Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Thinking Outside the Box

Above is the picture I am using as inspiration for my doll's costume for the Hoffman Fabric challenge. My attempt at this dress has created opportunities for new styles of sewing which I have never attempted before in the past. Mainly, the pleated skirt is a brand new experience. Thankfully some clever person invented a pleating board and therefore makes it a lot easier to created tiny doll-sized pleated skirts. I purchased my pleater from Adele Sciortino's site at Pleating boards come in handy when making tiny French costumes. Okay, enough about pleating boards.

The rest of the costume is falling into place. I've finished her bloomers, petticoat and skirt. Now, I need to work on her jacket, cuffs and collar. I don't know about you, but I detest collars. My tiny brain cannot wrap itself around the concept of attaching it to the bodice. Heck, I even watched videos with dressmakers attaching collars and I still don't get it. I suppose that is where just biting the bullet and just doing it comes into play. In the past, I have made a couple of shawl collars, but for some reason my brain just blocks out the experience as if I were traumatized. I suppose it's repressed collar syndrome or something. It seems there is always some stumbling block with which every artist goes through. Collars just happen to be mine.

The next big challenge for me is how in the heck am I going to display this doll. One of the rules of the Hoffman challenge is the use of purchased doll stands are prohibited unless they are integrated with the doll. Every single doll I've made in the past, with the exception of my Queen Anne doll, requires the use of a doll stand. The costume on my doll looks better when she is standing. I thought perhaps I could just have her sit on a block, but I don't like the way the skirt flares out. And to be honest, it wasn't until the 20th century that fashion actually was made to be comfortable. So when I look at a child in a picture wearing a French dress from the 19th century, I can only imagine how happy they were to take it off and put on comfy clothes and just be a kid.

What I mean to say is my doll looks better standing. So I've got to think outside the box and figure out a way to display her standing up. But in the meantime, I'll finish her jacket and go from there. I'll keep you updated.

On a side note, I am officially 18 weeks pregnant today. Getting close to being halfway there. Two days ago, I felt my little girl kick for the first time. It was such a pleasant surprise too. We are very excited to be parents. :)


Tami said...

I haven't been by your blog in a while so I owe you a big CONGRATULATIONS!!

Those are great costumes and I bet your doll is going to look amazing once it's finished. Have you ever seen Shelley Thornton's dolls? She uses what looks like is a purchased doll stand. The trick is that they are covered in a complementary fabric to the doll. So you could use that technique and choose one of the companion fabrics to the challenge fabric. Just a thought. :-)

Coppermouse Dolls said...

Welcome back Tami. Yes, I love Shelly's work. Thanks for that tip. I just have to go and check it out now. Have a great day! :)