Ruffles, Hems… and Decapitation

I’ve had quite a few people express shock over my sewing doll clothes. Here’s the scoop! One day while getting lost on Pinterest, I cam across this absolutely amazing period dress… it just happened to be on a doll.

Intrigued, I clicked through, and discovered MHD Designs. Honestly, I didn’t know such talent existed. Wow! I didn’t care about the dolls, but OH how I wanted some of those dresses for myself! I bought every pattern she has. And one day, I hope to have enough skill to sew them. I would love to have those dresses on hangers all over my sewing room.

Next I needed a doll to fit them on, so I ordered an American Girl doll. The hair! It was ghastly! Which led me to reading about replacement wigs, scalping the poor doll, and replacing the hair.

Well that was a whole new kind of fun itself, and before I knew it, I had eight dolls… all of whom I performed hair surgery on.

So there’s the doll story. Back on topic…

So far I’m pretty pleased with my doll dress progress, I don’t think I’ve managed to screw anything up just yet, but I am struggling a bit with sewing the lining down around the armholes. Here’s where I’m at with it.

I’m terrified I’m going to screw those sleeves up mostly in the finishing step, which I’ve studiously avoided even looking at just yet. Yesterday I hand stitched the bodice lining down, but the armholes… ugh. Not done.

I decided to skip ahead and see how the ruffles were done. I read the instructions about five times and decided I at least had enough skill to do that differently without messing things up.

I sewed two width of fabric ruffle strips together, (twice) then hemmed them with a hemmer foot on my 401a.

It performed flawlessly. I am a huge fan of hemmer feet and while I only have one size for my slant shank machines, I’ve got quite a few various sizes for my other machines.

Then I attached the ruffler foot and pleated the skirt bands.

Again, flawless performance. Miss Myrtle approved. Yay! After I ruffled my strips, I serged them to the skirt band, cut them to fit, and finally serged the ruffle section the dress skirt.

The back of my dress is open from neckline to ruffle. I will most likely opt for a zipper installation, even though that isn’t what the pattern calls for. My hands struggle with snaps and buttons, although I do want to try out the vintage buttonholer, as it looks like some weird alien device and nothing like a modern buttonhole foot where the machine does all the calculations… but to be honest, I usually do buttonholes on my embroidery machine.

CJ Tinkle

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Janine

    Please do use the buttonhole attachment! I have a 401 and feel it makes the prettiest rounded buttonhole ever. It will so compliment your beautiful vintage dress.

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