Sunday, February 5, 2012

And back to the usual!

Like I promised (threatened?) yesterday I took a break from posting on Etsy, and the Dollpage, or anywhere for that matter. I really did need a day where I wasn't focusing on money. It's really been a nice breather from all that obsessing about money that's been happening lately. I just want those dolls... so, so, so much and in order to get them I need some money... but that's enough talking about that for today.
I will say all that working on my Etsy store was nice because it gave me something to do. Again I find myself completely without a sewing project in mind. I just don't have anything I can think of that I really want to sew. And it's not just the nude dolls that are suffering from this, I have no idea what Charlotte is going to get for her next outfit. Today I tried to think of something to make, but didn't have much luck. I did think about making something that's been on my mind for a couple of days, but even that wasn't something I was really gung ho to do. I did a quick sketch of it, but when that failed to excite me any more I abandoned that project. You know how those sewing just to sew projects rarely turn out anything decent.
It wasn't until afternoon that I actually thought of something. I believe I've mentioned this before, but something I'd love to be able to make is a fitted woman's jacket, think Doir's new look. I do have a pattern to make something like this, but every attempt using it has been a terrible failure. Just not a pretty picture. I think there's something wrong with the pattern (which I've been saying a lot), sometimes certain patterns just don't seem to work for me. But I do have a pattern that could give me what I wanted, it's just going to take more work to sew, and I'm going to have to adapt it. Which is my usual course of action. I was going to use that Princess seamed dress that I've been using for almost as long as I've been sewing. I just needed to shorten it, as well as change it from a back closure to a front one, and raise the neckline. I took out the pattern and got to work. I ended up using the fitted jacket pattern that I've never gotten to work as a guide for how my pattern pieces should go. It was kind of not the best help. I did a quick test of my first pattern pieces. I used Living Barbie as my fit model and quickly churned out the test bodice. It was a decent start, but it needed to be lengthened and the neckline was still off. Mainly I just needed the front piece to be fixed. I tweaked it some, then cut out a new piece from the adapted pattern. I was able to use my original test garment since I only changed the front piece. This one was much better. I was confident that this would work. So I set aside my muslin and got out the navy calico that I wanted to use to make the actual suit.
There was a problem, I only had a small bit of fabric left. I really wasn't sure if there was enough to make the whole suit. I thought about using a different color, but I really wanted to use the navy. I knew that I'd get more use out of it in navy, plus I really didn't have enough of black which was my second choice. So navy it was. I started with the skirt. Since that was the biggest fabric piece I needed I knew that I'd be kicking myself if I made the jacket and didn't have enough for the skirt. All the jacket pieces were smaller and it would be easier using scraps to cut that out if that's all I had left. I used the same skirt pattern that I used for making the Barbie and Darci dresses. I really like that skirt, it might be my new default straight skirt pattern. This time instead of attaching it to a bodice, I used a waistband. First time for that. It came out decent, although next time I'm going to start the gathers sooner. The skirt fits fine and looks good, but most of the soft pleats start closer to the back. Something to keep in mind next time. When I was done with the skirt, I finally turned my attention to the jacket.
I was able to cut the entire thing out with what I had left of the navy calico. Good thing I did the skirt first since I only had scraps when I was all done with it all. It went together for the most part decently. I've always had good luck with this pattern, and I've attached enough sleeves to it to know that it's possible. But it wasn't all smooth sailing. I did have some problems with the collar, collars my arch-enemy. I had to barely enough fabric left over to make a collar, but it actually ended up being too big. So I would take it a tiny amount, afraid of messing it up, and it would still be too big, so I would take in some more. But the next time it was too small! I never managed to get that perfect size. But I was able to try it on the doll and see how it looked. Which ended up being a good thing. The front pieces were actually way too big, and in order to have it fit tightly I was going to have a lot of overlap for the front piece, almost double breasted. And that I did not like. So I ended up taking of the front and making them less wide. I also redid the collar, making it shorter, and finally getting it to fit correctly.
I wasn't done just there. I actually got both pieces finished today, snaps and everything. Right now they're color fasting, but you'll get to see them tomorrow. I promise.

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