I asked and it went unanswered (that happens when you’re still new with a handful of readers), so I went ahead with whatever project struck my fancy. For a while now, I’ve been wanting to create a Dollie and me look for my girls. I waited so long, now one is a teenager and the other just turned 11!! Honestly, they’re sort of out-growing that whole scene, but I’m squeezing it in while I can. Searching for patterns to suit said venture was quite a task. I’m never sure how to word my search to yield the most results. However, Violette Field Threads saved me! They recently rolled out a whole line of 18″ doll patterns matching most of their girl-sized clothes.
So, let’s get the burning question out of the way! Yes, I used my stash!! I know you were dying to find out. My sewing room is getting lighter by the day as I’ve made it a goal to try to sew something every day. Factor in the awesomeness that is my daughter learning to sew, and you have double the fabric flying out of their respective storage spaces. We had a bit of a slow week, though, so we’re pushing harder this week. That being said, I’m ridiculously happy that I got these dresses knocked out.
To start with, you’ll need to buy your patterns: here and here. After printing, taping, and cutting, you’ll be ready to rock and roll! I always get intimidated by the sheer number of pages when I download any new pattern, but I promise you, just start reading and it will all seem much easier. I can’t stress enough how important it is to read through the pattern FIRST!!! This is always the part where I roll my eyes because I have little patience for this step. I am always ready to dive right in and reading kind of slows me down. But, I recently had the privilege of testing a pattern (another designer) and realized just how important it is. Plus, it gave me an appreciation for how much work goes into getting the patterns just right.
I gathered everything and against all reason, decided to cut out pieces for 4!!! dresses… Someone should have stopped me right there. My back was not happy, I poked myself countless times, and if I never see another ruffle again, it’ll be too soon! Seriously, for as much as I adore the way the tiered skirt turned out, it was one of the most hateful things *ever* to make. The bottom tier for the doll piece says to cut 2 on the fold, it should be 4. <—This may or may not be fixed by the time you make it, but I figured it needed saying. I overlooked it and had to go back to cut at the last minute. I know it’s not a big deal, but once I’m done cutting for a project, it feels like my whole bubble is burst if I have to stop again to cut out another piece.
One thing I did wasn’t a change so much as it was just a preference. I used a heavy thread as my top thread for gathering. Too many times I’ve gone to gather fabric and that pesky thread will snap. Not once in all the gathering it took to make these dresses, did I have that issue. I will not go back to using regular thread for gathering stitches.
I ended up making the size 9/10 for my daughter and she’s a little leggy. Next time, I’ll add some length so she can get a little more mileage out of the dresses. She’s thin enough that the bodice should be fine for another year or so. I made both skirt styles and then she decided she wanted a short sleeve version as well, so I modified the sleeve and made it a short tulip sleeve (*a little hard to see it in the photos). For the simple skirt, I only color-blocked because I didn’t have enough of any one fabric to make the whole skirt. In the end, I love that option since it allows me to use up more of my fabric and it gave me the perfect amount to make a matching dress for the doll. I just took the length of the skirt, added 2 inches and sewed the seams with 1/4″ seam allowance. Each stripe was topstitched.
For the simple skirt, I only color-blocked because I didn’t have enough of any one fabric to make the whole skirt. In the end, I love that option since it allows me to use up more of my fabric and it gave me the perfect amount to make a matching dress for the doll. I just took the length of the skirt, added 2 inches and sewed the seams with 1/4″ seam allowance. Each stripe was topstitched. The back closure is also supposed to be buttons, but my machine makes the strangest button holes and I’m not great with sewing on buttons, so we opted for snaps. Easy-peasy, quick and saved me a little thread!
I will ABSOLUTELY make it again. Considering I made 4 at once, I think it’s a safe bet to say I’ll be comfortable enough with it to work on more projects. Plus, this dress offers sooo many options!! If I didn’t have to color-block her skirt, I may never have thought of it, but that’s a fantastic way to stretch the application of the pattern pieces. So, you can make it short or long-sleeved (with modification), color-blocked, solid colors for tiers and simple skirt, snaps or buttons. AND, I chose not to add the ruffle at the collar and sleeve. That’s yet another option to extend the pattern. I love that I could make her a load more of these dresses and they wouldn’t look the same. This dress is the perfect staple for your little girl’s (and her doll’s) wardrobe!
Come back next week for our final week of our month in reviews. I still can’t believe how quickly it has passed. Then we’ll be entering a new year! That alone is enough to boggle the mind. Where has the time gone? Anyhow, hope to see you next week and drop me a comment to say hello 🙂