Sunday, August 10, 2014

New doll, new pattern, new dress !

So now, back to Merida ! Believe it or not, she was out of box the day she arrived, that’s how I knew Jakks had cheaped out on the invitation and certificate. It may seem silly, but I was rather looking forward to them, for once getting the whole Disney Princess & Me experience, along with the doll’s crown and shoes. Not that I’m missing out on much when I buy a barefoot doll. Merida has the worst shoes yet. They look like she stepped into some blue lily pads and kept walking, secure in the knowledge that her big ballgown dress would conceal them. I’m starting to respect the shoes I make a bit more – ‘cause the issue ones fit worse, and are even further away from matching each other than mine are !

Oh, and much like I’ve adapted Tiana’s name to Tia, Merida is now Meri. Sorry, but to me, ‘Merita’ is a brand of bread, and Merida sounds too much like it. It’s been driving me crazy typing it. So, today, let’s talk about Meri !

I didn’t get anything done last night because by the time Dearest Son was ready for bed, I was past ready. I loafed on the sofa watching My Little Pony episodes with him, leafing through my new library books. Illustrated Hassle-Free Making Your Own Clothes Book was kind of a bust. Remember the patterns I made last week ? Chunky, thick, and beyond basic plain ? The author basically has you do that for your own clothes, or take a shirt you like, fold it onto your new fabric, remember to cut a seam allowance, and soon, new shirt ! The book had its origins in 70s hippie culture, and aside from updating the fabrics from velvet and burlap to old blankets and fleece, not much else changed. If you ever wanted to sew caftans and Arwen gowns, and contemplate the vast variety of ponchos available to you, the crafter, this is your book ! It’s 90% women’s interest patterns, for guys, make it ‘manlier’, for kids, make it smaller. Sophistication at its finest !

She also says hand-sewing is sturdier than machine. Not the way my hand-sewing goes ! The only strength mine has is in its randomness – it’d be impossible to pick out or fall apart, because my stitches (and the size of) are all over the place. If I had to clothe myself with my own hand-stitching, I’d sit around nude for weeks, trying to finish a blouse.

Back to Meri. Turns out, the wrap dress pattern adaptation I assembled yesterday was too large. Re-scaled it and printed it again, smaller. You’re gonna laugh at how much of a tightwad I am, but I reused the tape from the now-useless too-large version to piece the new one together. Frankly, if the shoe tape dispenser hadn’t come with tape, I’d have had to use masking or duct tape ! So I want to use it wisely, and if it’s cheap, too, well, that’s the way of things at Chez Insanity.

It still needs a few tweaks – the back is super-tight, necessitating very narrow side seams, and it still pulls taut across her butt – but I think I have a pretty good pattern ! Meri’s new dress is from a huge length of scrap fabric I found in the $3. Flea Market bin I got back in May (or early June), there’s about four yards of it. My next clothes-for-me sewing date will use most of it, although I have to admit, it’s not my favorite print. But as you can see, I’ll find a way to use it ! And it certainly looks better on Meri than it looks folded in the bin. 

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