Friday, November 19, 2021

More 50's Inspiration

 Tyler is a lovely lady from the 50's in a cotton lawn shelf bust dress and green raw silk day coat. Of course, she has to have her matching hat and bag, and a simple strand of pearls.  


The hat was fun to make.  I used aida cloth for this one.  It was stiffened with Spray N Bond fabric stiffener and the pieces were molded over two different sizes of styrofoam balls.  It's trimmed with the same fabric I used to line the coat.  

"The Color of Love"

 That's the name of the pattern that I used for this confection.  I've had this sheer fabric with yellow roses on it for a couple of years and was lucky to find some old yellow silk charmeuse in my stash that matched.  I had no idea what I was going to do with them until I ran across this pattern by Marsha Olsen of Perfect Patterns.  She describes it as a reproduction of a 1946 Vogue pattern and it was perfect for this fabric.  I would only use silk for this because it allowed me to pin and steam the pannier into nice folds and the charmeuse allows the bow to drape nicely.  

The pattern was designed to fit Gene dolls so I did use a bustier pattern that I had used for Tyler in the past.  For some reason it turned out big in the waist this time so I decided to try it on Grace and it worked!   She looks so elegant with her "diamond" necklace from Lovegirlstore on Ebay.  Thanks for the pattern, Marsha!

Friday, November 5, 2021

50's Date Outfit

 In my mind, this is the kind of outfit a lady of the fifties might wear for a lunch date or a shopping trip with her friends.  

The dress and jacket are made from cotton lawn.  For the bodice, I used a pattern by DB Doll Patterns.  I shortened it to waist length and added a full skirt.  The jacket is human pattern that I shrunk down and enlarged the bust dart to get a better fit.  The hat is my own concoction as is the little faux leather clutch.  The hat has a white floral wire inside the edge trim to shape it to her head.  Little white gloves and a simple strand of pearls complete the look.  

Thursday, November 4, 2021

40's Inspired Linen Suit


Switching decades, Tyler is wearing a blue handkerchief linen fitted suit.  This one strained my brain trying to think of way to do the cuffs with minimal hand sewing and the least amount of bulk possible which is something you always have to thing about when sewing in this scale.  The little tabs in the front were the most challenging and I really only got a perfect point on one of them.  I've since reworked the pattern.  In spite of the fact that I measured and measured and measured, the jacket still turned out somewhat shortwaisted and not as long as the original design.  Adding wearing ease to these little patterns is still something I'm figuring out.  Then I had to recut the skirt and lining after I had already sewed the eight darts in it because I forgot to add the seam allowances.  (Forehead smack).  But it's cute and I'm happy with the fit overall.  

The little bag is inspired by the one in the pattern illustration and is basically made from faux leather, cardboard, matt board and glue.  

The hat is made from navy aida cloth is same manner as the one with the rose coat and floral dress and decorated with silk blossoms, mulberry flowers and stamens.  

And the inspiration for this outfit.  I didn't make the skirt flared in the back because I didn't think it would hang right in this scale although I did do the flare at the back of the jacket.  I like the pencil skirts pegged at the bottom a bit instead of straight to get that hourglass look.  

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

50's Spring Coat and Wiggle Dress


The outfit Tyler is wearing represents a look that was popular in the 1950's, dresses with matching coats for spring.  The coat is rose silk dupioni lined with the dress fabric which is Liberty of London Tana lawn.  I love working with both of these gorgeous fabrics.  And who doesn't love florals for spring.  When it comes to 50's fashion (as well as other decades) Vintage Dancer is a super useful website full of fashion history, photos, and inspiration.  

I made this hat from aida cloth, which is used for doing cross stitch.  I sprayed the crown with Spray n Bond Fabric Stiffener, shaped it over a 2" styrofoam ball, secured it with a rubber band and let it dry overnight.  This stiffener worked really well.  It dried clear and didn't leave a shiny surface like some are prone to do.  I think a 1 1/2" ball might have been a little better fit but it all depends on the hairstyle of the doll.  The lambskin leather bag is the one I used with the Patou suit in a previous post.  

50's Evening Glamouor


This was a tough one to photograph because the fabric is a rose and silver color change silk taffeta that wouldn't come across in the pictures.  I combined it with an old piece of maroon cotton velveteen from my stash.  I didn't particularly care for the shrug/shawl in the original photo so I replaced it with a bolero.  I started with a pattern from Matisse doll fashions because I thought the neckline would suit this dress.  But I did change the sleeves from set-in to dolman to more closely resemble the original.  

The jewelry is from LovelyGirl on Ebay although I removed the magnetic clasp from the necklace and replaced it with a hook to reduce bulk.  

And here is the inspiration for this look. 

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Vintage Two Piece Peplum Dress


I'm actually happy with the way this one turned out even though I took it apart to change the collar a bit.  Maybe some day I'll get to the point where something comes together right the first time.  The fabric is a gorgeous vine print silk jacquard again from French Fashions.  I was committed to using a piece of olive green faux leather that was in my stash for the handbag but didn't have anything for a matching hat, and ladies of the 50's were nothing if not matchy-matchy.  I tried making one out of white crinoline then painting it with acrylic paint to match the bag.  It looked horrible.  So the Boston Terrors and I piled in the car and headed to Joann where I found something that was a reasonable match even though it is (GASP) polyester.  

I really loaded this hat up with flowers.  Is it too much?  

And, finally, the inspiration for this outfit.  

Vintage Inspired Silk Brocade Cocktail Dress

I had this beautiful piece of silk brocade from French Fashions that I thought would lend itself to this vintage cocktail dress.  So I set about working on a pattern.  This one didn't come off without a hitch.  

The original skirt doesn't have a center front seam but I picked out a pattern for a circle skirt that I had made for a previous design and cut it out before remembering that the previous skirt had a couple pleats in it.  Oops.  I didn't have enough fabric to recut it so the only way to keep the circle shape was to take the extra fabric out of the center front.  Not a tragedy.  I kept fitting the bodice as I was putting it together and still somehow ended up short at the center back.  Another oops.  So I was able to add a placket to the right side and get it to close but the center back isn't quite, uh, centered.  My carpenter friend always says measure twice, cut once.  Good words of advice.  But I still think I got close to the inspiration picture and it looks so pretty on Sydney.  

Beaded Silk Taffeta Gown

 I'm way behind in posting mostly because I don't take photos after every outfit is finished.  Setting up for photos in my small living room is a pain.  This gown is made from silk taffeta and lined with china silk.  I really like how the beading turned out but I'm not 100% happy with the fit of the bodice and that's because I did something I would tell anyone else not to do--I cut the front on the fold.  I generally never do that.  I always make a full bodice pattern piece on tissue paper because even an 1/8" can create a difference in the fit.  I would have liked the back drape a little fuller but, since this isn't tissue taffeta, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to gather the fullness into the waist.  

The earrings are by Lovelygirl on Ebay and I made the necklace and bracelet from rhinestone chain.  You can buy little clamp-on ends with loops to finish the ends of this kind of chain.  

And finally, here is the inspiration photo for this vintage gown.   

Friday, October 1, 2021

1950's Patou Suit

This was my inspiration photo for Sydney's latest vintage style suit, a vintage Vogue pattern from the 50s.  I didn't 100% nail the neckline I think it looks great on her.  

The peplum jacket and skirt are made from raw silk from Cocomaran on Etsy.  The belt and handbag are black lambskin.  The belt buckle was originally gold tone so I painted it with some back enamel.  For the bag, I did use pattern #154 by Classic Doll Designs.  The only change I made was placing a couple of metal eyelets to attach the strap to.  Especially if you like dressing Gene, Diane really does a wonderful job of recreating vintage styles.  

I created the hat from a piece of black sinamay decorated with bows, little ostrich feathers and a green rose  

To mold the hat, I used the cap off a prescription bottle covered in plastic wrap.  The sinamay is dampened after which I secured it to the cap with a rubber band.  I then set it on a 6" styrofoam ball (that still has the plastic wrap that came on it) and pinned it into shape.  After allowing it to dry overnight, I trimmed the brim to about 2" and bound the edge with black bias trim.  Little bias tubes of the same fabric were used to make the band and the bows.  

Sunday, August 29, 2021

1956 Vintage Evening Gown and Coat


Continuing with my fascination with vintage fashion, this picture of a 1956 gown and coat was my inspiration for my latest project.  

Diana Prince is wearing my version of the gown made from silk tissue taffeta from Minidolls, another great source for doll sewing fabric and supplies.  I'm not 100% happy with the bodice draping but the fit came out good.  

The coat is made from a silk jacquard from French Fashions and lined in silk habotai from SilkFabric on Etsy.  For the coat I used a pattern from Matisse because the neckline was so beautiful even if there are about a thousand tiny darts.  I left off the waist darts and the cuffs, created facings for it, and made it full length.  I think it turned out stunning.  

A little beaded evening clutch was made out of the coat material.  I bought the necklace from a seller on Ebay, It came with matching earrings but I used my own.  I bought four fancy necklace sets from this seller and they're all so gorgeous, I don't know how she sells them for such a reasonable price.  

I tried something different this time now that I know to fold up this blasted photo cube.  I stuck a T pin in the doll's head (had to use pliers-they have very thick skulls which then led me to wonder how they manage to kill zombies on The Walking Dead with just a knife) and tied invisible thread to it which I then clipped to a dowel suspended from the roof of the cube.  The pin and thread had to be removed in but that wasn't too hard.  It beats picking her up off the floor a dozen times.  


Monday, August 16, 2021

Vintage Inspiration


Lately I've enjoyed looking around the internet at all the vintage patterns that are available for the humans among us and this one appealed to me.  I think it's from 1956.  So I tried to recreate it.  

I really struggled with making the pattern, specifically getting the bodice to fit but after many muslins, I finally got it.  The fabric is raw silk from Cocomaran on Etsy and I love it.  It's like a soft shantung and comes in about 70 colors.  The bag is made from faux leather.  

The jacket turned out pretty well I would have liked the collar to be a little lower and more shawl-like.  But I'm learning with every piece I attempt. 

 This was first time taking pics with my new camera.  I broke down and bought a Canon EOS Rebel T7, a beginner level SLR with a learning curve that I could manage.  I remembered that somewhere out in the garage I thought I had a 30"x30" photo tent and, amazingly (you should see the sorry state of my garage), I found it.  I used the same lights that I used to use for taking pics of my jewelry.  The only hitch was that I had to watch three different YouTube videos to figure out to twist that thing up again and get it back in it's bag.  Some YouTubers are heroes!  

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Sequins--Love and Hate

I love the unnatural shade of red hair on this Tyler but someone please put me out of my misery if I ever decide to sew with sequined fabric again. I didn't realize until I watched some YouTube videos that you have to cut all the sequins out of the seam allowances. That alone took hours and gave me blisters on my thumb, not to mention creating a pattern that fit.

But it turned out not too bad. The bracelet is made from sew-on rhinestones and seed beads. My original idea to make it with two rows of rhinestones worked in theory but in real life my eyes couldn't handle it.

Wondering is she needs a fur stole to go with it.