Sunday, June 11, 2017

Last Two Beach Outfits

The beach themed doll meet-up is next Saturday. Lucky for me, I sewed the last two outfits this week. I know what you're thinking: Great! Now you can sit back and relax all week. Well, actually, no. I still have accessories to crochet (hats and tote bags) and sew (cover-ups), so it will be a crazy week as usual.

I had planned to crochet a bikini for LittleFee Ante but got bogged down in the instructions for the panty. Had I persisted, I would probably still be working on it now. Instead, I gave in to the need for something sure and speedy and put together three pieces from Gracefaerie's #38 Hugs and Kisses.
I'm sure this pattern is a breeze to sew in the larger sizes, but making the top for LittleFee proved a challenge. The garment construction is unlike anything I've made before. Most patterns for a lined bodice have you join the main fabric and lining at the armhole or sleeve edges. That way when you turn it you have a clean, perfect seam. Sewing up the sides usually comes last. This pattern does the opposite. All you do for the sleeve edge at the beginning is stay stitch, clip, turn under and press. No basting to hold it in place, no pins, nothing. You put the sleeve main fabric and lining together at the end. Now, my glove size is Small, so you know I'm not going in there with big, fat fumble-fingers. Even so, I could barely get one finger into the sleeve opening as I tried to re-position the hem edges that perversely had turned themselves out. The things I said as I struggled with it cannot be printed in a family-oriented blog. It was that bad. It all came together in the end, thank goodness. Will I sew from this pattern again? Doubtful. Is it cute? Yeah!
I don't know about the hat. There are patterns for three different clothing sizes in the envelope, but the hat is one-size-fits-all. That makes it big for a LittleFee, in my opinion. It didn't help that I put fairly wide lace all around. With smaller lace or without lace altogether the proportions might look better. The pattern called for woven, fusible interfacing, which I didn't have. I did have buckram, however, which is typically used for hats. So instead of fusing interfacing to the front and back fabric pieces, I used one thickness of buckram, which I held in place with basting stitches until I sewed front and back together. It's probably a little stiffer than the hat should be, but it worked so I'm not complaining.
The last beach outfit belongs to FID Lawrence. From the beginning I had planned for him to wear a pair of black briefs and call it a swimsuit. Then I figured what the heck, let's make him something. I purchased a pattern from Designs by Jude called In the Game for 19-inch Peter Pevensie (Tonner Dolls). The designer made the sample garment in black, which photographs like a big ink blot, so I didn't photograph the pattern envelope. The pattern makes sports pants in two lengths, a tee shirt and a hoodie. I have a bunch of 4-inch zippers, none of them in a color that matches any of my knit fabrics, so I didn't make the hoodie. I made Lawrence short pants and a sleeveless tee.
I love this tee pattern. Instead of going on over the doll's head, it has snaps in the back. Love, love, LOVE! To understand this statement, you need to know that I removed Lawrence's head in order to take off the tight white tee shirt he was wearing. As soon as I did that, the small S-hook that joins the head to the elastic fell down inside the body. In a larger doll this would have spelled disaster. Luckily with FID size, I was able to shake out the S-hook and easily grab the elastic with my hemostats. I replaced the silly little S-hook with a larger one and we were back in business. By the way, the tee shirt pattern does not have darts. What you see in the above photo is a bit of fabric caught in his chest joint. The things you notice only after you take the photos!
I'm surprised by how much I like this wig on Lawrence. It's the wig I had on Claude, whose face must be larger because on him this wig looked like it had less hair. I didn't expect the color to work with Lawrence's real skin, dark eyebrows and beard, but the effect is nowhere near as jarring as I thought it would be. Looks like a surfer dude. Actually, I wanted him to be a beach volleyball dude, but the only doll-size balls I have are a soccer ball and a basketball. He chose the soccer ball.
He also chose Gene, who isn't quite as tall as she appears in this photo. She is wearing high heels while Lawrence is barefoot. I'd love to have all the girls barefoot for the meet-up, if only changing feet weren't such a hassle. I always seem to lose an S-hook along the way. Plus it means having to change back to heel feet when I get home. I don't know. I'll think about it.


  1. This backdrop makes me want to go swimming! I can imagine sewing this for a littlefee must have been extremely fiddly. I have started making bonnets for my kids, but something else needed to be done first and then I forgot about them. Now I am motivated to finish them- thank you :). Your Fids look so tanned, or is it just the light? And did you change the background of you blog? Sorry for all the questions :)..

    1. Thanks! I love the background fabric panel. I wish it were wider, however, to accommodate multiple dolls. All 3 dolls pictured are various shades of tan: FID Lawrence is Real Skin, Raccoon Gene is Sweet Mocha, and Ante is FairyLand's tan. (Lawrence and Gene look good together because the same artist sculpted them: Lawrence while he was at Iplehouse and Gene for his own company, Raccoon Doll.) And yes, I did change my blog's background. It was past time; the other one was up for years.

      I used to be a reference librarian, so answering questions is second nature to me. :D

  2. Now I know why the Raccoon girls looked so familiar :). The tan looks the same shade to me and very natural, and Gene and Lawrence are a handsome couple. Yes, it's sometimes really annoying that the backdrops aren't wider, as soon as you try to take pictures with a little bit of distance between the panel and the dolls you end up having a part of your room in the picture. Dolls and books... one of my favorite combinations ;).

  3. Oh my, your girl looks so adorable!! I love how that color looks on her :3

    Lawrence's outfit fits him great, honestly! And oh my, I never had an S-hook going doing the torso (although some did snap and I found myself calling my hubby to come rescue me), but I can understand the anxiety! Iple dolls can sometimes come so tightly strung!

    I also love that wig, he has a surfer look with it! Maybe you should get some pliers to help you with the feet issues? My JID does the same, I hate changing her feet!

    1. Thanks Musume! I've had S-hooks fall into the torso more times than I care to admit, and they were all Iplehouse dolls. But I've never had a hook snap. That would be scary, plus you could get hurt from flying pieces. Pliers are too big for Raccoon feet. I find hemostats work better. Sometimes all it takes is a crochet hook--good thing I have those in lots of sizes. :D In the end I decided it was too much work for the meet-up, so my Raccoon girls wore swimsuits and high heels. Like in a beauty pageant.