Rhiannon and Sophie are pleased to show you the first two outfits in the Kit’s Couture Spring collection, featuring two different styles of peplum top and some easy-to-wear Malibu pants for Rhiannon. The outfits feature the colours of Spring, and so are modelled by two of my Spring girls. They are made to fit the two most popular sizes of 18″ standing doll: the ‘sturdy’ American Girl, and the slim Kidz ‘n’ Cats.
Sophie’s sleeveless and lined peplum top, which fastens at the back, is made with a pattern by Barbara Russell sized for Kidz ‘n’ Cats. I was very impressed with the fit of this top, and with the very clear instructions for making up the garment. The only change I made was to cut the peplum half an inch longer so that I could enclose the raw edge in a double-fold hem.
I chose a floral print in Spring colours, and embellished it with lace in an assertive moss-green which matches the stems of the flowers perfectly and stands out well from the busy print. Between the two strips of lace I added three pale pink buttons which complete the decoration on the front. The buttons are echoed at the back where two more pink buttons help to disguise the velcro fastening.
I toyed with the idea of making Sophie some more dressy trousers, but she’s an outdoorsy kind of girl and loves her jeans. We both felt that the peplum top dressed them up just enough to be smart but comfortable. She has finished off her outfit with Monique Baby Heart Cut shoes size 75/34 in light blue.
Rhiannon wears a striking outfit where the peacock-blue of the Malibu pants is picked up by the wonderful Liberty peacock print of her peplum top. The outfit is made using two separate patterns available from Pixie Faire: the Malibu Beach Cropped Pants from 123 Mulberry Street, and the Liberty Jane Peplum Top. Both patterns are sized for American Girl and fit my modified (I reduced the size of her waist) Bonnie & Pearl girl well. If making for a standard Bonnie & Pearl doll, check and adjust the waist measurements for both trousers and top as needed, as they tend to be thicker in the waist than American Girl.
The Malibu pants pattern was excellent with very clear instructions, and I made it up with no problems at all. I deliberately chose a plain-coloured poly-cotton for these trousers, as the material for the top was so busy and assertive that anything but a plain fabric would fight with it. However, these trousers are not boring: they come with some nice design features like the big double-topstitched pockets and little double-topstitched mock-pocket flaps at the back. The only decoration I added was a line of machine-embroidered cross-stitch around each cuff.
I made these trousers back in June 2014, nearly a year ago. Why take so long to bring them to the blog? Because my first attempt at a blouse was – frankly – not great. I had the most gorgeous ‘Hera’ Tana lawn, and had made it up into a blouse gathered at the neck, waist and cuffs – an enlarged and modified version of Annika’s gathered blouse. But I was never happy with it. Rhiannon looked stiff and uncomfortable in the gathered style, and I couldn’t get any photos I felt happy with. So finally I decided to re-cut the original blouse into a more fitted style.
With the material salvaged from the gathered blouse, plus a small amount I had left over, I managed to find enough to cut out the body and waistband of the peplum top, and still place the ‘eyes’ of the peacock-feathers in a balanced way. I used the remains of the Malibu pants fabric for the lining.
The top seemed as if it would be a bit long in the body for Rhiannon so I took a quarter-inch off the lower edge of the waistband. For the peplum itself I had to join separate pieces in order to make a long enough strip of fabric. To do this, I sewed my first-ever French seams! They sit nicely on the hip at each side, aligned with the underarm seams, and almost look as if they were meant to be there. The pattern calls for a zip to fasten it at the back, which would be my preference too, but at the time I had no suitable zip so decided to use the dreaded velcro once again.
This pattern called for very exact sewing around the neckline, and I was delighted to see that I had got the sweetheart neckline perfectly balanced and even. I was very happy with the way the top turned out, and very pleased indeed to see how well it suited Rhiannon. She has teamed her outfit with a sweet pearl-and-cameo necklace, which sets off the sweetheart neckline very nicely. On her feet she wears some stripey summer sandals, just right for the warmer weather that we feel sure is just around the corner.