Building my “Doll Costumer” resume, or how I just spent four hours of free time I didn’t have

[Warning:  If I would just wait a day or two to write posts about my sewing projects, they’d be much briefer and more concise.  I didn’t wait.]

The four hours of free time I didn’t have today doesn’t even count the half-hour (at least) that it’s going to take me to clean up my sewing room.  It might even take more time to clean up, because Rose and Henry kept testing out sewing notions they’d been advised (yelled at) not to touch.  They added more bends and metal fatigue and stickiness to my favorite telescoping magnet thingy (great for picking up pins and needles without getting down on my hands and knees) and Rose even managed to disassemble a rotary cutter (she’s unscathed, other than the damage to her eardrums following my reaction.)  Anyway, I’m tentatively going to say that this project was still worth it.  Mabel, at least, is ecstatic with the outcome.

A long time ago–at least a year ago–Rose cut off the hair and cut the clothing of Mabel’s favorite dollhouse doll, and it’s been sitting in my sewing room awaiting repair ever since.  It’s so small that it just didn’t draw my attention when I was mending things.  It would have been easier (and not terribly expensive) just to replace the doll, but when you buy them online you don’t get to choose exactly what their hair and clothing will look like, and Mabel was very attached to this particular doll.  Also, I was feeling creative and magnanimous.

Here’s the doll’s previous shirt, which was the only pattern I had to work with:

I wanted the doll’s replacement clothing to be able work as a dress or a nightgown.  Here’s the new dress:

For those of you who are interested in these kinds of things (which I’m assuming you to be if you’re still reading this) the fabric is Swiss broadcloth, and I got the ribbon at Britex in San Francisco several years ago.

Designing things is usually not my strong suit, but I’m happy with how this turned out except for that it’s pretty wide in the waist.  I also wanted to put tiny buttons on the dress (the placket was going to be in the front) but I was having trouble with the buttonholes so I gave up and sewed in little metal snaps instead.  (That took forever, so next time I might just resign myself to Velcro, even though I think closures other than Velcro are prettier.)  I did sew a tiny strip of Velcro hoops onto the back of the hairbow to help it stay on, and it works fairly well.

Mabel just saw me writing and says she likes the dress wide in the waist like it is.  And she’s very, very happy about the new dress.

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5 Responses to Building my “Doll Costumer” resume, or how I just spent four hours of free time I didn’t have

  1. Jessie W. says:

    Aw, that is so cute and adorable Zina! You are such a creative mom!

    Speaking of creative, I just nominated you for a Kreativ award on my blog – since your blog is always so great to read and one of my favorites. If you want to pick up the award it’s on my blog. Take care, Jess 🙂

  2. Jen says:

    I compliment your tailoring. Very nicely done, especially on such a small project.

  3. Martha B says:

    Hey Zina, Thanks for visiting my blog. Yes I do wash and dry my fabric by machine if I have time. There are times I am under the gun more than usual and have rinsed it in the sink, squeezed it out in a towel and ironed it dry. But usually I do it by machine. Then I know it is shrunk all it is going to. I don’t do silk by machine, I hand wash it.

  4. Jennette says:

    You are creative. Wow. And in the long run, was that really four hours wasted?

    • zstitches says:

      Not wasted, but definitely stolen from other things–like my doing Christmas cards this year. On the other hand, I’ve been more cheerful and relaxed this year than I sometimes am when I’m more ambitious and diligent at Christmas time, so the stolen time may have a side benefit. (But I’m still waiting for inspiration to strike for gifts for some of the people on my list, which is pretty risky by now.)

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