Friday, June 10, 2016

My "Rear Window" Collection

I wanted to update some of my early patterns' cover pages, so I decided to photograph my "Rear Window" collection on my JAMIEshow dolls. 

"Hollywood Canteen" Gene is my newest JAMIEshow Gene.
I love her full lips.

I love this beautiful dress!

The black cocktail dress from the film is also beautiful.

I love the green suit too.

 And don't forget the yellow print dress.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

1954 Givenchy Inspired Tunic Suit

Like usual, there is a story behind this photo.  My first doll convention was the 2008 "Girls From Dream City" Gene convention in Orlando Florida.  I rented a table in the sales room and had a great time selling my doll clothes and getting to know the other people selling in the room.  A lady at the next table was selling vintage L'Officiel magazines.  I had never heard of this magazine before and I was freaking out over all the gorgeous vintage fashions in the magazines.  I wanted to take them all home, but decided to choose the March 1954 edition with this cover photo.
I have wanted to make this stylish suit since 2008, but there was one hang-up, that red straw hat.  The suit looked simple enough, but that hat.  I haven't had much experience making straw hats, though you wouldn't know that if you saw my hat straw braid stash.
I finally made a small batch of these suits to take to Sandra Stillwell's convention last year.  I was skeptical of gluing the braid, so I attempted to hand sew the hats.  The turned out misshapen and sewing them was no fun at all.  I was bummed because I loved making the suits, but I hated making the hats.  I felt the hat was important, so I wasn't sure what I was going to do.  A doll friend at the convention told me to glue the hats, so I followed her advice and making the hats ended up being fun!
Here is my attempt to recreate the magazine cover.
I'm really happy about how the suit and hat turned out.  The glue also gives the hat more body, so it keeps it shape.  I used the cap off a bottle of juice to shape my hats.  I might have gone shopping at the grocery store with Gene's navy straw hat and tried it on a bunch of juice caps until I found the right size.

My JAMIEshow Audrey looks great in this suit.

I also made a navy version of this suit.  I used the navy straw hat and purse set from one of Gene's hat and purse collections.

My brand new Marsha Hunt doll is modeling this version.  She was the convention doll at last weeks JAMIEshow "Hollywood Canteen" convention.  I love her in this outfit.

To purchase this pattern click

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Summer Dresses

My latest project is the perfect example of how a relatively small project exploded into a big pain in the behind.  It all started quite a few years ago with this photo and yards of vintage dotted Swiss fabric.

Photo by Frances McLaughlin Gill

Oh my gosh, I LOVE this dress so much!  When I first saw this picture, I knew I had to make it.  At this time, I don't know who designed this awesome dress.    The only information that I have is it's from 1952 and is modeled by Jean Patchett.

In 2012, I was cutting out the blouses to for this "Sound of Music" inspired suit.  My grandma had given me about four yards a nice dotted Swiss when I was in my early 20's.  Well, I decided to plan ahead and cut out as many skirts for the dresses as possible while I was cutting out the blouses.

I probably cut out about 8-10 flared skirts and that ended up biting me in the butt a couple of years later.

It turned out that a flared skirt was not the best skirt shape for this dress.  I wanted to make a tuck at the bottom of the skirt to make it look like the ruffle was attached to a petticoat under the skirt.  The rounded bottom of the skirt made that technique a challenge.

I think I made it work though.

I had just enough fabric to make a dirndl skirt for my pattern prototype.  The straight bottom of the skirt was much better with the ruffle.

The bodice and sleeve tabs are a great detail.

Of course, I had to make my life harder by making the pattern project bigger....

by revisiting this dress.

 "Rear Window"

 Introducing "Rear Window" inspired print dress part 3
 Part 1- I wish I had bought more of this fabric originally.

 Part 2- this fabric wasn't a very great match for the original dress, but it turned out cute.

I was so excited when I found this fabric a year or so ago, best match ever!  I was so excited that I bought one whole yard of it.

I was only able to make 4 dresses out of a yard of fabric, two for Gene-
and two for Franklin Mint's Grace Kelly doll.
Part of me wishes that I had bought more fabric, and the other part of me is glad that I didn't.  But wait!  I'm not done yet.

It turned out I wasn't so keen on making 8-10 of the original dress with the cute tabs, piping, and ruffles.  So I made a few adorable sleeveless dresses with piping.  I had also decided that I couldn't make a successful sleeveless dress by just omitting the sleeves.  This called for a new bodice pattern.

Still not done though.

What about a basic sleeveless bodice with a dirndl skirt?

and the basic sleeveless bodice with the flared skirt?
Can you even tell the difference?   When I get around to updating my pattern blog, I am going to write about the pros and cons of these two different skirts.
Ugh!  I thought I was finally in the home stretch, but then I wanted to improve the fit of the Tonner/Grace Kelly bodice and make a bodice with buttons down the front.
So I made this cute dress out of this fun print, one for Gene-

and one for the bigger girls.
The end!
To purchase the pattern, click here.