Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Perfect Fit for Rosette Marguerite

At last!  A new outfit for poor Marguerite. 

I feared I would never find anything to fit her.  Then one day while going through a box of non-BJD stuff, I came across an evening dress for Tonner's Tyler Wentworth.  I had tried Franklin Mint fashions on Marguerite without success.  Could this one possibly work?  It was ridiculously short on her -- I think it came to her knees -- and it was tight around the hips, but the top fit perfectly.  It was sleeveless, so I wasn't sure about the arm length.  There was only one thing to do.

Making a muslin prototype to check for fit
I bought a pattern on ebay from the Fletcher Pattern Company.  Called Safari for Tyler, it consists of a long-sleeved blouse and a high-waisted, long flared skirt.  I hoped the flare would start high enough to accommodate Marguerite's hips.  And I wondered how the blouse would fit.  I cut out and basted a muslin prototype.  In my eagerness and haste, I sewed a few of the skirt sections wrong side out.  It doesn't matter, I kept reminding myself, it's just for fit.  As soon as I saw that it would indeed fit, I laid out my fabric, cut it out, and set to work.

The pattern does not call for lining the skirt.  I chose to line it rather than finish so many raw seams.
At first I had thought I might keep to the safari theme in my choice of fabrics.  Then I looked deeper into my stash and considered calico for a prairie settler look.  But when I came across some Asian prints I knew I had to make the outfit as a marriage of Eastern fabric and Western style.  Even better, I had recently ordered Marguerite a new wig from Soom (Korea) and the color was perfect with the fabric.

Adding the collar to the shirt
Out of her Victorian white ruffled dress, Marguerite looks like a different girl.  And now that I know Tyler fashions can work for her (I didn't need a single alteration to the pattern or the garment) I will be able to flesh out her wardrobe.  She will never be able to wear Tyler's slacks or straight skirts.  I wouldn't know where to begin lengthening a pants pattern to fit -- Marguerite is all legs!  (The Rosette girls measure 47.5 cm tall, with a leg length of 29.5 cm.)  But there is nothing easier to sew than a basic skirt, so I should be able to wing it even without a pattern.

I added lace trim to lengthen the skirt.  The belt is a piece
of orange trim finished with a tiny belt buckle.

A word of caution to anyone else who is eager to try this:  Marguerite has what Rosette/Soom calls a lady body.  She and Fir are the only two Rosette School of Dolls girls with this figure type.  The other dolls have the flat-chested girl body (14.3 cm chest for the girl and 16 cm chest for the lady).  If you use a Tyler pattern for the girls you will need to remove the darts and adjust the bodice for the resulting extra fullness.

Millie admires the new look
One of these days I will order Marguerite another pair of shoes.  That way her feet won't be a dead giveaway when they appear to one side of a photo, as they did in the Mid-Week Sneak Peek.

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