So I pulled out my box of patterns. Selected Annabella from Adams-Harris Patterns. It is a pattern for SD girls, but I had reduced it on the photocopier and had yet to try it on a smaller doll. I looked through fabrics to see what might suit. I had a lot left over from the Sweet Jane pattern that I made for Hazy. Not only is it a gorgeous Japanese print -- the color was perfect with her red boots.
I had already made the body shirt for Asa, so I knew that would fit. In fact, it fit under Tania's sundress, but she wasn't satisfied. Said it felt plain compared to the other girls' outfits. Now, Tania is a girl who could never look plain, even wearing an old sack. Nevertheless, I humored her and piled on the lace and trims.
Anyone who is following my sewing misadventures has probably guessed by now that I encountered a problem or two along the way. Annabella was easy enough to sew in SD size. In MSD size, parts of it were too small for the machine and so I ended up doing a lot of hand sewing. The shoulder straps refused to go in the right direction; I nearly shredded the bodice lining trying to reposition them. Then, I sewed two of the skirt tiers wrong side out. How did that happen? It's not like I never made anything from this pattern before -- I've made three other versions of this outfit already!
I made a discovery while dressing her. A previous owner wired her legs. She is still strung with elastic, but there are wires running through the same channels. I have never wired a doll myself -- I wasn't sure how to do it. From what I can see without taking her apart, the wire goes all the way up into her torso. I wouldn't be surprised if the same wire went up one leg and down the other. This modification is intended to enable a doll to hold a pose. It does make her sturdier when standing. Finally I understand why she has always resisted any efforts to straighten her legs all the way.