Sunday, March 10, 2013

Layla's Body Shirt: Second Attempt

I almost decided to keep last week's lacy body shirt, figuring the sagging bottom wouldn't show under Brooke's dress.  (Brooke is a Fair Elf Layla from the talented Kaye Wiggs.)  I also toyed with the idea of simply cutting the bottom off, hemming the remaining portion and calling it a shirt.  Then I considered making the dress and adding the body shirt's sleeves and collar to it, as I'm not above a bit of cheating if it makes an outfit work.  Finally, pride won out.  I can do this, I said, and set about looking for a different fabric with which to remake the body shirt.

I have made a body shirt (and several undergarments) in the past from white swimsuit lining.  It works well for dolls, as it is thinner than other knits but has good stretch.  As luck would have it, I couldn't find any, even though I am sure I had a length of it left.  That left me with a small piece of white, four-way stretch, cotton-lycra knit.  It's thicker and holds up well when sewn into small garments.  Soom Quartz's tee shirt is made of the same fabric in yellow.  I also have it in blue.  It's great stuff.

The new body shirt came together so easily, I wish I had used the lycra from the beginning.  That's not to say I didn't run into difficulties.  In fact, I almost made the same mistake both times.  Setting out to sew the socks first, I pinned the long sides of one together and looked at it.  What an odd looking foot this sock has!  Well no wonder--it wasn't a sock piece at all, it was a sleeve.  Thank goodness I hadn't started sewing.

I knew I was home free when it came time to sew the crotch pieces together and I found myself with front and back of equal size.  Yes!  I could barely contain my joy as I tried the garment on Brooke.  My joy was short-lived:  I had made the cuffs too narrow.  Brooke has wide hands with splayed fingers.  They wouldn't go through.  Seams are the bane of my existence.  They start out the right width, but as I sew they get wider.  I don't notice until it's time for a fitting.  Needless to say, I picked apart the cuff seams and redid them, leaving more room for her fingers to pass.  You'd think that a fabric with that much stretch would give.  What makes it not work is the seam which attaches the cuff to the sleeve.  It has no give, so the stretch ends there.  I'd like to say Lesson learned, only I know I'll do it again.

After the body shirt, sewing the dress was a piece of cake.  Of course, I wouldn't be me if I didn't digress from the pattern slightly.  The skirt, in my opinion, was too long so I added two pintucks in the lower portion of the skirt to make it shorter.  It's too bad that the floral fabric doesn't allow the pintucks to show up in the photos.  You'll have to take my word for it that they're there.  I also did not line the skirt.  MHD Designs seems to line all of her skirts and dresses.  Granted that makes the garments neater, with no fraying seams on view.  It also makes the skirts stiffer and heavier.  I figure if I need or want something to stiffen the dress later on, I'll add a separate petticoat.

This past week a sofa arrived from American Girl.  Nearly all of my seating choices accommodate one doll at a time, the exception being a couple of benches for the smaller dolls.  It was high time I added a sofa so that two or three mid-size dolls can sit together.  A reviewer commented on AG's website that the sofa was rumored to be retired soon.  I decided it was time to buy.  Sometime in the near future I hope to show it again with more than one doll occupying it!


  1. Rebecca's Settee is my favorite piece of furniture for the bjds. It's perfect for them (not so much for the AG dolls, lol). I'm glad you created a new bodysuit for Layla, it looks fantastic and the whole outfit turned out very well.

  2. I love the settee, too. I can actually seat all three of my Bimong dolls (Narin and the two Naraes) together on it. I'm looking forward to the arrival of my Minifee so she can sprawl all over it. My other dolls aren't quite that limber!

    I'm glad I created a new body suit instead of sewing the sleeves to the dress. This way she still can wear the dress when the weather gets warm.