Monday, November 11, 2019

Old Doll, New Clothes

Sorry! Wow, I really left you hanging, didn't I?

Do you even remember the doll I had been working on? Well, she's long been finished and has been living with her darling little recipient for months now. However, I still want to document the process and her completion.

If you remember, the doll, Dessa, was in a sad state when I started, and her clothes were even worse. She desperately needed new clothes. Knowing the taste and interests of my grandniece Wendy's parents, I had offered to make a little Wednesday Addams cosplay in black and white. But I felt I should make her a less somber dress too.

Using the magic of my phone and Pinterest, I put together a group of possible cotton prints for them to pick. Out of the floral and themed novelty choices, a small floral on a dark ground was among the pics. Once I spied this field of violets on black print, I scooped it up. The other iconic Wednesday Addams dress was constructed out of a Pima cotton with a lustrous sheen. A pretty white eyelet trim was selected for both dresses.

Using Pellon Easy Pattern, I made a tracing of what was left of the dress, stretching out the elastic to get an accurate measurement.

The most bizarre thing is that while checking out books on handmade dolls at the library, I came across Vogue Dolls and Toys (1989) by Helen Moore. In it, I found a cloth doll inside that also had forward-facing legs, a tush formed by darts, yarn hair, and a stitched line around her neck. Yup, I found the same pattern that was originally used to make Miss Dessa. How did I know for sure? Well, besides the publication year making sense, my traced dress pattern exactly matched the one in the book!

The dress pattern was used to make both dresses. However, for the Wednesday Addams dress, I had to draft a separate collar, which I thought would be easy, but when the neck of the model is more of a flat oval than a circle, it's kind of hard to get it to lay down right. I also had a hard time gauging how big it should be related to the dress. So there were multiple tries along with a facing to finish off the raw edge.

Both dresses were adorned with the white lace and given a ruffled tier on the bottom.

Because of the collar, the Wednesday dress needed to open in the back, and I used these vintage snaps from England for fastening.

Here's Dessa in all her glory:


Oh, and the black & white tights, I made those at the last minute with a remnant from an old knit top. I want my own pair now.