Friday, January 18, 2013

The Winter Here's Cold

I recently finished a swap with the themes of lace and winter. My partner wanted a medieval inspired gothic dress, with the preferred colors of black, silver, dark purple, and dark blue. One of the sample dresses she showed had a built in hood.

My stash yielded a brocaded fabric with shot black and purple, along with a skirt I made for an outfit I've long since retired. The brocade went to the undergown, and the dark blue became the overgown and matching hood. To make things simple, and to fit with the medieval theme, I used geometric construction, which wastes little fabric and is visually appealing when its all marked out. Since partner stated that her doll is a princess, I expressed this in the richness of the trim and width of the skirts.

All seams were put together on the machine, and all lace and other trim was applied by hand. Since the keyhole neckline on the undergown didn't look like it would hem easily, I finished it with an all over buttonhole stitch, which also serves as a decorative element. The sleeve hems and neckline are trimmed with the same type of lace, and since most of the visual interest is in the center front, I added a second row of lace to the neck to give it a rich look. To make the gown more fitted, I added ribbons to the back so it could be pulled in to emphasize the waist.

On the overgown front, I placed two rows of edging for a strong visual impact, and some ribbon to close the gown. The overgown has its sleeves cut deliberately shorter to show off the sleeves of the undergown. One of the dresses my partner showed me had sleeves with wide billowy cuffs, which I changed to gathered wide insertion lace. For added decoration, I added edging to the insertion.

There was a bit of a mistake with the gores of both gowns. I decided to try a new layout technique and cut the gores as trapezoids instead of triangles. Many of the gores at the top had tufts of raw edges poking out. Sigh. To fix this, I added embroidery to cover the tufts, in the form of half flowers.
The hood is one big rectangle folded in two and partially sewn up the back. Very big, enough to bury Linnea's head even after I folded an edge back to reduce it without cutting. The fold is covered with more insertion decorated with edging, and the hem is covered with more edging. As a final touch, I made a little tassel for the top corner.

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