Sunday, August 22, 2010

Miss Cindy's Baby Doll Part 3

Yippee! The dress is finished and I will be able to deliver it to Cindy tomorrow! Life got in the way of this little project. I had a baby shower to go to that required a handmade gift and school started for me last Monday. There were lots of meetings and the classroom to arrange and organize. I didn't stitch anything when I got home! Too tired!

I had to adjust the vintage pattern bodice pieces to fit this doll and I made the dress a little longer than her original dress. (See here.)  I changed the shape of the sleeves to accomodate smocking.  I wanted to eliminate elastic from this outfit and the smocking pleats and stitches provide the ruffled gathers perfectly without elastic.  I really liked the embroidered panel that goes down the center front of the original dress with ribbon waist ties beneath the panel so I duplicated that look with embroidered ribbon.

The dress is made of fine cotton batiste and French cotton lace.  I love working with such nice materials.  Everything came from my stash, even the little antique mother of pearl buttons, the ribbon, and the entredeux (veining at the neckline).

The dress is open down the back and closes with two little buttons.  I just realized when looking at the photo of the dress back that I hadn't adjusted the skirt pieces with the right side overlapping the left.  You'll just have to believe me when I tell you that it really does overlap properly.  (It is too hot to go outside to take more photographs!)

"Baby" looks pretty in her new dress and pan*ties (see last post), doesn't she?  Ten (or even 50) years from now her outfit will still fit her arms and legs.  With minimal care the materials in the dress should last a very long time.   Perhaps Cindy's future granddaughters will play with her!
PS:  Rett asked what type of floss I used in the smocking.  I used three strands of DMC cotton floss.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Miss Cindy's Baby Doll Part 2

Two little sleeves and two little pan*ty legs all pleated up, cut out, and ready to smock for Miss Cindy's baby doll. The pleating threads have been pulled out from the seam allowance, drawn up, and tied off.

Doesn't the lace look pretty all 'squished up'?
 The next picture shows the simple pink smocking design for the sleeves and the white smocked sections for the pan*ties.

The pleating threads have been pulled out and the hand smocking is holding the pleats nicely all by itself.

The white smocking on the legs will have white ribbon woven under the smocking and tied into a bow to tighten on the legs of the doll.

Here is the finished pair of pan*ties on the baby doll.  There is a tiny button hole in the center of the casing at the waist with ribbon inserted to draw in the pan*ties at the waistline.  You can clearly see the ribbon under the smocking at the legs in the last photo.  Now to work on the dress!  Part 3 will be up in a day or two!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Miss Cindy's Baby Doll Part 1

"Miss" Cindy and I have a long history. Her son Donnie was in my kindergarten class 18 years ago and her daughter Christa was in my kindergarten 12 years ago. "Miss" Cindy had a licenced daycare in her home when her children were very young. When my children came along, Cindy took care of them when they were toddlers and preschoolers. My son called her "Miss Cinny" for years! The children were clean, fed, and well taken care of when I would pick them up after teaching but most importantly, my children were loved all day long.  There were NEVER any tears about being left at "Miss Cinny's" house!  What a blessing!

Mine were the last two little ones that Cindy took care of in her home. She then started working as a teacher aid at my school. Last year was the first time I had the pleasure of working with her directly because she was assigned to help with the little boy with Down's Syndrome who was in my class.  Such a blessing!  Again!

This is Cindy's baby doll that was given to her shortly after she was born. The doll itself is in great condition but the clothes have deteriorated. The elastic has 'given out' in the waist, legs, and sleeves of the outfit and the fabric of the little dress tears with the least pressure. I have draped the dress over the doll because I don't want to damage it any further just to dress her for photos.  I offered to make her 'baby' a new set of clothes as a 'thank you' for all her help.

The picture above shows the inside of the dress and the one below shows the outside.  I love the panel down the front with the gathered lace edging and the lace around the neck.  The little ribbon ties are attached under the panel.  I want to incorporate these details in the new outfit.

I am using this vintage pattern for a 16" doll that I am redrafting to fit Cindy's doll who is smaller and a bit thiner than the dolls this pattern was designed for but it is the closest that I can come in my pattern stash.  I have redrafted the sleeve to accomodate smocking.  In this way I will eliminate the need for elastic that will loose its 'oomph' over the years.   I am also making pan*ties that will have smocking at the legs and a ribbon drawstring at the waist...again to eliminate  elastic.

The dress will be a lovely white cotton batiste with French cotton lace edging.  I had a length of a pretty embroidered pink ribbon in my stash that I will use as the panel and ties.
This next picture shows the lace machine rolled and whipped to the batiste and then zig-zagged again from the right side for the sleeves and panties.  I often attach the lace before rolling into the pleater.  (A pleater is a hand cranked machine that you feed the fabric into that pleats the material for hand smocking.  The rollers remind me of those really old washing machines with rolling 'wringers' on the top.  The rollers push the fabric onto threaded needles that hold the pleats.  The pleating threads are removed after the smocking is complete.)
 Right side.

Wrong side.

I usually add lace and pleat the sleeves together and the pan*ty legs together before completely cutting them out.   It saves some time both at the sewing machine and the pleater.

These are now ready for the pleater!  Tomorrow I'll show you the pleated sections and then the pieces smocked.

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