The first of Kit’s Couture’s two new girls, Elisabeth, models a pretty end-of-summer ensemble: cropped cargoes from a pattern by Heritage Doll Fashions, teamed with a halter-neck top from Rosie’s Doll Clothes.
I chose two different lots of fabric for this outfit. I teamed a light summer blue with a pretty print in summer blues and greens, both of which suit Elisabeth very well. She has teamed her outfit with some pink peep-toe shoes from Gotz, and wears an Alice band in the same summer print in her hair.
I began with the halter-neck top which was quite straightforward to put together. As usual Rosie’s video tutorials were crystal-clear and in an hour or so I had made a loose-fitting top firmly gathered into the halter-neck which ties around the neck with a bow. The body of the top fastens at the back with velcro. Of course the halter-neck style does expose Elisabeth’s ragdoll shoulders. She’s a Precious Day girl by Gotz, and they’ve given her a rather yellow-toned body fabric which isn’t terribly flattering, so for her photos I’ve styled her hair to disguise this. American Girl have chosen a better colour for their dolls’ bodies so this top would look better on them – and fantastic on Madame Alexander Favorite Friends which have a vinyl shoulder-plate instead. Nevertheless I’m very pleased with the style and hang of this little top. The gathers make it fall in pleasing folds at the front.
The cropped cargoes pattern was crying out for a two-colour approach: a plain colour for the main body of the trousers and the patterned print for the pockets and the waist tie. The instructions from Heritage Doll Fashions were full and fairly easy to follow with good illustrations. Challenges in this pattern were the top-stitching – there’s a huge amount of it in double-rows, all of which needs to be evenly spaced; and the buttonholes which I tackled for the first time ever. Each of the cargo pockets are fastened with a button and buttonhole, and the tie belt emerges from the waistband through buttonholes also. So I did a fair bit of experimentation with my buttonhole foot and settings before I plucked up the courage to actually work on the garment itself. To my relief everything went smoothly and the finished garment has two fully-functional button-closed pockets, two good deep front pockets, and two smaller back patch pockets, great for storing all the treasures Elisabeth finds when she’s playing outside in the late summer sunshine.
The quality of this outfit encourages me to do what I’ve been planning on for some time, once my sewing skills were up to it: start to sell my outfits online. So in a week or so, I hope to offer this ensemble for sale, probably on Ebay. It’s a new venture, and I’ve no idea what sort of a market there is out there for American Girl clothes in the UK, but online shops like Petalina are selling a good number of 18″ dolls to UK customers, so I feel it’s worth dipping my toe in the water and putting some creations from Kit’s Couture out there.
Kit and the girls are excited and rather nervous about this new venture – and so am I. Wish us luck!