Tuesday, April 29, 2008

the fat quarter dolly skirt and a little felt experiment

On my recent girls' trip to Fort Smith (remember the post about the bathrooms?), I bought some fat quarters with the purpose of making some clothes for my daughter's 18" doll. Actually, it's a Gotz doll that's the same size as an AG doll, so I guess it's a German Girl Doll?? *insert groan here*

My first attempt at dolly clothes was less than stellar. Not bad, but not great, either. I started with a commercial pattern and altered it a bit. The result was just a little looser than I had wanted, but Liv loved it all the same.

Yesterday I decided that I could tackle a little tiered prairie-style skirt. Bands of gathered fabric, gathered on an elastic waistband should be too hard, particularly with my gathering foot for my machine.

Yeah, well....

First I cut the strips for the tiers a little narrower than they needed to be, which meant that I had to add an extra row. Then, I had a little too much "gather" in my gathering foot. Put those two facts together and I ended up with a skirt that was too short and had too much "flip" to it. And because the gathered tiers were sewn one at the bottom of another, with each tier the skirt got exponentially flippier.

With all the extra gathers and an additional tier for length, it ended up looking a bit like a square dancing skirt. Still, I'm happy with the results.

It's kind of a cute square dancing skirt, though, if I say so myself. I've also learned what to do and what not to do on my next attempt - smaller stitch on the gathering foot, and slightly taller tiers.

Here's a close-up of the fabric. I LURV this print!

This is what was left over. The long scrap is 18" long and about an inch wide. The smaller bits are little slivers that were left over when I trued up the edges to cut the strips.

And now for my felt experiment. I took Liv to the park today and wanted to bring a project with me while I sat on the bench. It was somewhat windy, so it wasn't really a good day to work on my felt brooches. (Sequins and little paper cutting patterns tend to get blown away.) Instead, I took a square of red felt, a few squares of pink felt, and a ball of crochet thread.

The piece is 4.5" square, small enough to complete in one sitting. I didn't have much of a plan when I started. All I knew was that I wanted the two large pink squares in the upper left corner. The rest was just improvisation with a very limited palette of stitches.

When I cut the piece, I made it the right size to put on one of my 5" mini-stretch canvases I scored from Michael's about a week ago, but I'm not sure that this will actually end up on the canvas. Whatever it ends up being, it was enough to get me totally hooked on this kind of free-form embroidery.


Denise Felton said...

I love them! Both of them! You tackle more complicated clothes for Livvie's dolls than I was willing to undertake for my children! And the new felt experiment rocks. I can't wait to see what you do with it.

Julie Anne of Diamondmeenuh Creations said...

I love the way the doll skirt came out! The fabric is just beautiful! I also love that felt square. I can't wait to see what it grows up to be--although it is really pretty as is and would look kinda need just sitting in a little frame....

Janna said...

So adorable! Seeing the cute projects you make totally makes me wish I had a little girl to go along with my 2 boys. Seriously! How much fun to make stuff like that Olivia. I'm sure she loves it too!

And your felt is so cool! I need to get some and experiment too.