Christmas Dreams and New Year Wishes

The Coventry sisters (Kathrynne, Kaitlynn and Brooke) awoke early on Christmas Day to prepare a simple but elegant breakfast for their business associates Julie London and Molly Hamilton. Kathrynne, Kaitlynn and Brooke enjoy the times when they are engaged in buying trips for Julie and Molly’s dress shop.

Before attending to their guests, each sister made a wish as the sunshine streamed through the windows of the large bedroom they still share in common at their parents’ mini-mansion.

Kaitlynn.

Kaitlynn’s wish is for her family and friends to take time to enjoy the simple pleasures that make life sweet.

Kathrynne (left) and Brooke (right).

Kathrynne and Brooke dream about a time when they stay in touch more often by discussing things face-to-face instead of through texts and emails.

————————————————————————————————-

Julie (left) and Molly (right)

Molly awoke to the fragrance of cinnamon French toast as Julie entered the room with a stack on her plate. She encouraged Molly to hurry downstairs before everything was gone because unexpected callers had arrived.

Molly almost gasped telling Julie that as a fitting model for the Enchanted Dress Shop she cannot afford to gain much weight. Once they started discussing their dreams and hopes for the shop Molly decided there was plenty of work up ahead in the New Year. Julie would work an extra pound or two off once fittings and showings resumed mid-January.

——————————————————————————————————

The Enchanted Christmas Tree.

The Coventry Sisters along with Julie and Molly will be back at work after their holiday break with new styles and a few surprises. It might be a little while before they start sharing photos and updates. But all good things are worth waiting for and working towards.

With best wishes,

Molly
Julie
Kathrynne
Kaitlynn
Brooke

Please note: I did not make any of the sleepwear my dolls are wearing in these photos. They were a gift from my late mother. I don’t know where she bought them.

1:6 Scale Fashion Doll Lingerie

The bandeax and bikini panty shapes were drawn over the basic slopers and tested on scraps of cotton tulle. Adjustments had to be made to bring the fit closer to the doll’s body and allow for the stretch factor. This was a trial and error process.

The basic patterns for Kaitlynn’s bandeaux bra and bikini panties were made from 1:6 scale fitted bodice and shorts slopers. The stocking pattern was made by tracing the outline of the doll’s leg and foot when the leg and foot were placed sideways on a piece of white paper.

The elbow length glove pattern was created by placing the full length of the doll’s arm and hand against a piece of white paper and tracing around it. The hand for the glove is shaped like a mitten. Care has to be taken to leave enough space between thumb and the rest of the fingers.

To give the bandeaux and bikini panty a better look two pieces of stretch tulle were cut for each. A clear water soluble stabilizer was used for machine sewing. The stockings were not doubled.
Since bandeaux bras have a habit of curling over on dolls with shapely bustlines, I used narrow satin ribbons to create straps.

Cheongsam, New York Style-Part Two: The Accessories

Kathrynne’s earrings were made using eye pins as the post. Champagne colored seed pearls were first threaded onto a thin gold tone wire. The wire was then shaped into tiny hoops and joined to the end of the eye pin.

The clutch purse pattern was created by measuring a similar pocket book made as part of a Repro Barbie ensemble. The pattern is all in one piece, a basic rectangle with a curved ending for the top of the purse. Gold obi brocade silk was used and lined with the same fabric as the dress. A tiny thread loop closes over a crystal bead.

The same gold toned wire used for the earring hoops was used for the bracelet. This time the champagne colored seed pearls were mixed with a very pale pink colored seed pearl for the bracelet. The beads are held in place by tightly coiled ends on each side of the wire. I also created a small loop on one end to attach a “charm” made of a few red beads threaded onto the wire and then pulled together before attaching to the end of the bracelet. The finished bracelet is then coiled around the dolls wrist.

Cheongsam, New York Style-Part One

Kathrynne models her sheath dress and accessories inspired by the Chinese Cheongsam. A sheath pattern with two vertical darts on each side of the front and back dress formed the basis for the New York Style Cheongsam. Cap sleeves that are in one with the dress were added to the pattern. Instead of a Mandarin collar a high band collar cut on the lengthwise grain was used. No underlining was needed because the 100% cotton fabric used had enough body. A Japanese furoshiki with a small floral pattern suitable to 1:6 scale sewing provided the perfect look and feel for the dress.

The sheath dress was tapered at the side seams about 1/16″ at the hemline level. A line connecting this new point was drawn up to another point about 1/4′ down from the hipline. Instead of the side slits used in a traditional Cheongsam, a kickpleat was created at Center Back.

The Center Back placket was cut in one piece with the dress by adding 1/2″ to the Center Back of the pattern. In this way, the kickpleat was a continuation of the placket. Edges of the placket were finished with bias cut green tulle nylon vielling fabric. The collar at Center Back closes with a very small button and thread loop.

In New York Style Cheongsam, Part Two I will present close-ups and details for how the accessories for this ensemble were created.

A scan of this pattern is available for your use at https://theenchanteddressshop.wordpress.com/2015/11/03/pattern-scan-for-cheongsam-new-york-style-dress/

Underlining, Cutting, Marking and Basting a 1:6 scale doll outfit

It is possible to underline a 1:6 scale doll outfit provided the material used is very lightweight. Depending on the effect desired I’ve used poly chiffon, poly China silk, lightweight muslin and nylon tulle with good results. Sometimes it is necessary to experiment on scraps of fabric to learn the technique and develop the sensibility for what will work well together. I did this with the dress design I call “Cheongsam, New York Style”. For the trial run I used long vertical stitches to hold together a layer of 100% cotton with poly china silk. The fabric was first trued and steam pressed and pinned in place before basting together.

The pattern pieces are laid out on the fabric and pinned into place. I find using fine straight pins with colored glass heads a good way to keep track of the slender pins. Marking seam allowances onto the pattern is the best way to go when working on such a small scale.

I’ve found using the Fiskars Micro-tip Scissors just right for cutting out 1:6 scale garment pieces. I prefer to use white dressmakers marking paper since the markings vanish after steam pressing. For all marking in 1:6 scale I use a smooth tracing wheel.

The garment pieces after cutting have key lines and darts thread traced in black. The darts and seams are then pinned into place and basted. I do not recommend pin basting, especially on such a small scale, even when hand sewing. Small, even hand sewn stitches are just not possible when sewing over pins.

The cut and basted garment pieces are kept together with the needles and thread used for hand sewing in a plastic baggie. It is a good idea to jot down any notes regarding notions or construction onto 3″ x 5″ file cards and include that in the baggie. This will help you remember what to do next if there will be an interruption or long break between hand sewing sessions.

Special Note: It turned out to be a good thing I made a toile for the Cheongsam, New York Style dress. The dart intake was too big and the fit on the doll was very unsatisfactory. After creating two smaller darts the dress looked very good when made up in the fashion fabric. I will present the Cheongsam, New York Style dress in my next posting.

Afternoon Appointment, Version 2

Molly is the dressmaker and designer at The Enchanted Dress Shop. She designs girly and frilly outfits her customers call confections. Molly’s personal style is much simpler. Like Julie she prefers classic, simple styles. This chemise was made from the same pattern that Julie’s dress was made from. Instead of the elastic which shaped Julie’s dress at the waistline, a slight curve was made on the pattern from underarm to hipline. At the hipline a 1/4″ ribbon was hand stitched into place. A small bow was stitched into place and then tacked to the side. Slightly transparent red glass seed beads were used for the pocket book and earrings to complete the look.

The dress is made of 100% cotton backed with white poly organza. The organza added a nice touch and keeps the chemise silhouette looking it’s best. The neckline and armholes were finished with bias strips of nylon tulle. At the back there is a placket finished in bias cut organza onto which snaps are sewn.

 

Afternoon Appointment Version 1

Julie is the fitting model for at The Enchanted Dress Shop. She is a very active and busy young woman. She prefers classic fashions and accessories. The dress shown here was created from a basic unfitted bodice with side dart. Elastic was added at the waistline. To keep the hemline neat, a bias strip of tulle was used to finish the edge of the hem. The hem was catch stitched to the organza underlining.

 

A hand beaded pocketbook was created using felt circles and a necklace chain. The colors of the beads pick-up the flowers of the 100% cotton fabric.

 

Julie’s earrings consist of eye pins containing small jump rings to which a tiny jade colored seed bead was added. The neckline and armholes were finished using bias strips of white tulle catch stitched into place. The dress was underlined in white sparkle organza. There isn’t any casing for the waistline elastic. Instead wide catch stitches were made over the elastic after one end was sewn into place. After that the elastic was pulled to create the gathers. The lace was steamed and shaped into a curve and allowed to dry. Then it was stitched along the neckline.

Underneath it all: Construction of the Garden Party Dress

Inside the Garden Party dress. The bodice was lined with poly china silk and sewn in using a slip stitch. The petticoate was gathered in one with the skirt. The sash connects bodice and skirt. The sash lining was then sewn in place. To minimize bulk, the upper part of the petticoat was made of poly organza.

The lower part of the petticoat is in two layers. The over layer is poly china silk. The under layer is tulle. A 3/4′ to 1″ hem was used for the petticoat and the skirt of the dress.

View of the under layer of the lower part of the petticoat. Two layers of nylon tulle were used. You can also see that a small strip of tulle was placed under the upper portion of the skirt. It was treated as one with the skirt so that it will provide a little lift around the gathers at the waist.

The lightweight layers of nylon tulle and poly china silk lend a gentle but significant support to the skirt and bodice of the dress.

Garden Party

I thought of a world of gazebos, afternoon tea, gardens with the fragrance of roses and lavender when working on the patterns for these dresses.

Brooke’s dress is accessorized with red seed bead earrings and bracelet.

Kathrynne’s favorite color is green. Her sash, earrings and bracelet are in deeper shades of green that complement the pattern on the dress.

The sashes were made with three layers of fabric and are part of the dress.  The first layer is bias cut satin overlaid with sparkle organza.  Under the satin is a very thin layer of nylon tulle.  After the dress was sewn the sash was covered with poly china silk fell stitched in place.

An overlay of blue-green sparkle organza adds depth of color to the emerald green satin sash of the dress.

The fabric used for the dresses is 100% cotton sewn by hand with Gutterman’s poly cotton thread.

The backdrops for these photos are reprints from “Barbie Goes To College” that I bought on eBay.  They create the atmosphere of a small town in Late Spring-Early Summer, a place where Brooke and Kathrynne would be the stars of the social scene with many friends to share their afternoon parties with.