Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Poet Shirt for MiniFee Karsh

I've had this pattern forever--I just haven't had a doll who could wear it.  Let me elaborate.  I bought Gracefaerie pattern #23 The Poet for MSD Boys back when I had a Limhwa Limho Mono and needed to make him some clothes.  It was the closest I could find to his measurements; unfortunately both garments ended up being too small.  The pants went into a plastic bag to await a future doll that might wear them.  The shirt ended up in the trash.  Normally I don't throw away doll clothes, but I made a major error on this one.  Instead of placing the sleeve pattern piece on the fold of the fabric, I cut all around it, then couldn't figure out why the sleeve was so narrow compared to the photos on the package.  There are times, I swear, I shouldn't be allowed near a pair of scissors.

Enter FairyLand's MiniFee Karsh.  I wouldn't have expected any part of this outfit to fit him, as he is smaller than the Dollzone and Angel of Dream boys it was designed for.  But because I eventually try these pants on every mini boy (and girl) who enters the house, whether or not I think they will fit, I tried them on Karsh.  They were a bit loose, but I moved the snap and he is able to wear them.  Score one for pattern #23.

That led me to rethink the shirt.  A poet shirt is naturally loose and blousy.  In other words, it didn't need to be an exact fit.  I had some white cotton gauze and some lace trim, so I set about making the variation on the pattern that Gracefaerie calls The Prince.  (It would work equally well for a pirate.)   The pattern calls for a couple of hooks and eyes sewn inside the garment so you don't see them from the outside.  I cheated and sewed a couple of snap sets instead.  Once the waist cincher is in place, either method of closure is a moot point anyway.

You may have noticed that I rarely take measurements, and only make adjustments afterwards, when it's obvious something doesn't work.  I need to see the garment on the body to see where it doesn't fit; only then can I alter it.  Looking at a flattened pattern piece, I can't see where or how to take it in or let it out.  I need to manipulate the fabric on the body--after I've put it together.  Now that I see the finished shirt on Karsh's body, I know I can't take in the side seams, because that would make the shirt too tight around the hips.  The dropped shoulders are part of the design, not a sign that the shirt is too large.  On the whole, it's not a terrible fit.  And the waist cincher, being a bit wider than the red ribbon, might take care of the excess fabric.

I ran out of daylight hours before I could make the waist cincher (pieces shown in the first photo above), so I tied a ribbon around his waist to hold the shirt together until I can finish sewing.  Darkness comes so early this time of year.  I'm always surprised when 3:30 p.m. rolls around and the sun has reached the back of the house.  I know that whatever project I'm working on had better cease for the day if I want to get any photos without the dreaded flash going off.  Today I stopped sewing fifteen minutes too late and paid for my folly with a succession of photos that I had to delete.  In an effort to override the flash I changed a few settings.  I thought the pictures were good until I got them up on the computer screen and saw how grainy they looked.  Two more weeks to go before the Winter Solstice.  After that the days start getting longer.  I can hardly wait.

Karsh doesn't get much camera time--he tends to be overshadowed by the girls--so here are a couple of extra shots of my handsome elf.

Monday update:

I finished the waist cincher.  Actually I had to start over.  The fabric I selected initially was from a sample book for home interiors.  It was a small piece, and much of it was covered on the back with a paper label containing the fabric content info.  I had stripped most of the paper off.  What was left looked usable, but when I ironed it the remaining glue suddenly bloomed and stained the front of the fabric.  There was no washing it, because it was marked dry clean only.  I found another sample, this one without any label, and used it instead.

I also changed Karsh's wig.  I don't know if cold dry weather causes resin to shrink, but his red wig kept falling off.  I could have put a wig cap under it, but he's been wearing this wig for a while so I decided to go with a different one.

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