Sunday, March 6, 2011

A New Dress for JID Asa: Measurement Soup

I have had no luck finding patterns designed for IpleHouse JID girls.  If I had the vaguest notion how to draft a pattern, this would not be a problem.  Lacking such knowledge forces me to be creative.  Perhaps any trained seamstresses reading this would like to avert their eyes as I describe the very unscientific methods I employed in order to dress my Anastasia (aka JID Asa).

As I have already had some success adapting a pattern from Adams Harris Patterns (Kiss & Tell, designed for Elfdoll Sooah), I knew I could make a bodice that fit.  I toyed with the idea of making the blouse that comes with that pattern, then decided I would rather try the body shirt in Adams Harris' Annabella pattern.  I figured that would be easier, as this pattern was designed for IpleHouse YID Sylvia.

The first body shirt.  The fabric is so flimsy that you can see the sheet of paper right through it.
Armed with both sets of measurements (JID and YID), I used a calculator to work out comparative proportions.  This is what I came up with:  large breast JID girls measure 88% of YID girls in the chest, 84% at the shoulder, 87% at the waist, 89% at the hips, 73% in the arms, 73% hip-to-ankle, and 54% in height.  Not exactly consistent, but then they wouldn't be, seeing as the JID is supposed to be a girl (pre-teen?) while the YID is a teen. 

I planned to reduce the YID pattern via photocopier.  How would I account for all the different ratios?  The smart thing to do would have been to reduce each pattern piece according to its percentage.  I did the not-so-smart thing and picked a random number -- 85% -- and called it the average.  Have I mentioned that I am mathematically challenged?

The second body shirt fits like a second skin.
I cut out my pattern from a stretch lace fabric.  Frankly, it had more lace than stretch and it stretched in the wrong direction.  It was also quite difficult to sew.  I had to sew it by hand.  The final product, while pretty, was too long in the torso and too tight in the waist.  The sleeves, which I think I photocopied at 75%, were too narrow at the wrist to allow her hands to go through.  I tried opening the sleeves at the wrist and closing them with snaps.  The resut was not pretty.

Admitting defeat, I went back to the drawing board.  I folded the torso pattern pieces at the waist to take up some of the excess length, and re-drew the pattern.  Then I cut it out of a fabric with four-way stretch.  Success at last!  The finished garment looked and fit the way it should.

Anastasia (Asa) models the completed dress in front of a mini Shoji screen.
The screen has opened up parts of the house for photography that
I could never use before because of distracting backgrounds.
I was tempted to make Asa the jumper in the Annabella pattern.  Perhaps I will at a later date.  The skirt is very similar to the skirt I made earlier for Asa and I wanted something different.  I used the bodice from the Kiss & Tell pattern, but changed the skirt.  The skirt in the pattern has an inverted front pleat.  I took my inspiration instead from a pretty little red and cream floral dress on IpleHouse's website.  That dress has an empire bodice with a gathered skirt that has ruffles at the bottom.  I made my skirt fuller and used pink lace for one of the ruffles.

I had already picked out a fabric, green with a floral pattern.  As I looked at it, I decided it reminded me too much of the little green floral dress I bought from IpleHouse.  Another strong contender was rejected after I realized it was too similar to the fabric I used a couple of weeks ago for Tania's dress.  I went through my stash, rejecting fabrics left and right.  At last I found it:  a gauzy pink and green stripe with a touch of gold.  It was a remnant.  There was too little of it for the purpose I originally bought it for, which was as a blouse for Sooah.  Even after cutting out the stain (it was the end of a bolt and probably got trampled in the store), there was plenty for a JID sized dress.

I had just enough floral ribbon trim remaining from Mayu's Marzipan dress to trim out the new dress.  With the small piece I had left over I made a floral band to hold back her hair.  Then I forgot to put it on her head when I photographed her.  What can I say?  It's late, I rushed to finish putting the outfit together, and it never crossed my mind that anything was missing until after the photos were taken. 

That was last night.  Today, with a massive snowstorm adding a bonus day to my weekend, I took new photos.  This time I remembered the headband.

Rear view.  Wig and boots by IpleHouse.

1 comment:

  1. I love the detail on the dress. That screen is a great idea!