Friday, June 6, 2014

Down in D Islands

During the four years I spent in Caribbean, I never wanted to invest too heavily in clothing due to the challenges presented by the hot, humid climate. Instead, I bought a number of colorful pashmina scarves which I transformed into sarongs and wrap skirts I wore under jackets for day or in combination with other scarves wrapped around my shoulders for evening events.

This no-sew project is dedicated to those of you who would like to create something stylish for your dolls without so much as threading a needle. You can use ready-made pocket squares if you can find them or...cut your own. I've provided the dimensions of the cloth used for each of the following wraps.

For this, you will need 1 strip of fabric 12"x1-1/2" (31x4 cm) for the top and a square: 8-1/2"x8-1/2" (17x17cm).
Bra: Wrap the strip around the doll and knot in the front. Join the ends together at the back of the neck and tie.

Bottoms: Fold the square diagonally in half and place in front of doll. Pass the point between the legs. Pin or tape the point in place while you complete the bottoms. Roll the top edge so that it fits well over Dolly's backside. Continue to twist the ends.

 Bring to the front and tie into a knot. Remove the pin at the back and secure in place.

You will need a rectangle 7"x11" (18x28 cm).

Place the fabric lengthwise over the front. Tie the ends around the back of the neck. Bring the bottom edge through the legs. Roll until it fits well over the doll's backside. Continue to twist the ends.

Wrap around to the front and tie.

Basic Sarong Dress with Tunic.
You will need 2 squares: 11"x11" (28x28 cm)
 Dress: wrap around the one side of the doll's body, leaving out a corner. Continue wrapping the other side and tie on the side.

Tunic: Take the 2nd square and create an "armhole" on either side of this square by tying a corner to the same edge further down and knot. (You can also use needle & thread make a small stitch to hold in place.)

Place the doll's arms through each armhole and adjust if necessary.

Asymmetrical Wrap Dress

You will need a square 11"x11" (28x28).

Make an armhole on one side of the square by tying the corner to the edge further down. Slide on the doll's arm. Fold the other corner to the other side of the doll's body. Take the remaining corner and wrap across the front. Bring both edges to the back and tie in place.

Sarong Evening Dress with Halter Neck Overcoat
This is a longer version of the basic sarong dress. Because I used such a sheer fabric, I doubled up the layers. Mine consisted of 2 layers measuring 8-1/2"x13" (21x33 cm) for both the dress and the coat.

Gown: Again, wrap the rectangle around the doll and tie to one side. Turn the knot inside (towards the body) to hide it.

Coat: fabric at the back under the arms of the doll then towards the front. Take the corners and tie at the back of the neck.

Halter neck Dress
I used a pocket square measuring 13"x13" (33x33 cm).
Following the instructions for the Over coat, wrap around the doll and tie the top two corners behind the doll's neck.

Tie in place with a belt.

One shouldered Sarong Dress
For this you will need a rectangle measuring 13"x15-3/4" (33x40cm)

Wrap fabric width-wise around the doll as you did for the basic sarong. Tie at the shoulder and then again under the arm where you will make a knot.

Don't stop there. With the summer months and balmy days at the beach ahead, grab your own scarf or pareo and tie one on for yourself!

Note: backgrounds for these pictures were taken at Maracus Bay in Trinidad.

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