Our story starts.... last week (time sure flies when you're busy doing other stuff you don't want to). I had an idea for a dress for a doll I had. I just needed a bit of lace for it. So I pulled out my trim bag followed by my lace bag. I have two just to keep things somewhat organized. I found a couple things that would wort of work, but then I found something I loved. The only part was it was the end trim to some fabric I had gotten in a lot. So I put it in the maybe pile, and looked through everything else. I tried but I didn't find anything else I liked for the dress. So I made the decision to use that lace, but only if I made something from the leftovers so I wasn't just harvesting what I wanted and throwing the rest of it out. (Or nearly out since it would go back into the bag to languish forever)
So I very carefully trimmed the lace off the bottom of the fabric. From then on I worked on both of them, but ultimately ended up working more on the second project than the one I started out making! I do plan on going back to the first project, I just finished the second one first.
I was working with a very thin cotton piece of fabric. It was about 5 inches tall and a lot longer. While I had cut off the lace at the bottom, but there was still this section of decorative embroidery at the bottom. It was one row of small boxes, on top of that was a row of larger boxes, and another row of smaller boxes on top of that. It's hard to explain, but there's a picture later that will better illustrate what I'm talking about. Since this fabric was soooooo thin, my options were very limited as to what I could make from it. The best option was an underskirt, a very decorative underskirt.
So that's what I decided to make.
I started off with sewing replacement lace at the bottom. I went back into the lace bag and found a thin bit of lace and carefully sewed it down to the bottom of the dress. I actually like that lace better with the skirt than the lace that was originally there! After that I stared doing more decorations. I took a large needle and some thin pink ribbon I had. I carefully wove the ribbon through the larger boxes at the bottom of the skirt. Taking great care to make sure the ribbon didn't twist on me. This was harder to keep straight than I was expecting. I had to pull the ribbon out and redo it several times. Once that was done I dug through my mother's cross stitch thread and found a closely matching pink thread. I wove this through the smaller boxes in both the top and bottom rows.
After that I noticed there was a small pin hole in the middle of the skirt. So I weighed by options. There were several things I could try to mask it. In the end I decided on trying to make pin tucks. That way I could fold the hole under and it wouldn't be seen. I learned something interesting, I am terrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrible at pin tucks. They're all wavy and not very neat, but they at least look good if you don't look to closely. I had to keep reminding myself that it will be under a skirt eventually so these issues really won't be seen. I ended up doing three rows, I messed up the second one and did it in reverse so I had to tear it out and start over. But eventually I got them done, but I really don't think I'll be doing very many pin tucks in the course of my lifetime, unless I have someone actually teach me how to do it instead of me muddling my way through.
After that I turned from the decorative part to the actual skirt part. I decided to make this underskirt the kind that hangs off the doll's hips, thus keeping the bulk down at the waist. I ended up cutting the material for the waistband out of a similar, but not identical thin white cotton fabric. The waistband was too big to try and steal some from the material the skirt was made out of. The pattern I'm using is my usual underskirt pattern, just shorter. I ended up gathering the skirt where it attaches to the waistband, I normally do soft pleats because I usually manage to mess up gathering but I wanted to give it a shot. I thought I was doing pretty well until I realized I had sewn the front of the skirt to the back of the waistband. I ended up taking it apart and walking away from it then. I was annoyed, but really needed to go do non-doll related things. It was several days before I could come back to it.
But that was yesterday! I went back to it, thinking. "you know what, I'm going to try finishing it.". The first thing I did was sew the CORRECT side of the skirt to the CORRECT side of the waistband. With that corrected it was the usual finishing things. I ended up hand sewing the back hem (where I double folded the hems, fancy!). Then sewed two snaps in the back. I had a hard time getting the back to match up, but eventually I got it where I'm satisfied with it. And finally, I noticed that one part of the gathers to the skirt were making it flair up a little high on one side. I ended up tacking on one of my pink ribbon roses in an effort to weight it down. My LAST pink rose no less! Oh Salvation Army ribbon roses, you were a lucky find and I will miss you going forward. It really didn't work. I plan on ironing it down to see if that helps, but I'm not super worried about it. It's still going under a dress after all. And with that finished, I had just completed an underskirt, the most decorative underskirt that I have ever made.
And want to know something really nutty?
I don't know when I'll ever use it. I really don't dress dolls in long full skirts that need an underskirt like that. This whole project was a spur of a moment thing, not something I needed at this time.
But, at least now that I have it if I do need it, it will be availible.
Plus, I sewed something AND finished it!