Sunday, November 8, 2015

Two New Outfits

Sometimes I just don't feel like sewing. Other times I'm a flurry of activity, cranking out one after the other. I have two outfits to show you today. One of them sat around in various stages of Are-you-going-to-work-on-me-or-not? for a couple of weeks. The other came together in a matter of days.
The one that took forever to make was Ellowyne's Robe Nuage from a pattern by MHD Designs. These patterns should be easy to sew: they are beautifully illustrated step-by-step in color photographs. What could possibly go wrong? I've made clothes from her patterns before, mostly without incident. This is the first time, however, that I came upon a couple of sewing terms in French. I grew up speaking French at home, so understanding French is normally not a problem. That said, it took me a while to recall that corsage meant bodice, while encolure only came to me in context. (It would have come sooner had I remembered that col is collar; therefore encolure equals neckline.)
I followed the directions to the letter. There was no stretch to my fabric. My seams were exactly 1/4 inch. The dress should have fit. So why was the bodice abnormally large? Because the dress is fully lined, taking it in was awkward, but I managed to remove one inch from each shoulder seam. The result is still poufy on top. There's room in there for a lot more bosom than Ellowyne has, for sure!
The jacket was not only poufy on top, but too narrow in the waist to fasten. What's up with this pattern? By now I didn't feel like fussing with it, so I decided to leave the jacket unbuttoned and billowy. It's called robe nuage (cloud dress) so maybe it's supposed to fit like this. I could believe that if it weren't that the photos on the front of the pattern show the dress and jacket to be fitted. Could it be that Resin Ellowyne is smaller than her vinyl sisters?  I'll have to find my one remaining vinyl Ellowyne and compare.
The other outfit I made is a two-piece suit with turtleneck top. The pattern is Urban Beat for DeeAnna, designed by Gary Fletcher for Designs by Jude. This is one of the patterns I bought because the DeeAnna Denton doll's measurements are close to those of both the RaccoonDoll and Judith Girl dolls. I started with the skirt. As soon as I saw how short it was, I opted to make the outfit for the slightly shorter Suntan Zinna instead of Raccoon Mika.
This is another case of the finished product deviating from the cover photo. The skirt on the pattern envelope has a wide ruffle. It looks like what you would get if you didn't fold the ruffle in half lengthwise, as the pattern markings and instructions direct. My skirt's proportions are visibly different. The next time I make it, I'll give it a wider ruffle. The jacket was a total surprise. Because the cover sample is made up in white, the details are nearly invisible. The blue denim I chose clearly shows the three pockets and the topstitching on the yoke, panels, collar, cuffs and waistband. Despite a multitude of small pattern pieces yielding 22 pieces of fabric, it worked up like a dream and fit beautifully.
The only part that gave me any trouble was the turtleneck, and I chalk that up to my choice of fabric. My four-way stretch knit was so limp and slippery that sewing it was a nightmare. Because my bottom-of-the-line sewing machine has no stretch stitches, I used a zig-zag stitch where I could and hand stitched the rest. Hand stitching actually gave me more even seams than I usually get by machine, so all was well in the end.  And the four-way stretch ensured that the sleeves would go over Zinna's hands no matter how narrow the sleeve turned out to be. Getting the knit sleeves through the jacket sleeves was another story, however.
I have one more pattern from Designs by Jude that I haven't made up. It's for a Regency dress. I'm debating whether to make it for Mika so she can wear it to next Saturday's doll meet-up. Now that we've changed our meeting schedule to monthly instead of every other month, I'll need to do more sewing!


  1. Those outfits look amazing! I specially like Suntan Zinna's outgit! The jacket looks really detailed, good work!
    And the Ellowyne outfit was cute, too! Sad about the jacket, maybe it was to wear with a less bulky dress? Maybe the fabric of choice. Hope you can fix that pattern, the jacket looked so cute even when worn open!

    1. Thanks Musume Desu! The denim suit is my favorite.
      The strange thing about Ellowyne's outfit is that I used the recommended fabrics. It's designed to be made from light to medium weight cottons, linen, dupioni silk, etc. I used cotton for both the dress and jacket, with very light cotton for the linings.