Sunday, March 6, 2016

Night at the Opera for Raccoon Lucy: the Skirt and Bustier No. 2

You read that right. I wasn't happy with last week's bustier. I tried for a couple of days to fix it--to no avail--and finally started over using a different pattern. My problem with the original pattern is that a single pattern piece attempts to do the work of both the center front and side front. As drawn, it didn't fit my small bust Lucy, although it might work better for the large bust. Try as I might, I couldn't figure out where to place a second dart to take in the extra fabric. The pattern already has a second dart, but it is so tiny that it's just about useless. Every time I tried to rework it, the dart ended up in a different place or pointing in a different direction.
The replacement corset, or, Bustier No. 2

So I turned to an old standby: Gracefaerie's #21 Corset for MSD. The pattern includes four custom sizes. I chose the one for 43cm Narae, knowing I would have to lengthen the corset to accommodate Lucy's longer torso. I also chose the pattern version with a closed front and lacing up the back, as that one most resembles the bustier in Night at the Opera. Considering the fit of the final version, I would have done better choosing a version that laces up the front. If I make this outfit again I'll try that. You'll notice I also changed my fabric. As pretty as the suede cloth is, it was too hard to sew and so I opted for a quilter's cotton with a Japanese print.
Front and back sections of the skirt. The green fabric 
looks gray against my light green cutting board.

With the bustier finally squared away I was able to start on the skirt. I made a quick muslin to check for length. Based on the results I added three-quarters of an inch to each skirt pattern piece just above the knees. The next time I use this pattern for a Raccoon girl, I'll make that a full inch, because the skirt is just a wee bit short in front. I used a fabric that looks like silk on the right side but is backed by a shiny synthetic. A note for next time: use a thinner fabric. The skirt is fully lined. While that conceals shreddy edges, it also makes the skirt thicker and heavier. The skirt is form-fitting through the hips to the knees, so this pattern will not work for Raccoon girls with the original glamour body. Lucy has the slim body.
This pattern calls for a tiny back zipper on the skirt. My doll zippers are easily twice the length of the zipper opening, in addition to which I didn't have a coordinating color so I used snaps instead. 
Lucy's wig is Shaine by Monique Gold. The color is champagne.


  1. I think the new corset and the full dress look awesome!!
    I love reading about your sewing adventures, you know? Maybe for the skirt you'll need one of those fabrics that are thin but heavy at the same time.
    Lucy looks so pretty! <3

    1. Thank you Musume! I sometimes worry that people might find my sewing adventures boring. I hope my many misadventures will help others to avoid the problems I encountered. :)
      I'm wondering now if this pattern might work for my incoming Withdoll Emma. I'll have to compare measurements.

  2. She looks so elegant! Love the final outfit. The fabric choice for the corset is perfect!

  3. Wow! I wish more doll companies would make contemporary but elegant evening wear like this. I love this outfit, and the fit is great! I love your finishing, and the fabric is gorgeous. I've been a lurker for some time, but your adventures are so much fun for me to read. I really love your style. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Many Asian doll companies seem to ignore collectors who would like a more grown up look for our dolls. I cringe every time I see new school uniforms with skirts that barely cover the doll's bottom. What's up with that? They pretty much force me to sew.

      I'm glad you're enjoying my blog. I really love writing it. Thanks!