Saturday, March 9, 2013

Good Foundations: The Dress

I'm old enough to remember when the primary items featured in department stores were dresses and coordinated ensembles (jacket+dress, suit, coat+skirt). Then one day, retailers discovered the "fashion is the sum of its parts" theory. In other words, by chopping up the look, more money could be made selling by styles in pieces which is why the bulk of our purchases now consist of  "separates."

Personally, I prefer making individual tops, skirts, pants and jackets that can be mixed and matched to create a plethora of looks for my dolls. It's the way modern women dress today. It's how most dolls want to be dressed as well.

Yet in still, there are times when we we need to make a dress--to go under a coat, or for evening wear. For that reason, the basic 2-piece is our topic for this post. I'm using the basic sloper and adding 1/4-inch seam allowance all around except for the center front of the bodice and the skirt, both of which, are place on the fold of the fabric.
Stitch the bodice on the sides and shoulder. Next, stitch the skirt at the sides, but leave the back seam of the skirt open for the first inch. Then stitch down to the hem. Be sure to press all seams and darts flat.

Now, put the top and bottom together, placing them right side to right side at the waist. Match them at the side seams and pin. If you did a good job on your original sloper, the seams will also match up. If not....well.....your doll is the best customer in the world. She will never get upset. She will simply smile and wear your garment as it is with the greatest of style!!!!! 

Baste the bodice and skirt together with a running stitch. Then, take it to the machine and stitch in place. Press the inside of the dress with the waist seam upright.
The same principle can be used for any type of skirt (flared skirt like the one pictured below). The basic dress, however, screams for embellishment. Note: this basic garment can serve as a foundation over which topical effects (ribbon, drapery, embroidery) can be applied.
























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