Monday, July 23, 2012

A Summer Dress for Nelly

The dress I began working on last week is finished.  As always, the bodice was the most complicated and took the longest, even though it looks very simple.  There are more pieces, they are smaller, and they need to fit together just so in order to fit the doll properly.  Although the dress pattern is sleeveless, from the beginning I intended to add shoulder straps.  The dress was so plain otherwise.  I knew just the trim I was going to use.  Because it was somewhat delicate, I planned to back it with a piece of color coordinated ribbon.  The colors were just right.  It was going to be perfect.  Now where did I last see that trim?

The condo is where I last saw it.  The sewing room is set up differently at the house, so I opened a lot of boxes looking for that yellow and green trim.  When I finally found it, I was surprised to see how little of it there was left.  When did I use the rest of it?  And on what?  I can't for the life of me remember sewing anything green and yellow, but obviously I did.  (I now suspect it was a dress I remade for Unoa Chibi Lilin.  I'm embarrassed to think how long ago that was!)

But for now I had a sundress to trim.  Going through my stash again, I found a vintage piece of trim with cotton lace already attached.  I think I bought that trim in the 1970s when I was making clothespin dolls.  Not the exact shades of green and yellow I wanted, but close enough.  I finished the bodice, tried it on Nelly, and then turned happily to the skirt.

For me the skirt is always the quickest, easiest part of the dress to make.  This one has only two pattern pieces.  I was breezing right along, thinking I would finish this in no time, when I came across the direction to join front to back with French seams.  French seams?  Are you kidding me?  I never French seamed anything in my life!  When my blood pressure returned to normal, I calmly read through the remaining directions.  Just like a pillowcase, they promised.  Resisting the urge to go turn the nearest pillowcase inside-out for a quick look, I took the directions step-by-step.  The result was not bad at all.  It seems to me that the encased seams should have been tacked down with an extra row of stitches, but perhaps I am confusing a shirt seam with a pillowcase seam.

Whatever its shortcomings, Nelly is very pleased with the dress.  I succumbed to the urge to change her eyes to green and give her a blonde wig with green clips to hold the hair off her face.  We went outdoors to take photos, taking advantage of the varying shades of green planted in front of my house.  I had been contemplating offering Nelly for sale (real estate taxes are due and I am chronically short of cash) but seeing her in her new outfit I can't do it.  Someone else will have to go in her place.  (Look for Unoa Chibi Roron on the Den of Angels Marketplace.)

1 comment:

  1. Great job with the dress. I think it looks really pretty on her. BTW, I love her hair.