Sunday, September 11, 2016

Scottish Dress and Vermont Doll Lovers Meet-Up for September

How many of you guessed from last week's teaser that I was planning to make a dress inspired by the Outlander TV series? The idea of making a Scottish dress occurred to me when I was looking for cloak ideas for my WithDoll elves. I happened upon a website: (aka The Celtic Croft) that not only showed me a variety of cloak possibilities, but also bills itself as the source for "officially licensed Outlander-inspired apparel and tartans". While not obsessed with the TV series, I do tune in occasionally. I'm a huge fan of the costumes.
Going through my stash I found some plaid fabrics, but none of the pieces were large enough to give me a long, full skirt. I headed to Jo-Ann Fabrics, where a patient hunt through the aisles turned up a brown-gray-black tartan in a scale that wouldn't overwhelm a mini-mature doll. Lacking a plain brown homespun to use for the top of the dress, I chose a pale gray velvet from my stash, which I accented with black lace and brown ribbon. I also made a long white half slip (not shown) and a tartan stole.
As you know by now, I never make an outfit without some sort of pattern to give me the basic shape. One look at Romantic by Adams-Harris and I knew I had it. I've made this dress several times in the past, so I tried one on my Dollpire Kid Roo to see how it fit. The fact that she has a very narrow waist meant I would be able to move the front edge of the bodice towards the center so that it comes to a point. All I had to do to the sleeves was omit everything below the elbow. I would need only a single floor length skirt, not the short under- and over-skirts shown on the pattern.
Velvet is slippery to sew, especially when you're dealing with small pieces, so I opted to sew the bodice by hand. Once I put it together I decided the neckline was too modest, so I removed the front panel and re-positioned it a bit lower. By a happy accident I ended up with just enough white fabric extending below the bodice to fashion the point. The ribbon is sewn in place so it requires no lacing. The bodice fastens in back with snaps. The skirt was ridiculously simple to make. Instead of making a hem, I just pulled threads to give it a fringe effect. I machine sewed two rows of gathering stitches along the top edge, then sewed up the back seam. I attached bodice and skirt by hand. The stole has pulled threads all around--no sewing involved at all.
The hardest part of this project was taking photos. This is the time of year when my hydrangea blooms (I think it's a variety of hydrangea paniculata). What a wonderful backdrop for a doll in a dark dress! Not that scent factors into photos, but they smell divine! So I took Roo onto the deck to take full advantage of the white blossoms. Bad idea. I couldn't even get close. One bee after another left the hydrangea to investigate. I kept to the middle of the deck, where I managed a few photos before retreating indoors to avoid the photobombing bees.
I have more than enough plaid fabric left to make a kilt for SoulKid Yarn when he arrives. His fullset outfit already includes a brown on black shirt/jacket complete with lace jabot and cuffs, so the tartan colors will be perfect. Although I wasn't originally planning to pair him with Roo, he'll make a lovely Jamie to her Claire.

On Saturday, September 10th, the Vermont Doll Lovers met at its usual place. Because I've already posted several photos of my project above, I'll share only a photo collage of each member's dolls. (Click on any photo to enlarge.) In addition to Roo I brought my newest dolls: WithDoll Egon Elf, WithDoll Lamb Laney (aka Lamb Chop) and SoulDoll Vito Girl Freya. This will be Freya's only public appearance, as I have listed her for sale.
Modern Wizard brought her ElfDolls Dodo, Kathlen and Winky, to which she added three tiny bears. It only looks like we were sharing the same chair. There were three versions of it at the meeting: one matte, one shiny, and one with a desk arm.

Bittersweet Blue's dolls included her Dream of Doll Petsha, SoulKid Miribeyol, a Hujoo Nano-Freya, (and two other Hujoos? pending identification).
Lyrajean's group included Volks SD Date Masamune, Tony, Chiyo, Jun Tachibana and one more; Volks YoSD Kira, Spiritdoll Bastet, Custom House Ai Uriel and Sariel, a Lalaloopsy, and some Sylvanian Family cats.

I'm sure my faulty memory has mixed up/omitted some of the doll IDs. Hopefully one of the attendees will enlighten me.


  1. Lovely! I think your Scottish dress trurned out really well. It's quite difficult to get plaid in a tiny size, you were really lucky to find it.
    Meets are fun aren't they? Thanks for sharing the photos.

    1. Thank you! I love how the dress turned out. I wish I had taken at least one photo of the dress without the stole to show off the sleeves. If it weren't for the bees...
      I'm glad I figured out how to make collages on Photoshop. Otherwise I'd never have room to post as many photos.

  2. I love scottish dresses, yours is very pretty!! Love the colors, seems tu suit her really well.

    Love everyone dolls at the meet, seems like a lot of fun!
    Good luck selling Freya, she's a gorgeous doll, I'm sure someone will want her :)

    1. Thanks! The red wig really made the otherwise somber colors come alive.
      I'm hoping someone will love Freya's unique body. I love her face and delicate hands. The rest of her, not so much.

  3. Pretty clothes!! The Romantic by Adams-Harris is my favorite! Also love the pale gray velvet!
    Sad about the bees :( I hate them, but you got some very nice shots!! Sad to read you are selling your Freya, did the size put you off? Hope you had fun on the meeting!

  4. Thanks! I've made the Romantic pattern in many different ways over the years. I love it, too! I had an allergic reaction to a bee sting when I was a child, so I don't hang around long where there are bees. As for Freya, I love her size, love her face, just hate her body in general.