Sunday, February 20, 2011

Adapting a Dress Pattern for IpleHouse JID Girls

Anyone who has welcomed a Junior IpleHouse Doll into their home knows that these girls, although lovely, are hard to find clothes and patterns for. 

Let me be the first to admit that I am not a seamstress.  My mother taught me the basics many, many years ago.  The rest I have picked up on my own, mostly by struggling through pattern instructions, and very much by trial and error.  Lots of error.  What follows is my unscientific take on adapting a pattern for my JID girls.

The pattern in question is Kiss & Tell, from Adams-Harris Pattern Company, designed for Elfdoll Sooah, large bust.  I have had some success in the past reducing SD patterns on the photocopier to make them fit MSD dolls, so I attacked this project without a doubt that I could make the pattern work.  Just to be sure, I photocopied it at three different reductions:  75 percent, 80 percent, and 85 percent.  I knew that 75 percent would be too small to fit JIDs; I made that reduction anyway, thinking I could use it for some of my smaller girls.  I was pretty sure 80 percent would work, but I made the 85 percent just in case, because these girls are broad across the back and hips.  Three sizes.  What could go wrong?

The jumper pattern pieces at 85 %, with darts sewn,
including front placket and front pleat.
Skirts can always be made to fit.  It's the bodice that is tricky.  I started by making a trial bodice at 85 percent from a fabric I don't like.  I didn't line it, just joined all the seams and tried it on for fit.  It looked like it would work, so I made the bodice again from my fabric of choice, with lining, even adding lace under the front placket.  What I can't figure out is why the finished bodice looked bigger than the trial piece.  I tried it on Tania, who let me know that she really did not care for it at all.

At that point I could have ripped out the seams and made adjustments, but I figured it would take less time to cut another bodice using the 80 percent pattern.  This also gave me a chance to choose a lining fabric that had less tendency to fray.  I found a smaller size lace.  Hey, this one was going to work!

The 85 % bodice on top.  Below it, the 80 % bodice is
pinned to the skirt prior to sewing.
I stopped at several points in the process to try it on Tania.  It looked like a perfect fit, with one exception.  She needed a bit more fabric at the back seam just below the waist, because there wasn't enough skirt fabric to turn the edge under for a clean finish.  I solved that problem by cutting a strip of the same fabric on the bias and wrapping it around to form a placket.  Thus, no more air on the derriere.

All in all, I am fairly pleased with the results.  I'm not sure I like the light blue organdy ribbon.  I will probably change it out for a blue or a white satin.  I didn't make the belt loops, so there is nothing to hold up the ribbon in front.  It's too late to add fabric belt loops, but I could crochet a couple of loops that would serve the purpose.  Because the bodice is tight, there is no point making the blouse that goes under the jumper.  I am already planning a version of this for Asa, with sleeves and a false shirtfront to simulate the blouse.  This adaptation is still very much a work in progress. Undaunted, Ball Jointed Woman marches on!

With no room for a blouse, it looks like
we'll have to call this one a sundress.

Close-up showing front button detail.
Wig from IpleHouse.  The color is Siena -- a rich dark red.


  1. I like the dress. You have given her a really cool look. The boots and necklace are a good choice.

  2. Thank you so much for this tutorial.
    I couldn't beguin to think how much reduction in printer would I need for a pattern.