What’s a warm summer day without a pretty and girly dress? I have been asked to make just such a dress. The floral has been chosen and the only real stipulation is that it needs a straw hat. Well who doesn’t, lol!
Here’s the concept sketch….
Dainty neckline, lots of swing to the skirt and ruched in the midsection. And away we go!
The ruched section needed a backing (of course) so I thought I would use mesh. In truth I don’t know why I chose fine nylon mesh except that it is very thin and therefore would add zero bulk….
Those two narrow bits are the Marilyn-esque bodice pieces 🙂
So I went along this way until I had a piece for the ruching that I attached to the nylon mesh after having attached the other bits to the mesh as well. Basically I had constructed almost all of the dress. And I hated the skirt! I mean it was most definitely the weak link in the whole affair! The hem was big and clumsy looking and the skirt itself drunkenly changed lengths all the way around. It had a mind of it’s own and hung unevenly which pressing did not help. I know that circle skirts need to hang for a time to, as M. Vionnet famously said often, “to let the bias do it’s work” Only then can you hem something that is on the bias. By definition some of a circular skirt is gong to be on the bias. To reduce this I used two half circles cut on the straight and split the back one for the center back seam. But as I already stated, it was sub par at best!
Into the trash with it! Start again! I tried to take the little dress apart and salvage some of the work I had already done, but no, it was just too small to suffer that kind of abuse! No worries. I began again with a much clearer plan in mind. I wound up using the floral on the inside of the ruching instead of the mesh because frankly the mesh looked messy and even though it’s on the inside I like things to look neat even on the inside 🙂
So here we have the skirt I love!! and the coming together of the ruched bit 🙂
And some more ruching…
Look at all of those thready bits! Aye Carumba! It’s enough to drive one mad, mad I tell you!!
Well, here it is on my little model, who gets to wear a wig and not be bald so she’s happy, lol!
Now the skirt hangs prettily! I still need to attach the fastener to the neckstrap but it’s pretty much finished 🙂
Of course the girl needs shoes and a handbag and let’s not forget, the straw hat!
So, I started by crocheting. I used waxed linen sailmakers thread. It’s very, very strong and lasts almost forever, lol! But it’s a good size for things like doll hats and handbags and jute type soles and a bunch of other possibilities… Without further ado, let’s get to the hat!
A crazy, funky, junky hat?
Overslept? Hair unsightly?
Trying to look like Kiera Knightly?
We’ve been there, we’ve done that. We see right through your funky hat!
Lol! Couldn’t resist that little poetic interlude from the Wizard’s of Waverly Place 🙂
Back to work now, stop fooling around already! Hat number one…..
It’s all right. I like how it really doesn’t look like it’s crocheted around the brim. I’m not sure it really does what I think it should in this particular case though. I did di some research on weaving and though some of it looks really cool much of the projects start out with some sort of rigid framework which I have found in past weaving attempts, to be quite difficult to create in this scale. Some of the African bowl knotting techniques looked pretty cool too, but again I couldn’t quite make the leap to tiny scale with them. That is a technique that I may try to decipher at some later date. For now I’ve decided to go more literal with the straw hat and braid some Rafia 🙂
After braiding, I am sewing the braided strip together in of course the shape of a hat.
Weeelll, Pippa seems to like the straw one better!
Then I made for a little pair of beautiful supple brown leather slides. This leather is so soft and flexible and it’s such a rich warm brown. It’s just wonderful! But I digress ^____^
These little peep toe shoes are made entirely of leather and are sewn by hand, except for the pink topstitching on the uppers to tie them in with the dress colours. That was done by machine.
So at this point, it’s really just her handbag and some pretties to decorate her hat and she can hit the antique fair in this outfit 🙂
I’m off to finish this up. Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there!
Thanks for reading,