Sunday, October 19, 2014

Day of the Dresses

It was finally New Dress Weekend for a Sophie, Pippa, Miss Hanzo, and (unexpectedly) Stacie.

Whose little sister is she?
None of us has a little sister, right?
I'm going to freak out if somebody claims she's always been here.

Sophie is the beneficiary of last Saturday's conviction that it was absolutely urgent that I go to Goodwill and look for handkerchiefs to make doll dresses. All I know about this handkerchief -- and a similar one with round flowers like zinnias -- is that it's polyester and made in Italy. It cost $1, and the dress used less than half the handkerchief, so I can make other things when I decide what those things might be.
Sophie practices hailing a taxi because she's appalled by Uber's "surge" rates.
Her dress is based on Dolly Fever's handkerchief dresses, though I seem to have ignored about half the instructions. The great thing with handkerchief dresses is that, if you can hide enough of the stitching, it doesn't matter if you don't have thread that matches, as the visible hems were all done at the factory. 
The full skirt is fun to lounge in.
Except for one or two chilly weeks in January, Sophie can wear this to lounge on the patio at a resort year-round, appearing to drink tequila Manhattans while she charms secrets out of magnates on vacation and sheiks visiting the Mayo Clinic.

You want to tell me everything you know.
Miss Hanzo got a sock dress -- well, actually, a sock ensemble. I'd been pondering the concept of sock dresses at places including, but not limited to, Happier Than a Pig in Mud, so on last weekend's stop at the 99 Cents Only, I picked up some 99-cent socks.

Since I was thinking of slinky dresses for the more sophisticated gals, my haul included dark-colored grown-up socks. It turns out to be surprisingly easy to pin darts in a sock, run a zig-zagged seam to make the sock fit, and then trim off the excess.

My bottom hem is actually even --
it just rolled a bit from my changing clothes so much.
She looked a little cold, and I had lots more sock to work with, so I made her a rather unconstructed sweater, in the style of one of those Japanese designers who seems to be working with alien geometries. This is done by putting the neck opening at the heel of the sock.

These will be all the rage at Saks.
Since there were two socks, there's a second dress. This is a long one in the style that's been popular in Phoenix this past summer -- which is what I'd meant to do with the original gals back in May, but hadn't known how. More socks for everybody!

I can wear this straight from the pool to the restaurant,
if I'm starving for sweet potato fries.
Stacie came in a $1.99 Neglected Fashion Doll Two-Pack from Goodwill with a Liv body that I wanted. Stacie violates my doll-accumulating principles, as she's under-articulated (with a karate-chop arm too!) and below high-school age. She's also extremely cute and I developed this irrational urge to make her a dress.

It is entirely possible that Stacie's grandmother wore this for the Bicentennial.
The fabric is a scrap of Judie Rothermel's Petite Flower Stripe, from her Civil War Dressing Gowns collection. I modified the Barbie Dress Tutorial from Craftiness Is Not Optional. Since the one bit of tailor's chalk I can find was apparently specially designed to never show up on fabric, it's a good thing I was working with a stripe. There was also a lot of pinning, fussing, and seam-ripping involved.

I am adorable and you can't reject me
when I've had a brain injury that has left me unable to straighten my arm.
Of course, the real point of this exercise was to dress Pippa to match Catrina. Pippa's dress is also based on the Barbie dress tutorial and was my first try at that pattern. The idea was to give Pippa a more contemporary take on the same look as Catrina's, which was going to involve a purple bandanna until I found a half-yard of this fabric heavily marked-down at Walmart and did not find a purple bandanna there.

My skirt's so gathered, I look like I have panniers!
Those skinny Monster-High-style bodies end up swaddled in fabric, even with darts. I think I'm going to try a silkier fabric on older and more sophisticated Hattie and see if that gives a better fit. But I like to think the gray in the fabric pattern goes well with Pippa's skin.

We are now completely ready to celebrate the Day of the Dead.
While Meygan is miffed that her orange sock dress didn't get done (due to lack of orange thread, which I erroneously thought I'd bought), I think it was a fairly productive weekend, and I only had to take apart portions of the sewing machine twice.


  1. You had a very busy sewing weekend. Some really nice stuff. I was sewing all weekend too, but not for my dolls. I am helping my daughter and her friend make costumes for a Manga convention over Halloween. Turns out that her patterns are pretty difficult, so I am ending up doing most of the sewing. At least I will get all of the leftover fabric which is pretty nice for making doll stuff!

    1. Aw, thanks! Manga-type characters would have complex clothing, wouldn't they? They'll doubtless look terrific, and the scraps should be exciting.

  2. What cool outfits! I really dislike sewing, but this is a neat idea to use the handkerchiefs since it gives you some predone edging.

    1. Thanks! The handkerchief method has expanded the fabrics I feel comfortable trying, as I don't yet have to master (trans: swear at) rolled hems. If I don't stagger home exhausted, Hattie's going to get something downright filmy tonight.

  3. Hi! I love these dresses....the socks fashions are amazing....socks are in fact very inspiring. The Stacy dress is lovely....and the comments to the pictures always crack me up!

    1. Thank you! I'll admit, I'm crazy about the sock method at the moment. D'Laura and Briony are slated to get entire sock ensembles from one set of adult socks and a three-pack of coordinating baby socks.