Tag Archive | skirt

All ready for a beach party

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge.

Back at the beginning of May we had some warm days – it seemed summer was just around the corner.  So Kit has got her beach clothes out and now she’s all ready to join the fun just as soon as summer really does arrive.

I put this little outfit together when I was working through Rosie’s doll clothes course.  The three patterns came bundled with the course: a sarong (short as here, or long), a crop top, and a sunhat.  In making up the garments you practice various skills: sewing curves, top-stitching, inserting elastic and gathering fabric into a seam.  I made all three garments from two fat squares.

The sarong was quick and easy to make, and can double as a wrap-around skirt for the summer.  A very easy-to-wear garment which dresses up nicely for more formal wear, as I’ll demonstrate in a later post.

The crop top construction was very similar to the bodice on the summer dress I had made before, except that here the bottom edges of the top are turned in and top-stitched to secure them.  I feel the top is not quick cropped enough: next time I’ll shorten it slightly to reveal a little midriff – but not too much as Kit’s an old-fashioned girl and feel uncomfortable with too much flesh on show!

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The real challenge here was the sunhat which needed some careful seaming to achieve the fitted shape.  The body of the hat is cut in one piece with four dome-shaped scallops which are stitched together to form the crown of the hat.  Then the brim is doubled over and gathered into the edge of the crown.  There’s a lot of fullness to gather up, and it’s important to distribute the gathers evenly.  I was very glad of Rosie’s video instructions to guide me while I worked on this.

It really is a great little outfit.  I love the patterned fabric which combines lots of colours that really suit Kit’s summer colouring: there are so many sweet pea shades here along with a blue-green that picks out the hint of turquoise in her eyes.  The dark violet of the crop top contrasts well and is assertive enough to balance the strong pattern on the sarong and sunhat.  Kit has teamed up her outfit with her mauve crocs which are manufactured by Gotz.  They’re just right with this cheerful summer combo.

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Vintage knitwear for a 1960s girl

Susan in Bellmans 1031My first doll clothes creations began at New Year 2013 with knitting for Susan, the doll my mum gave me when I was – well – so young I can’t actually remember when she gave her to me.  Here’s a neat little skirt, jumper and beret outfit in double knitting yarn.  The skirt is ribbed and figure-hugging, while the jumper is much easier-fitting.   To complete her snazzy (vintage adjective!) outfit Susan wears white socks and her Mary Janes.  The rich autumn shades of the yarn complement her warm skin tone and enhance the colour of her amber eyes.  Standing here on the windowsill in the natural light of an English January afternoon, she glows with colour and looks very pleased with her neat little suit.

To make this outfit I used two vintage patterns from the Vintage Knitting Lady: Bellman 1031, a 1969 design,  for the skirt and jumper; and the beret pattern comes from Sirdar 7750, an early 1960s design.

Both patterns are for double knitting, but of course the yarns specified have long gone out of production, so I had to find a good substitute.  I chose Jarol Heritage double knitting, a wool rich blend, in shades 132 (rust) and 140 (gold), two wonderful warm autumn colours.  I bought two 100g balls of each and, as you’ll see in future Susan posts, I had ample to make several outfits

The Bellman pattern was for a 16″ doll, so I followed it exactly and the results fit well.

Back of beret Sirdar 7750The Sirdar beret pattern is for a 14″ doll so I had to enlarge it a little to fit Susan’s head. The 14″ doll pattern was designed to fit a head circumference of 11 inches.  Susan’s head plus all that hair actually measures 14″, so I had to increase it by three inches which meant adding 21 extra stitches.  This had a knock-on effect in that the shape of the hat turned out less flat – more a beany hat and less a beret – but I wanted it to pull down well on her head and frame her face, so I was happy with the result.

To finish off the beret, I searched YouTube for guidance and then dug out my crochet hooks and made a little crochet button – another trip down memory lane as I had not crocheted since the 1970s.  I couldn’t even remember the crochet stitches and had to scrabble around again on the internet for guidance on how to form them.  It all came flooding back, however, and I soon had a pretty little softly-padded button to top off the beret, which seen from the back and above seems quite a work of art.