Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Angel Food

The store windows of Paris are filled with the hottest trend for the summer....peasant blouses and dresses! Inspired by these looks, my project began. But soon after I cut the first dress, another, more romantic look emerged. Back in 1962, the "Angel Blouse" (also known as the "choir boy look" with its ruffles and flounces, was all the rage amongst teenagers of that era. And while I intend to return to a more gritty look, I decided, instead to work with this forgotten trend that is so very pretty on the doll.

For all of the looks here, I used a cotton voile and some very simple patterns.

The first dress begins with a classic 2-piece dress. The top is a strapless fitted bodice with a flared (or 4-gore) skirt attached.

1. Sew the dress and finish it.
2. You can use ribbon or make your own straps out of small scraps of the same cotton Folded, glued and pressed in place. I've pinned the straps to the dress then stitched them down. In this case, the straps are only attached to the front and tie behind the doll's head in the back.
3. Cut a diagonal strip of fabric that is twice the circumference of the doll and about 2" (5cm) long. Hem the edges.

4. Using a running stitch, gather one side of the strip then pin to the top of the dress. Adjust the gathers. Stitch the gathers in place with a backstitch.
5. You can stop there or... Make little sleeves. Cut a width of the strip. Hem both top and bottom, then make a tube by stitching the side edges together.
6. Make a running stitch at the top, pull the thread to gather. Carefully stitch down the gathers.
7. Sew the seam of the sleeve to the side of the dress bodice.

The one is a peasant dress that, in a shorter length, you can also make as a blouse and to wear over jeans, if dolly wants a more casual look.

1. Begin by cutting a length of fabric which is as long as you would like the dress. The width should be 2-4 times the circumference of the doll, depending on how full you want the dress. Pictured here, I made m dress 4x the doll's width.
2. For the sleeve, I cut two more rectangles that are half the size of the body of the dress. Altogether you have 3 rectangles which you should hem top and bottom. Fold in half and stitch each one down the one unique side.
3. Gather the tops of each segment. Adjust the body of the dress on the doll, then stitch the gathers down. The sleeve segments should be gathered at the top and the bottom.

4. You can then either stitch the sleeves to the body of the dress at the underarms or treat them as detachable elements which gives dolly two looks for the price of one!

Another very pretty look, inspired by the peasant wear we're seeing in Paris. This is a simple tent dress trimmed with a ruffle at the hem.
1. Start with the tent dress pattern. Click here for the tutorial. The dress is stitched at the side seams and the shoulders. I finished the armholes and neckline.
2. Next, take a strip of cotton which is at least twice the width of the dress's hem (or more if you want the ruffles to stand out more). Gather the top of this strip.
3. Pin to the dress, raw side to raw side. The ruffles will be pinned upside down on the dress. Adjust so that they are even. Then stitch down.
4. Finish the back seam. Then iron, near the seam at the hemline, (just above but not on the ruffles).

Finally is the "Angel Blouse" worn over jeans. It is a shorter version of the dress I just made but with a longer ruffle. Use the pattern for the tent dress but cut it down to a shorter length and leave the back open, closing it with a single snap or hook and eye. My ruffle here is twice the width of the blouse's hem and 1 3/4 inch (4.5cm) long.

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  1. Jakie piękne stroje! Letnie, naturalne, delikatne, anielskie...
    Cudowne! Pozdrawiam serdecznie!

    1. Olla wrote: What a beautiful dress ! Summer , natural , delicate , angelic ...
      Wonderful! Best wishes!

      Thank You Olla. I am quite happy with the results! Glad you liked this post. See you soon!

  2. "Angel Food" - How fresh and fun for summer days, reflecting so well the lovely return of billowy fashions for summertime. Romantic and playful, mixing well with little flats, jeans and shorts. It's a lovely project to sew up for that pretty "swing" to add to a doll's collection. - Olympia

    1. Thank you, Olympia. After all of the clingy, tight fashions of recent years, it is so refreshing to see something sweet for a change...even if it is only on a doll!!!

  3. April, these are so pretty and airy. How I would love to have the third dress in my size for our humid summer days. Thanks for the tutorial!

    1. Thank you, Jewell. I once had a blouse in the style of the doll's dress with the long sleeves. I wore it until it fell apart!! Nothing made me feel fresher or prettier on a hot summer day than a blouse or dress of white cotton!!!

  4. Hi April! Wow, enjoying your photos, looking over your blogs, and reading some of your tutorials have dropped into my head the faintest possibility, the remote glimmer of a desire, the emergence of a thought...that maybe, perhaps, I might, MIGHT, tackle a simple design to sew for my some point. Probably that wisp of a thought is why I saved a soft, flowered cotton piece of fabric that could have sold at our Pop Up store this weekend. I couldn't let it go. Skirts for my girls, a thought said in my head. Old skills and sewing memories are surfacing. You are an inspiration, dear! :)

    1. LOL!!! Better watch out Jano!!! Once you start making clothes for your girls, they become VERY spoiled!!! They ask for more and before you know're a slave to the sewing me!!! And your girls are sooooo adorable, it will be very hard to resist!!!

    2. Haha! That is funny! Yes, you are right...I can imagine. They are already hinting that ...surely a little crinoline, or underskirt, wouldn't be too hard, to puff out our skirts. lol

  5. So in love with gathered sleeves.
    The ladies always looking chic

    1. Thank you, M-C. This turned out even better than I though it would! Glad you liked this post.

  6. Hi April ! J'aime trop. C'est trop beau ! En plus j'avais créé une robe un peu similaire. Sur ta première photo, c'est la dernière robe à droite. Puis tu me croiras ou non, mais je l'ai mise sur la même Barbie (Marisa) que toi ! Woua ! Merci pour ce magnifique partage.

    1. Merci Shasarignis pour les gentils mots. Bien evidemment, nous avons les meme gouts parce que j'aime beaucoup ces robes (meme si je ne peux plus les porter)!


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