Sunday, February 21, 2016

Regency for Raccoon Doll Girls

Welcome to the first blog post in a long time that is not Disney Frozen related.  I was itching to do something else and happily turned to my small pile of DeeAnna Denton patterns, which I am sewing for my Raccoon Doll girls. The one I picked to work on is Regency, by Tamara Casey from Designs by Jude.
The pattern calls for an overlay that uses a different fabric from the main dress. I wasn't sure how this would come together so I started by playing with muslin. After working on it, I can say without hesitation that muslin is not the fabric of choice for this gown. Never mind that early 19th Century English novels often describe heroines as dressed in gowns of "sprigged muslin". Not sure if I'm interpreting this correctly, but I always assumed the term referred to a muslin printed with a tiny floral pattern. If anyone out there knows differently, please let me know. The point I'm getting at is that muslin is too thick to give a good idea of how the finished dress will look. You can't tell by looking at the photo on the pattern envelope (above), but the overlay over the bodice is gathered. You end up with a lot of fabric covering the bust. Thank goodness I opted for the small bust for all four of my girls.
I decided to omit the overlay this time and focus instead on getting the gown to fit. I am happy to report that the fit of this gown is nearly perfect. I did lengthen it, because the Raccoon dolls are taller than DeeAnna Denton. In fact, I lengthened it too much and had to put the doll on a stand with a wooden base instead of the thin metal I usually use. I will eventually shorten the dress. I just didn't feel like doing it today. After trying and rejecting several possible trims, I chose a blue and white floral trim to accentuate the bustline.
I intend to make at least one more dress from this pattern. As I was going through my fabric stash looking for possibilities, I came across a thin, transparent fabric printed with small pink flowers, very similar to the one on the finished gown on the pattern envelope. Instead of green, I plan to make the underdress in white. On the other hand, there is a pale yellow cotton with tiny blue flowers that I would love to use. It's too pretty to cover with an overlay, so it might become a third gown. It would be fun to make a Spencer jacket and a bonnet to go with one or all of them. There is a pattern in my stash that I should be able to adapt--not that I want to get caught up in another project when there are dolls on order who will need clothes. I can't sew for them, however, until I see how they fit into clothing I already have. They will be a project for another day.

8 comments:

  1. This is so pretty!! I love your sewing projects, they all turn out so beautiful!
    I will be soon starting a regency-inspired project soon! I love this period as much as late victorian!

    Maybe the muslin doesn't work for doll sizes but it will drape/hang just fine on the amount of fabric needed for a human. I have found that this happens with a lot of fabrics: even if they are thin enough, they are not heavy enough to fall and gather nice in dolls.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I look forward to seeing your regency project--I think this is a period many people love!
      Luckily I wasn't planning to make the dress in muslin. I was only testing for size and fit. The fabric made that difficult to do.

      Delete
  2. It came out so well! I have started buying scarves from the Goodwill to get the really light, airy fabrics you need for a lot of doll sewing. Of course in my case things get cut out and put into baggies, and that is it. :D So I love seeing your finished clothing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I once purchased a very lightweight blouse at Goodwill that I wanted to cut up for dolls. I did get a couple of "almost outfits" out of it, but it was impossible to work with and everything ended up in a bag. LOL

      Delete
  3. Very Jane Austen, good job :) I imagine it's a challenge to sew for the raccoon girls since they are so small but curvy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! So far I've been able to find patterns with a lot of room in the hip and thigh area to accommodate the curves. The last two girls are a bit less curvy, which makes more patterns possible. I have begun work on one that pairs a bustier with a mermaid skirt. It will need lengthening, but I won't know where until I finish the muslin to see at what point the skirt flares. It's for one of the slimmer girls. I'll show a progress report in my next blog post.

      Delete
  4. Very pretty, love the fabric choice and the little flower trim. I love to see your sewing projects and the pictures of your in progress work ^^

    Maybe I need to check if Deeanna patterns work for large and medium bust JID iplehouse. I have a couple of them and the mesurements are similar. I will need to adapt the waist, but I think this is easy to do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I enjoy sharing my works in progress. For the most part it's simple sewing, nothing too fancy or hard.
      Designs by Jude gives DeeAnna's measurements as 8 inch bust, 5 and 3/8 inch waist, and 8.5 inch hips. If you convert cm to inches, you'll find JID are a bit larger in each area. Not impossible, but more work. Still, it's good to have a pattern to start from. :)

      Delete