Monday, February 20, 2012


Over Dressed... Or Dressed Over....

It Must be Fashion Week at my house, Dear Readers, because I was home on Vacation and I spent the ENTIRE Week with a Parade of Little People crossing my worktable in search of new Fancy Clothes! Now, I know some of you might be wishing to see the Bride's Gown or even the Bridesmaid's Gowns.... but I am not going to spoil the surprise and show them now! You will have to wait! But I feel it is acceptable to show you the Other Doll's gowns... and we will start with Helen, Pollyanna's Grandmother. The top picture shows her with her regular dress on... and me testing the fabric for her skirt by wrapping it around over the dress. This is just to spare her modesty.... she is one of the Vinyl dolls whose clothes are removable.... so I was able to start from scratch with her! But I did not take photos of all the steps.... so you will have to be content with one before photo (above) and half a dozen after photos! Below you can see the completed gown! It is made from antique purple silk with a purple (also antique) silk chiffon capelette with pleated ruffled sleeves.....

The gown itself is a sleeveless floor length sheath with wide shoulder straps....

Here you can see the profile of the pleated capelette......

And from behind........

And even closer...
to see the details of the antique pleated chiffon...
I think she looks quite Elegant!

But before I could move on to making the gowns for the other dolls, I had to make a decision. Most of the other dolls had clothes which were FIRMLY attached! Should I Sacrifice their regular clothing in the name of Party Fashion.... or should I Overcome the problem by dressing them OVER their clothes? It wasn't really a Hard decision..... I Certainly didn't want to have to make Completely new Wardrobes for ALL the dolls... so I decided to Make their Gowns Over their clothes! So If some of the gowns are a little bulky... or Not in the Highest Fashion.... you will understand!
Pollyanna's Friend Cherie is a good example......
Here you can see her with her regular casual clothes.....
And I have started to stitch her sleeves Over the shirt she is wearing.......

And here I am fitting the Dress over her clothes......
It is a Beautiful iridescent silk in turquoise and Apricot...
Perfect for her coloring!

Here you can see it completed...
I added a gold neckband and waistband to the Empire Style gown...

And just a Glimpse of her in the Castle Great Hall.......
Doesn't she look beautiful?

Next on the Parade is Joanna... Mother of the Bride!
She is one of the Caco dolls.... clothes firmly attached!
At SOME point I might explore the re-fashioning of her costumes..... but not now!
I started by adding a floor length gown in purple....faux suede this time......
Her skirt is cut on the bias with an overlapped petal hemline....

And a simple jacket over the top...
with sleeves tapered at the wrists.....

And two tiny buttons to close at the neckline......
This cloth was wonderful to work with and needed no hemming!

And here you can see her in the Castle Great Hall.....
waiting with Celeste.... Mother of the Groom...
who has also had her Gown Made OVER......

I failed to take pictures of the progress.... but you get the idea......
I simply covered the glittery Silver gown with a satiny velvet-figured organza......
in Purple, of course!

And as if THAT weren't enough SEWING for one week.....
I had to make a start on the Groom's Suit!

And this is where I really started to Question my Sanity!
Arthur is normally a Casual guy.....
He needed a Tuxedo!
I had to start from Scratch!
Here you can see the start of fitting his new trousers......

And starting on his shirt.....
I found a figured cotton I have had for AGES....
the only white cloth I had! But it is also part polyester...
so it is not easy to press seams and hems.....
and the weave is actually a bit loose..... but I managed!

Fitting the body of the shirt.....

Sleeves attached and shoulders sewn.....

And now came the tricky part... the collar!
I cut corners and didn't hem all the seams normally...
it would have been way too bulky.....
but I managed to make it look like I hemmed everything!

And he has to have a bow tie...... I KNOW....
they are not currently very Fashionable......
but they are more Formal.....

And I know it is a tiny bit too big.....
but it is as small as I could manage with the ribbon I had...
So it will have to do...!

And then I had to find the buttons...
and the cummerbund.......
I think he is looking VERY Handsome!
But I don't care What you say.... none of the Others are getting a Real Shirt!

And I haven't even STARTED on his Jacket!
This is going to take a While!


  1. Oh my gosh, are you talented! Those clothes are gorgeous, and you have to be very good to make good-looking clothes OVER existing clothes!

    I like the way you made Arthur's shirt--sleeves first on the body. I have to admit, for formal wear, my men only get shirt fronts and have to keep their jackets on!

    You also have lovely fabric -- do you buy special for the little people?

    It certainly looks like this wedding is going to be the event of the season. Weddings are such fun.


    1. Hi Iris! Thanks for your vote of Confidence! IF I ever get all the costumes done... and the decorations... it WILL be an Event... even if NOT the one of the Season! Lol! I am quickly joining you with only giving the men shirt fronts!
      As for the fabrics... I have an embarrassingly large collection of fabric "Scraps" from YEARS of gathering lovely bits that would be "Just Perfect for a Dollhouse....whatever!" It is SO much fun to be using some of them at last!

  2. you're a perfect fashion designer!!!!! The clothes are very beautiful, the purple one is.... amazing!!!!!!

    1. Thank you Luisa! I'm glad you like them! It is a lot of fun to make the gowns.... the suits are just Trouble!

  3. Betsy!!! Tell me please you are sewing in 1:1 scale too? I want the top of Helen's dress for me!!!!!! These sleeves!!!!! I am in love with them!!!! Fantastic!
    Again I have nothing but admiration for your skills, dear Friend!

    1. Thank you Ewa!!! I WISH I had the Time to sew in real size too... or the places to wear fancy stuff.... it has been a while since I sewed for myself...
      I'm enjoying sewing for the little ladies.... but the men's suits are Trouble!

  4. Hello from Spain: congratulations because you makes clothes very well. you bow is perfect. The dress I love Grandma. Keep in touch

    1. Thank you SO Much, Marta! I'm glad you like her! Thanks for commenting!

  5. oh, well done! They look wonderful and you can certainly see the products of your weeks work. I particularly like the purple two piece outfit, I love the way it fold over at the front.
    Well one honey

    1. Thanks, Simon! That dress was the easy one! I's all in the Fabric!

  6. Wow Betsy! You have done an Outstanding job on the clothes. I still haven't dressed mine yet, think mine will be glued.
    I can't wait to see the bridal gown :)


    1. Hi Victoria! I Think I have to LEARN how to use glue! I only sew because it's what I know.... it seems easy to just cut and stitch....
      The Bride's Gown IS Lovely..... Coming Soon!

  7. Oh wow. It must be such a challenge to cover over an existing outft to create such a stunning result. Incedentally, I have re-dressed almost every doll I've ever bought and found that it is usually possible to get the clothes off without too much damage. Consequently, I have an enormous pile of second hand clothes and would be glad to send you a replacement outfit or two if you find you need to rip and strip someone.

    1. Hi Alennka! Thank you for the offer.... at the rate I am going I am also collecting quite a pile of extra clothes! Once the Wedding is done I think I will experiment more with their everyday clothes! I enjoy sewing....! Thanks again for your offer!

  8. I loved the new clothes! Great work!

    1. Thanks Eliana! I'm glad you like them! Thanks for commenting!

  9. OK, first, Arthur may be a casual guy, but he looks smooth in his tuxedo. I find that to be true in real life too, the casual guys clean up good! I'm jealous of your fashion and sewing skills-I could never make clothes for my dolls, or if I managed in the front, they looked frightening from the back, or lots of tape was used. Helen's capelet is lovely, I love the ruffle especially, and I would totally wear it. And Joanna's white embroidered blouse. I think they look just fine with their fixed clothes underneath, I would keep them that way. If they looked the way we used to when we were kids, with snowsuits under our skirts, that's another story. But they look natural and ready for the party.

    1. Thanks, Amy! He Does look good! Something about the "Uniform.."!
      As for the snowsuits.... Yeah, I remember that.... LOL! Actually... it might make a Cute Doll costume!!!

  10. Hello Betsy,
    You always impress me. Your work is absolutely beautiful! I haven't ventured into the world of mini dress-making yet, but I hope I will be as succesfull as you!
    Again an absolutely fantastic job. I'm still waiting for the invitation to the wedding.
    Big hugs,

    1. Hi Giac! Thank you for your words of appreciation! I'm sure that you will succeed at costume making when/if you get there!
      As for the Invitation..... It's Coming!!!... As Soon as I get the Costumes worked out.... don't know EXACTLY when.... !!!! But Rest Assured... You WILL be Invited!

  11. These clothes are amazing! I am so lucky to be related to someone so talented! Love!

  12. Wow. What else can I say?
    I particularly like Helen's outfit; I would love to go to a wedding a the grandmother of the bride, looking like that. You sure haven't lost your ability to design and make clothes; I find myself wondering what would happen if you were turned loose (again!) in a fabric store with a real wedding to prepare for!
    Lots of love,

    1. Thanks, Mom! I would have a BLAST, of Course!!!!

  13. Love, Love, Love!

    The end results are perfect, I love them all. :)

    1. Thank you So much, Dale! I'm glad you like them! Stay tuned for more...!!!

  14. I too love giving the dolls new clothes but no change in wardrobe after that because I use GLUE! :) No sewing for me, EVER! :) which makes you even more amazing in my eyes! Capelet! Trendsetting! Tom Ford must have read your post and was so inspired he made Gwyneth a cape for her red carpet moment on Oscar Night!

    Can't wait to see the wedding gown.