Last year I picked up a couple of fascinator/ millinery books to look through. For the upcoming Kentucky Derby, I decided to make my mom and I a fascinator using Hannah Scheidig’s book “Fascinators: 25 Stylish Accessories to Top Off Your Look”.
The first fascinator was for my mom. As her derby dress is purple, I knew that the color would be hard to match so I decided on a black and white theme instead for it. I used the first pattern in the book, Mariella for her hat. Since it was to be my first hat, I decided to go easy and I bought the sinamay bias from an Etsy store.
The pictures in the instruction are well done. I used two colors so my Mariella fascinator came out similar but not exactly the same. I found that it was easier for me to make a complete loop then twist the loop into the figure eight and sew. After I had the larger white loop and the black interior one, I sewed them stacked together. The smallest white loop is the last piece put on. I overlapped the white bias and sew the overlap together.
The book suggest that this pattern is easy and will take about an hour to complete. The easy skill level is very accurate. However, the hour to complete may be very optimistic. I think I probably have been closer to 3 hours. Some of that is trying to determine if the loops look similar to the pattern and changing it from 1 color to 2 colors. Another part of it is deciding the best way to put it on one’s head. In the end, between the hair stylist, my mom and me, we decided her short curly hair could use a clip or bobby pins. In the end, I hand sewed a small piece of sinamay to the back to slide either a clip or bobby pins in.
Another sewing related item I did last year was to invest in nice hand sewing needles. I used a number 8 millinery needle from Tulip and that needle never bent at all.
After a lot of consideration, I went with the circle skirt dress with contrast collar from Joan Hinds’ “Heritage Doll Clothes”. I knew that I had used the book several times already and always had a decent outfit afterwards. Pictures are behind just because it is harder to get great ones in winter; it was dark when I got home from work.
This is using the same fabric as used for the K&R Vintage dress that didn’t come out well. The lining is some white quilting cotton. And I bought some navy ribbon to make the bow belt. After getting the ribbon, I realized the tiny dots are actually black and not navy like I thought.
The only major change I made was to not use the bias tape for the finishing of the collar and sleeve cuffs. Instead I double cut the collar and the sleeve cuffs so I would have facings for them.
The ribbon belt length was decided after the dress was completed and then I trimmed it after I got a bow that I liked.
I love that K&R Vintage takes old children’s patterns and makes them into doll sized. I decided to try out one from 1939 for Kit. I had previously used one for Molly and had great success with it. However, it doesn’t seem like Kit is destined to get the same result. I definitely won’t recommend this one unless you want to take the time to fix it.
All the pattern notches and seams lined up perfectly which is great.
The part that I really don’t like is that the shoulders of the dress are about a quarter of an inch off of Kit’s shoulders. It isn’t suppose to have dropped shoulder sleeves. I think this is too much to just be a cutting or off sewing issue.
Below is how it looked before the side seams were brought in.
I pulled in the side seams at least three-quarters of an inch. At this point, it is probably as good as it gets.
I did as the pattern requested and checked the wrist measurement and the pattern piece provided looked like it would fit fine. But in the end I had troubles getting it over Kit’s fingers. I would have preferred to added some hook & loop fastener at the cuffs just to make it easier on me.
I decided I am not willing to try to make the necessary changes to the pattern to get a better fitting garment for Kit. I do wonder if the original children’s dress had the same issues though. I have not been able to find the inspiration pattern on the internet. Kit will probably just get a different dress altogether.
Over Christmas, I was able to make a couple of doll items. Keeping a less formal look, I decided on a shirtwaist, skirt and jacket for Marie Grace. As of right now, Marie Grace only got her skirt which was from the 1860s School Outfit from Joan Hind’s “Heritage Doll Clothes”.
The skirt is easy to make and probably should have waited until everything has been completed. I didn’t make any changes to the pattern except for closure preference. But realize that Marie Grace has her hoop skirt on underneath this skirt so the pattern works well on newer dolls with all the historical undergarments.
I use a light weight suiting fabric to make the skirt and hook & loop fastener for the closure not the hook & eye requested.
Nahji’s outfit consist of the Liberty Jane mini skirt and the Liberty Jane King’s Canyon Peplum top. I have already reviewed the skirt with Dell’s outfit. So this will just be the King’s Canyon Peplum.
Intermediate sewing level is probably about right for this project. It requires a light weight fabric which if you are not use to can cause problems. I used rayon challis that I had left over in the scrap bin. Rayon challis does require a lot of pinning as it is slippery.
As I really didn’t have any trim that I wanted to use it does seem a little plain on the front. I probably should have used one of the decorative stitches from my sewing machine. Or maybe I shouldn’t have done the split at the neck line. I am not sure.
It fits Nahji well and really wasn’t hard to stitch together. It does require having the right fabric suggestions to get a great drape. I double rolled the peplum hem and that did cause it to stick out in the rayon.
Lauryce’s skirt has been done since early July . But I have been horrible about taking time to take pictures. There is at least 6 other doll items plus a couple of items for myself still needing pictures.
Lauryce got the Harajuku skirt from Liberty Jane. It was in the Hearts for Hearts/ Les Corrolles section so not the Wellie version.
All I remember is that this was extremely fast to sew. I think I had it completed in one evening from cutting to end. I know that I would have done as much as possible flat (even the hem) then put the elastic at the waist. Lastly was seaming up the back.
Lauryce’s skirt is from left over quilting cotton I had from the grey suit I previously made. Her top is Liberty Jane’s baseball tee which was previously made.
Dell is up next. Dell’s new outfit consists of Liberty Jane’s gathered t-shirt and Liberty Jane’s mini skirt pattern.
Dell’s t-shirt is made from ITY knit leftover from a dress I cut for myself (which is waiting to be put together). I really like the finished t-shirt. But my biggest complaint is that it didn’t include a neckband piece. So instead of turning under and hemming, I cut out a band matching the width of the little arm cuffs and longer than the neck line length. I basically used it as a facing and turned it to the inside and stitched down.
I just used the standard 2 rows of basting stitches for the gathering. All the gathering was fairly easy even with the knit fabric.
The Liberty Jane mini skirt pattern is sized for Wellie Wishers and Hearts for Hearts dolls (14.5 & 14 inch dolls). I had cut out four of view A from Kona cotton. I only ended up with 3 skirts because I figured I needed to bring in the side seams for my Hearts for Hearts (since they are smaller than Wellies). So the first skirt did not fit on my dolls and I was not going to go through fixing it. After the first one, I used the recommended quarter- inch for side seams and the fit is fine for my dolls.
Now if you have a Wellie Wisher, you may want to consider including a bit more wearing ease so the skirt is easier to pull on and off. In that case, my recommendation would be to get your extra width from the center front and center back seams. For View A, I had to fold the front and back fabric pieces and then stitch in a faux felled seam. That faux felled seam is where I recommend getting your desired width if necessary.
I did like how Cinnamon has you finish the side seams because it does give you a nice waistband finish. It may not be the best method for complete beginners as afterwards, you have to sew the front waistband down in the round. A small 6 inch or so waist is pretty tight to do in the round. The American girl sized dolls are probably easier to complete like this. For me, it was slow sewing and constantly trying to make sure I was able to move the skirt and able to see.