I sewed today!
I haven't done that for a while, and it's been even longer since I actually made something I actually liked that will end up on a doll (hopefully). I'll be honest, I'm still in a terrible slump. Ever since December I have been stuck. Nothing seems to inspire me, and the nude dolls just keep piling up. Luckily I've also managed to slow down on getting new dolls. Instead of getting two per month like last year, so far we've only added one a month, but that's still more coming in than getting dressed. The only doll I've dressed this year was that Fashion Queen, and I started that dress back in December before this slump started.
Right now I have two projects that I haven't given totally up on yet. It's that outfit for Stacey and the outfit for Malibu Francie. Both of those outfits however are on hold because they need a lot of pattern adapting and I'm still burned out from the last times I worked on both of them. No, today I worked on an entirely different doll, one that's actually not part of the collection yet.
The other day I was searching online for some vintage clothing in the hopes of finding something that would inspire me to make something for the undressed dolls. I was searching 50's clothes since that's the largest group within the undressed dolls. I found a dress that while it could have been from the 50's, it read more as 70's to me. I ended up saving the picture, which ended up being the only thing I liked from my searching. Even though it wasn't a 50's dress I was looking for, for some reason this dress really resonated with me. The only problem was that I didn't have a 70's doll in need of a dress. Other than Malibu Francie (who I didn't think the dress would work on) everyone else was from the 60's or 50's. But then I remembered I had Growing Pretty Hair Barbie and Quick Curl Kelley in the closet. Both of them aren't part of the collection yet, but after they're repaired they will be officially joining it. And since this dress was inspiring me, I might as well go with it even if it didn't help me get an official doll dressed. And if it worked out, that just means I can move a doll right into the collection after I fixed it in June.
I decided it would work best on Kelley. For some reason I think Growing Pretty Hair needs a dress with more pink in it and it would look lovely on Kelly, or at least the version I created in my head did.
After deciding who was going to wear the dress it was time to get to work. I didn't start off with sewing though. I needed to work on the design some before I got to that step. I already knew that I was going to change a few things from the original dress. It was however a good starting point for what I wanted. I sketched it out quickly and I played around with some design features. From the waist down it looked pretty good, but I wasn't in love with the top, especially the shoulder treatment. I tried a couple different variations until I found one I liked. I ended up doing some quick test sewing runs of the shoulder straps since I was doing something slightly different than what I've done before. I sewed that up pretty quickly, and being satisfied with what I did I pulled out the fabric.
I had an idea in my head about with fabrics to use, but when I was looking at the fabrics in person together and with the doll... I just didn't like it. I ended up pulling out all over my stored fabric trying to find a better option. It took me a while, but I eventually found something I really liked. And it was a fabric that I had made a dress from before, but it didn't end up being worn. So that meant that nobody else in the collection would be wearing that same pattern. I don't mind repeating fabrics, several dolls "share" some, I just try to limit it within reason. With that decided I pulled out the patterns. Other than the one I tested out, all the patterns were ones I've used time and time again. I made a lot of progress on the dress today. I got most of the machine sewing done. And then I get to start the hand finishing.... fun!
I'm only partially kidding, I am really thrilled to actually be working on a dress I like. It's been too long since that's happened. Like usual you won't get to see it until later. Hopefully soon!