It is probably just fitting that I start Doll Clothing Week off with a pattern from a company that I really enjoy sewing. Today Grace gets to show off her new wrap maxi dress. I had a decent amount of left over navy Japanese cotton shirting from cutting out the Deer & Doe Bruyere for myself.
As a recap, here is Lee & Pearl’s description from their Etsy shop, “In 1974, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg debuted a line of simple jersey wrap dresses, and a new fashion star was born. The dresses sold in record numbers, and kept on selling, remaining a staple wardrobe item right through to today. Dressy but comfortable, pretty but casual, fashionable but flattering, the wrap dress proved a perfect fit for the ideal modern woman: a confident person with life and career firmly in her own hands! Lee & Pearl’s 18″ doll version of the iconic wrap dress offers the same combo of vintage style and modern practicality. Our dress features the same cross-over front construction as the original with two pleats for a flattering fit, a waist seam, front facing, moderately flared skirt, fabric ties, an optional wide, flat collar, and your choice of long sleeves, cap sleeves or no sleeves. Our flared skirt can be cut in one of three hem lengths: traditional knee-length, free-flowing “maxi” (ankle) length and our favorite: a coordinates-with-everything peplum top length.”
It is rated as an easy/ intermediate level pattern. I have previously made this pattern before. The blue cotton peplum wrap top went to a “Toys for Tots”. The second one is the long sleeve knit wrap top from scraps a friend gave me but I don’t think it was ever blogged. As to the pattern rating that would be fairly accurate. The instructions provide plenty of details and pictures to follow along. However, the wrap dress is definitely not this is my first time sewing ever pattern. One definitely needs to be able to sew curved seam fairly accurately before attempting. I cut out my pattern one night. Then it took me around three hours to get it all together (that was over two evening after work). I did have the instructions up on my computer and definitely used them for making the front bodice.
In an absolutely silly cutting mistake, I cut two back pieces. There is leftover cotton shirting so it is possible that there may just be a wrap peplum top in the future for the dolls. Otherwise, there wasn’t anything hard in the cutting stage. I clipped out the points for the wrap front and the front arm with regular fabric scissors instead of the rotary cutter just because of the tight radius. Also, as I was cutting out my pattern, I went ahead and cut out 1 inch wide bias pieces the length of my scrap fabric for finishing the arm on the sleeveless dress.
I didn’t follow the order of the instructions exactly. I went ahead and put all the skirt pieces together first so there were fewer pieces on the dining table which means fewer pieces possible to fall on the floor and be tormented by the bunny (Lala does think that anything on the floor is his chew toy). Same applied to the two collar pieces and the front facing. Now that most small pieces were together, focus went to the front bodice. I tailor tacked the dots for the pleats. Then with my Chaco liner I connected the dots. I did vary from the instructions as I used my sewing machine to sew the pleats lines together instead of basting. I left the pleats sewn together in the end.
Probably the biggest change I made was adding bias tape for finishing the arm area of the sleeveless dress. I have serged and turned under and stitched on previous versions. But with the tight curve of that area, the finish was fine but not my best work. This time I stitched the bias tape at the quarter-inch seam line. I turned it to the inside then folded the extra bias under the bodice and stitched. One inch bias was a bit too wide. Three quarter-inch or five eighth may be better if you decided to do this.
Last part of the instructions (besides how to dress your doll) has you top stitching the seam allowance on the skirt down. I started my top stitching a bit higher up just so I made sure to be able to tack the front facing down well. My top stitching starts right above the ties for the dress then continues down to the hem.
As a kick off to the first ever Doll Clothing week, we start off with a giveaway. There will only be 3 giveaways unfortunately. Today’s giveaway is for 3 yard of thin Velcro. This is the Velcro I use on all my doll clothing and just love it. Here is the description from Farmcookies’ Etsy shop, “It is 3/8″ wide and less than 1/8″ thick to reduce all that bulk in the back of your special creations. The hook side of the Velcro is on one side and the loop on the other. You simply cut two pieces and sew one side up and the other side down. An added bonus of this Velcro? Since it is so soft, it does not snag your doll’s hair.” If you would like to enter, please leave a comment below. Comments posted by midnight (Central time) on Tuesday will be entered to win the giveaway.
Giveaway is now closed!