Sunday, July 24, 2011

No-Pattern Sundress for When It's Too Hot To Sew

Resin Corner was almost hot enough this week to melt resin.  Fierce heat and oppressive humidity, made all the worse because we Northerners are not accustomed to such weather.  Balljointed Woman nearly failed to get something together for a blog post.  But during the night the heat broke, to be replaced by a blissfully cool day and a beckoning sewing machine.

I managed to make two sundresses, one today and one yesterday, when it really was too hot to sew.  There is no pattern.  Each dress consists of a rectangle of fabric and a long strip for a ruffle.  I measured each doll -- a large bust Iplehouse JID and my Unoa Chibi Lilin -- around the hips, over the bust to the point where I wanted to gather the dress, and from top of bust down to where I wanted the ruffle to start.  On the first dress I doubled the hip measurement to get the width of my fabric.  The final product was a little fuller than I intended, so on the second dress I doubled the hip measurement and then took away about four inches.

I tripled the hip measurement to get the width of the ruffle for the JID version.  I allowed two inches for the depth of the ruffle, so I would have enough fabric to hem the bottom.  For the Chibi version I doubled the skirt width to get the ruffle, allowed one-and-three-quarter inches for depth and then removed threads from the bottom edge instead of hemming it.  There is nothing at all scientific about these measurements.  I simply played it by ear -- and by eye.

At the top of each dress I folded down a quarter-inch of fabric to form a casing for one-eighth inch elastic.  On the Chibi version I used round cord elastic instead, thinking it might be less bulky on the smaller doll.  Under the bust, I could have sewed the elastic to the fabric, stretching as I went; instead I sewed a hem tape to the wrong side of the dress to form a casing and drew the elastic through it.

I sewed up the back of each dress from top to bottom.  The elasticized bust makes it possible to pull the dress up without the need for snaps or other closure. When it's hot out, I'm all about ease, whether it's sewing or dressing.

I added a few embellishments to each dress.  On the JID version I made a vertical gather on one side to vary the hemline and added a small bow for visual interest.  I repeated the bow at the top of the dress.  For the Chibi version I added a narrow trim in a different color to break up all the purple, along with a flower at the top of the dress.

While I was at it, I dressed my other JIDs for summer weather.  A few weeks ago I made a tank top for Unoa from a stretch lace fabric.  The pattern was part of the jodhpurs outfit that appeared in Haute Doll.  I've made this top twice, and both times it came out too loose to be a good fit for Unoa.  Luckily it was perfect for JID Tania.  I coupled it with a skirt I made for Asa earlier this year (also from Haute Doll and last seen with a white sweater). 

My other Asa (I really need a name for this girl!) is wearing a green floral sundress from Iplehouse.  In my opinion, it is a better fit on small-bust Asa than on large-bust Tania, who was previously photographed in it.  Asa is also wearing new shoes and wig, both from Cherish Doll.

This coming week I want to tackle an MHD Designs pattern for Soah.  I also want to make the same, in different colors, for Hazy.  I know myself too well  to think I will finish both in one week.  On the other hand, I am on vacation this week and not going anywhere, so perhaps I can get both done.  No promises, mind you, but check this space a week from now and see how much I have accomplished.

1 comment:

  1. I hope it is cooler at Resin Corner this week. I don't know how you managed to sew in last week's heat. We are still miserable down here. I miss you at work. Enjoy your vacation!