Click to enlarge
Here in England’s West Country the spring blossom has been absolutely stunning this year, so it seems the right moment to show you Sophie looking cool and charming in her Apple Blossom dress. She’s wearing her favourite pink ballerina shoes with their little velvet bows, and of course she’s carrying her beloved cat which goes everywhere with her.
The dress is based on a bodice pattern by Miss Connie, which consists just of the bodice and sleeves. Once you have the bodice pattern it’s simple enough to cut a rectangle of material to make the skirt – just gather it into the bodice. This really is an excellently cut garment which fits the slender Kidz ‘n’ Cats dolls perfectly. So be warned, there’s no way Kit or any of the other American Girls will fit into this dress. Definitely for Kidz only!
One fat square provides plenty of material to make it up. I got this particular fabric in Millie Moon in Frome (Somerset, UK), a shop which caters largely for quilters and which stocks a wonderful range of beautiful fabrics with designs that are just the right scale for doll’s clothes.
Sophie’s ballerina shoes are by Kidz ‘n’ Cats, part of the four-piece footwear set available from retailers or direct from the Kidz ‘n’ Cats online shop itself. I was not terribly impressed by the shoe set, to be honest. These pink pumps are the best of the four, and fit the Kidz well. The coral-pink Mary Janes are pretty but the straps are cut too short and show the velcro fastenings when done up. The wellies are beautifully made but proved impossible to put on the Kidz, in fact Susan has inherited them as they slide onto her smaller feet without much difficulty. Finally there is a pair of green canvas trainers, which are poorly made, and came with laces that were too short to fasten in a bow. The trainers are also far too big for the Kidz’ slender feet, but I found that they fit Kit well, once I had swapped the laces for the longer ones in the wellies. Overall the quality is not great for the price, and I’d definitely recommend going to Monique Trading Corp instead as they have various styles in a size (75mm/34mm) that fits the Kidz.
I was truly delighted with this little dress. Made from this lovely fabric it needs no trimmings at all. It is just a simple, well-cut dress in an attractive material that suits Sophie’s blonde hair and blue eyes beautifully. It is a good basic dress design and the bodice pattern has proved very adaptable – as a future post will demonstrate.
By contrast with my previous post, which featured my first wobbly attempt at making doll’s clothes, here is Annika wearing the most recent creation from Kit’s Couture. This simple but chic French design was made using a pattern from Vanina who runs the Les Chéries de Vaniline blog and makes her patterns (‘patrons’) available for purchase there. Vanina favours Liberty prints and I was lucky enough to find a fat square at my local needlecrafts shop, Fabric Magic, which, while not Liberty, was similar in feel. Annika’s outfit is completed by her green classic ankle strap shoes from Monique.
The pattern draws on the same techniques used to make Kit’s summer dress, being essentially a lined yoke attached to a softly gathered skirt. I’ve made a few of these dresses with yokes now and I have been encouraged to see how much more accurate and exact my stitching has become since my first attempt three months ago. Even my top-stitching – which I still find tricky – has improved. The new skill here was attaching the ties which fasten the dress at the side. The pattern instructions clearly say to be careful to attach these correctly, and I did take great care over the placement of the first one, stitching it accurately and securely. Then I discovered I’d put in the wrong way round and had to unpick it. And then I did exactly the same with the second tie too!
The main challenge with this pattern, however, was that it and the instructions are all in French and I was not familiar with the French vocabulary of dressmaking. With a bit of help from Google Translate I worked out that, for example, ‘Cranter les arrondis’ means ‘clip curves’… at least I think it does. That’s what I did anyway, and it seems to have worked very well.
American Girl owners please note that Kidz ‘n’ Cats are slim dolls and patterns designed for them will be too small for the sturdier build of the American Girl.
I’m finally launching this blog. It’s been several months in the planning but now it’s ready to go. We have a dozen or so outfits to showcase, the models are ready and longing to get out there on the catwalk…
We will be featuring:-
- Susan modelling vintage knitwear and designs from the 1950s – 1970s
- Kit modelling American Girl fashions from the USA and Australia, including a beautiful gown in the style of the 1790s.
- Sophie and Annika modelling Kidz ‘n’ Cats designs from France and the USA.
So watch this space over the next few days and weeks as the latest collection from Kit’s Couture goes public!