Friday, September 6, 2013

Amanda's Golden Dress

I hit a snag with my own wedding dress planning, during and after some health issues.  I was adrift for about two weeks.  Combine that with the problems with fit in the Golden Goddess and Sugar Plum Skirts (stay tuned for more on this one), and I almost gave up. 

Then, I realized that these are just opportunities to go back to square one, sort of.

A Golden Dress for Amanda

To regain confidence, and to test my newest idea, I decided to draft a dress pattern for Amanda, using some scraps from the Golden Goddess skirt.  Since I am re-making my bodice as a five-gore corset-like top (more on this soon), and since I decided not to have a gathered skirt on my own wedding dress, I began thinking:  why not make the whole dress as a five-gore pattern, with a fitted bodice that flares to an A-line shape in the skirt? 

Advantages:  This avoids a waistline seam, which for me would add longer lines to the design.  That's always good for short people.

Disadvantages:  This requires more fabric, due to the width at the hemline and the length of the pattern pieces, and probably has more seams overall.

Advantage:  A smoother waistline.  I can still use an empire waist, and I could still use a tulle overlay that falls from the empire waistline.  The tulle overlay can be placed asymmetrically, so that there is a kind of "cut away" look to the main fabric underneath. 

Possible Idea:  Place crocheted motifs along the hemline and top of the bodice for a lace-like effect.  We'll see if there's time for that, or if I still want to do it later.

Drafting the Pattern

Little Miss and I worked on this together.  I took measurements at three spots:  under the arms (bust--11"), waist (10"), hips (I didn't end up using this measurement).  I also measured the distance between each of these spots.

{Measurements for the Amanda's Golden Wedding Dress}

To create a well-proportioned A-line shape, I doubled the waist measurement for the hip (20), and multiplied the hip measurement by 1.5 for the hemline (30). 

Would you just look at that--it's a Golden Ratio for a Golden Dress (1:2:3)!

{The Golden Wedding Dress:  Measurements for each gore}

Little Miss helped me draw the pattern.  For simplicity, I made each of the gores 1/5 of the measurement at each point.

These measurements should work for any 16" doll; the left column is the width measurement at the top, waist, hip, and hem, and the right column is the distance between each of these points--feel free to use them to create your own Golden Doll Dress!

I showed Little Miss how to draw a center line the length of the whole dress (12").

{Pattern Piece for the Golden Wedding Dress}

Then, we measured lengthwise each of the points where we will need to create a horizontal line--at 1.25" down for the waist, at 3" down for the hip, and then we double-checked our point for the hemline at 12".

At each of the points, I showed Little Miss how to center the ruler at the center line, and draw a horizontal line the correct width.

We then connected each of the points with the straight edge, smoothed the angles with a French curve, and then trued the seams to 90-degree angles at top and bottom.

Pinning, Tracing, and Cutting

Little Miss and I pinned the pattern on a small length of scrap fabric.  I showed her how to use the grading ruler to trace a 1/2" seam allowance around all the edges.

We took turns pinning, tracing, and cutting.

Since each of the gores is identical, we only needed one pattern piece, but cut it five times. 

All of this took a while; about an hour and a half to this point.  Little Miss wanted to play, so I did the sewing.  (She was mad at me though!)

Sewing it Up!

I simply matched the edges, and sewed the seams, pressing each seam as I went.

I accidentally sewed one of the gores with the textured side out instead of the satiny side out--oops!  I didn't worry about re-doing it, but just made that the back panel.

I left the back seam open from the top to the hip for inserting Velcro closures.

I added a thin elastic to the top.  I measured the elastic by pulling it taut around Amanda, cut it, then sewed it close to the top edge of the fabric on the outside, using a medium zigzag stitch, pulling the elastic to stretch it to the fabric length as I went.

{Zigzag stitched elastic edge}

Then, I folded the edge over and topstitched it, again with the zigzag, pulling it taut as I went so that the fabric wouldn't pucker and gather as I sewed.

Now the elastic top band looks decorative.

I didn't hem it, because we needed to go to a party.  Of course, Amanda needed to wear her new dress!  And, to church the next morning.

{Amanda's Golden Wedding Dress really needs ironing at this point!}

I also didn't put the Velcro in yet, or add the decorative sheer over layer yet.  But just wrapping the sheer fabric around the dress, I can tell that it will look even more fabulous when it is complete.


Don't you just love Little Miss' fashion design, showing me where the "tool" should and shouldn't go?

Now Amanda has a Golden Wedding Dress! (almost)

Till Next Time,--Ayana

1 comment:

  1. I love it !!!!!!! it looks very original!!!



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