Monday, January 3, 2011

Heirloom Sewing for Dolls

Back in 2007, DD and I took a class with Judith Adams called "Fit for a Princess". The dress was based on Love and Stitches #556 Smocked Frocks, made out of fine Italian organza and embroidered English netting and laces. DD and I had different lace kits, so we would leave the class with matching but different dresses. We pleated and smocked the skirt in class and did a minimum of work on the bodice, primarily cutting everything out, rolling and whipping the lace to the sleeves and making a piece of piping. Judith's goal was to have us try at least one of every technique we would need to do to finish the dresses at home. We left the class at the end of the day and the kits never came out of the zip lock bags again. Until this past week.
I didn't take any pictures of the "out of the bag" configuration, but here is what my bodice looked like after attaching the backs to the front at the shoulder, applying piping and inserting the sleeves. I also applied the bias neck facing, handworked the buttonholes and stitched the ribbon casings in the sleeve prior to taking this pic.

 The piping between the sleeves and bodice and at the waist later on were made by covering cording with a bias strip of organza topped by a bias strip of the netting. This was surprisingly easy to work with. Here is where 2 of my favorite notions made a difference: An adustable zipper foot and the Darr Piping Magic ruler shown below. If you click on the picture to enlarge, you can see the layer of organza, the cord and netting and a finshed piece of piping under the ruler. After stitching the piping, the handy DPM ruler made it a snap to trim the piping to 1/4". The ruler has grooves in the bottom that the piping fits into, allowing you to zip your rotary cutter along and trim off the excess. I love this thing!

 Here is a pic of the bodice turned inside out. The neckline was finished using a bias strip of the netting. The sleeve seams are encased in bias strips of the organza. Remember earlier that I said DD and I had different lace kits... This is her bodice. The picture taken on the carpet above is mine. These pictures were taken AFTER I mistakenly stitched one of her sleeves to my bodice. Of course, the mistake was not noticed until I had graded the seams and the organza strip applied. Correcting that mistake took some time and patience!

This is as far as I got on DD's dress. The bodice is completely assembled and back into the bag it will go with the skirt and waist piping. As delightful as this dress is in it's completed state, I am not in the mood to finish this one as well!

Another better than useful tool... Glue Baste It. I used this to place the piping on the skirt until it was stitched in place. This allowed for perfect placement with little fuss.

One of the great things about working with netting was the ease of working a handsewn buttonhole. The holes in the netting provide perfect structure and guidelines. These were a treat to work, all four came out perfectly even and the same size! The ribbon is encased between the layer of netting on the top and organza on the bottom.

And here is the completed dress. I am happy to have actually finished something. It only took me 3 1/2 years!!!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is just an amazing dress. Thanks for all the close-up pictures!