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Tiny Dresses

My apologies for the inconsistent nature of my posts this past last week.  We’ve had a death in our family, so things have been very difficult.

Despite that, I do have a little something to share. Birthdays are coming and the sewing must go on.

I looked high and low for 1930′s dress patterns for Kit and Ruthie, my girl’s American Girl Dolls… there were few options available, and none filled the bill.  The next best option was to start with a simple pattern and modify.

I chose Simplicity Pattern 4364.  Given a choice, I always go with Simplicity, since their patterns seem to speak my language.  They are usually straightforward and easy to follow.

The first challenge to modifying the pattern was to add a scalloped collar.  I started with the collar that belonged to the jacket on the pattern.  I scaled it to work with the dress with the opening in the back and then used a my shot glass measuring cup as a round template for the scallops.  It’s not perfect, but it worked.   Adding the collar meant changing the way the bodice was put together, and luckily it came together easily.

Next I had to add straight sleeves with a cuff.  Again I modified the sleeves from the jacket pattern.  Adding the cuff was as easy as adding as binding.  The buttons I still need to sew on, but I think it looks sweet on the cuff.

Next steps for me will be to add the belts… the one you see in the picture is just laid across but not sewn on.  I also need to add embellishments.  The devil is in the details, and I am headed to JoAnn’s today to look for tiny buttons or maybe a tiny buckle (in my dreams) to add to the dresses.  I kind of liked the way the little pompoms looked on the collar, so I may try to tack that on after the fact.

I also thought the little ribbon flower looked darling on the green dress, so if I went that direction, I would need to find a match for the other dresses.

Decisions, decisions.  I keep telling myself, less will probably end up being more in the end.

Today I am hoping to work on the “look like me” versions to fit my girls…  if I have time.  The best laid plans have gone awry this week, so wish me luck in getting them finished.   I do have a little hope since my pattern is an “It’s so Easy” Simplicity Pattern.  I certainly hope it’s true. Again it’s all the changes to the pattern, like adding cuffs and a collar that will challenge me… and take time.

This week has been a roller coaster ride of emotion… and I thought I would leave you with a quote I’ve been thinking about.

It rings true with a crystal clarity for me this week.

“ You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land, there is no other life but this.”

– H.D. Thoreau


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10 Responses to “Tiny Dresses”

  • Kristie:

    So sorry for your loss.
    Your dresses look amazing!
    Love how Simplicity speaks my language, it does mine. If I ever can, I always use Simplicity.
    Good luck, hope the big dresses come together easily! Can’t wait to see your creations.

  • Baker4Boys:

    I, too, am sorry for your loss. The little dresses are adorable and good luck with the matching dresses for your girls! – I totally agree about Simplicity patterns! They are my favorite to work with, and I always look there first. =)

  • Well done. I keep trying to make doll clothes for my daughter’s American Girl doll. I swear it has been in my UFO bin for 6 months now. Good job.

  • Janelle:

    I’m sorry for your loss – we had a tragic death in our family about 6 wks ago and I can’t seem to get back to the machine & hooks with anything like focus. I’m impressed that you could focus enough to alter a pattern! Beautiful little dresses.

  • S:

    I’m very sorry to hear about the death of your loved one.
    The dresses are very sweet; the details are adorable. Thank you for the great quote-I definitely need to apply that to my life more.

  • Julia:

    So sorry for your loss. I love the quote tho, we’ve also suffered a loss in my husband’s side of the family, so I can relate.

  • Beth:

    So sorry for your loss. We suffered two family deaths last year and I know how that wreaks havoc. Your quote was timeless and a great one for me to hear today. And your dresses are so lovely! Makes me remember when I made Am. Girl dresses for my nieces (who are all grown up now). I used an old bridesmaid dress to make a fancy dress and hat that my one niece really wanted. I think it was also that project (when I was 9 months pregnant with my second) that made me purchase a new sewing machine that we couldn’t really afford. I still have it and am eternally grateful for that hormone induced purchase!

    May your week be peaceful as you grieve and prepare for birthdays.

  • Tyra:

    What darling dresses. Posts like this make me want a little girl (I’ve got two boys) so i can make pretty dresses like this for her dolls and have tea parties with them. Maybe someday:)

  • Sandra:

    Just wanted to say “How good our GOD is!” I have been training our two granddaughters to sew and cook over various seasons in our lives….Sewing is near and dear to my heart. I learned my sewing skills because my great-aunt kept me supplied with chicken feed sacks. Mom had limited skills, but shared all she knew and offered great encouragement. GOD blessed the talent He chose to place in me. I started with doll clothes w/o patterns but with much help from Mom, gained skills once doll patterns came on the scene, and progressed to make nearly everything our daughter & I wore from the 60′s thru the 90′s. I trained our gr.daughters starting with very simple craft items and progressing to using tiny patterns now available for 18 inch dolls. I agree, augmentation is the key to success. One will make her first article of clothing for herself this summer.
    My pastor’s wife shared this site with me…What a blessing! Philippians 4:19..CHRIST has never failed me…never in the good days nor in the sad days nor in the bad days….

    PS
    To Tyra & others with boys. Have you considered getting a doll(s) for yourself and making clothes for her? You know those boys will grow up and maybe have girls. I am now making clothes for my own doll. My daughter knows I want them in her home to share with any and all of her grandchildren, but because the girls will have their own collec- tion, our daughter knows it would please me for her sons’ daughters to have first consideration. Just a thought…

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