and eye closures into the jacket. I wanted to use snaps, but I was out of the small ones, and the stores were sold out, so I used what I had. I think it actually did work out better than the snaps. Even though I had a deadline that was ticking away like sand in an hourglass I managed to get the outfit finished before we had to leave for my sister's wedding. Charlotte wore it the entire time up in Connecticut since I didn't have any free time to play with her.
For accessories with the outfit, they were pretty simple. She got a pair of red "vinyl" gloves that came with the Speed Racer gift set (those gloves were the best part of that purchase), the black Mattel boots I love, and her usual white hair ribbon. Pretty simple, I didn't give her an underskirt since the skirt's too short to use her usual one and it flairs out pretty well on it's own. Like I said, she wore that our entire time in Connecticut, although she was trapped in a box for the entire time.
When we were back I wanted to work with the outfit some more. I took the back in a little more, and added four pearl "buttons" to the front. And really the more that I worked with it, the less I liked it. It just didn't have the feeling I wanted on Charlotte. So I decided to not keep it on Charlotte. Instead I gave it to Mary Clair, my TNT Ballerina on a Belly Button body. She got the entire outfit, except Charlotte kept her hair ribbon and I added a red hatbox to it. And I think it looks super cute on her. I honestly prefer this to her usual outfit. I've been thinking about redressing her anyway, so I might end up making something for her like this, I just need a way to translate the look into fabrics that aren't so seasonal.
Although, there was one problem. Without a hair ribbon she looked rather... plain on top. I thought about making a hat, but my hat making skills are extremely limited. Plus, I had a hard time figuring out what kind of hat would go with this look. I ended up not doing a hat either way. Instead I was in Hobby Lobby looking at mini ornaments, and I found some fake velvet ribbons to go on a mini tree. They looked passable, so I bought them. (Plus they were on sale, only fifty cents!) I thought that I was going to have to modify them to go around her ponytail, but they have gold pipe cleaners on the back so they're really easy to add. I like how they're stiff enough to stand up like a classic bow should. And after that she was done, and I really like this look on her. And I was able to use the rest of the bows on my mini tree. I do like it when things work out like that!

No comments:

Post a Comment