Saturday, February 23, 2013

I sewed today...

Current Mood : Jubilant !

OK. So. Today I was all set to sew and finish that darn body / swimsuit pattern. I was gonna sew from the time Beloved Hubby left for work until the time he got back. Got lots of good sleep last night – and my throat quit hurting, it bugged me since Friday morning  – I was in a great mood, felt refreshed and well-nourished, and I was ready, finally !

But I decided to read some message boards. Trying to sew while Dearest Son is up and active is a challenge. Reading message boards and various web sites is a way to stay active with him – and his frequent questions ! I tooled around ‘Doll Clothes Patterns’ on Pinterest, although I’m not a member, saw a few for people that could be adapted, ended up touring some scanned ancient sewing books that were kind of like Home Ec from Heck. They purported to teach a young woman who can’t thread a hand-needle from that all the way to making her own sheer nightwear and necessaries. Whoa. Just the idea of sewing sheer, slippery fabric makes me quail, no matter how simple the shape is ! But there were some good ideas, and lots of other scanned volumes to scan through yourself – visit some here. Hit ‘Craft and Hobby Books’, then ‘Needlework Books’. The one I leafed through was School Sewing Based on Home Problems, dated 1916. Lotta neat ideas, though.

Anyway. Message boards. The MLP MH one is a current favorite, and I found myself pondering one person’s plaintive query, ‘Will there EVER be a Dead Tired Spectra ?’ . Hmm…now, that one could be fun. I figure she’d wear a shroud-like gown, ‘cause I’m simple-minded and she’s a ghost. And I should have been happily going after that swimsuit now that Dearest was settling down and Chez Insanity was starting the quiet hours. But…a simple, white nightie. Kind of like what I saw in that School Sewing book. Wouldn’t be too hard, and if I made it from whispery, slippery fabric, it wouldn’t need to be a huge dress to drape prettily.

Although I need practice with precisely that type of fabric, I didn’t want to test the pattern with it, or I knew I’d give up before I was done (blush of shame) and I didn’t want that. Again. Several years of buying huge bags of fabric at thrift stores have yielded tons of white and off-white fabric for me to use for precisely this kinda project. I think most of it’s broadcloth, but it’s cheap, I already own yards and yards, and it holds up well to my fumbling efforts. I grabbed the length I had standing by, some paper scraps, scissors, and my one-legged broken DLaura that I use for fittings. Also my favorite semi-transparent Disney Princess ruler and a freshly-sharpened MH pencil, from the Valentines card package. This would just be something fun to do, a sort of mental exercise, until Dearest’s bedtime. Then I’d get right on that darn swimsuit and knock it out.

Drew a rough sketch of what I wanted around the DLaura body, and decided how I wanted it. What about, just for kicks, I eliminated the top shoulder seam, but kept the pattern as one piece, cut on the fold at the shoulders ? No darts. Just one piece to cut out, then split open down the back from the neck to hemline, and the rest would be easy. Hem the sleeves and neckline. Sew the underarm and side seams. Hem the bottom edge. Sew up the back seam enough until it slides on and off the doll easily ( i.e., just under the butt) then add Velcro ™ to the rest. I could even test out my new ‘only fold one side of the back seam under ¼”  to avoid that pucker you always get’ theory.

And I soon had a working pattern. Well, shoot. Now I wanted to see if it worked. With Dearest absorbed in a MLP episode, I gave it a try. And, hey, that almost worked ! Just a little too tight at the back and under the arms. Redrew those, and did another quick-and-dirty trial, but this time, I actually hemmed it. And…whoa. So close ! But the neckline gapped and fell off the shoulders, and it needed just a bit more space in the back. But the new theory worked ! No pucker ! Yaaaay ! I’m almost ready to sell stuff now !

I also knew this wasn’t gonna be a shroud. It looked more like a day dress than a nightie. But, honestly, depending on the fabric, it could be either. Few more adjustments, and I’d have a Princess Leia dress ! Keep it simple, though…and another neckline tweak…oh, wow. I did it. I made a decent-looking dress out of a pattern I created ! After only three trials, too ! It’s easy to change the skirt length and the sleeve shape, takes maybe 30 minutes to sew, and most of that is hemming a darn tiny neckline, and it can be done with any fabric ! Dress it up with trims and accessories or keep it simple to show off yer sewing – or wilder fabric prints.

I gotta be careful, or I’m gonna end up impressed with m’self !

So I followed my Muse today, and she led me to some serious fun tonight ! Can always make a shroud later, ya know. I can’t help but think it’s a distillation of all the patterns I’ve looked at these past few days – even the ‘WTH ?!’ ones. So I wasn’t wasting time after all ! Sorry this puts off the bodysuit again, but I can’t wait to clean the pattern up and share it with you ! The original’s a mess, I made most of my changes with masking tape and the MH pencil.

(happy grin) I *sewed* today…


  1. Hello from Spain: beautiful creations. Glad you're happy mood. Keep in touch

  2. Really cute! And it looks like it would be very versatile, just a tweak to the curves and you'd have a darling empire-waisted dress!