The 4-season dress: Summer

Standard

Even though I’m a doll collector, and your etsy purchases help support my “habit”, I never in a million years thought I’d have a Little Darling.  A while back, DH walked past the computer, where I was looking at some pix of them and said, “Wow, those are pretty, why haven’t you ever asked for one of those?”  When I explained the cost ($375+) and wait time to obtain one of these amazing, hand-painted dolls (6-15 months) he closed his mouth and quickly walked away.   I do most of my doll pictures outdoors, and more times than I care to remember, they’ve slid off logs, tried to “fly” out of trees with their little fairy wings on, or just done a flat-out face plant in the dirt.  With most dolls, you can bring them inside, wash them off, and do the occasional steel-wool “repair” of a shiny spot.  But there’s no way on earth I’d take such a special doll outside!  And really, why buy it to have it sit in a box gathering dust?  So I stuck to less expensive and second-hand dolls and just admired other peoples’ pix of the Little Darlings.

Well, it turns out the souvenir doll for this year at the UFDC convention was none other than…

But no, I didn’t go to the convention, and the dolls were selling on ebay for insane prices last I checked.  So, cross that off my list too.  And THEN I was at a doll show…and I saw one…for an absolutely amazing price.  Had I been there on my own, I wouldn’t have done it, because it was my entire budget and I hated to spend it all at once on just one doll, but DH talked me into it  ran back to get it when we saw the same doll two tables away for twice the price.

And now comes the question you knew I’d be answering…What will fit Little Darlings?

Thankfully, she [who-has-not-yet-been-named] LOVES to share!  The pink dress above was made many years ago for  my 14″ Betsy McCall from one of the Rosemary Ionker books.  She tried on all of the summer sew-along dresses from this year and they look GREAT on her.  The pic below shows her with some other similar-size dolls.

Her torso is most like the Natterer Minouche (L) but legs are more like Cheries (second from right)  With length adjustments, she can wear Hearts for Hearts patterns easily, which also means most of the Sasha patterns work at 77%, shortening long sleeves and skirts a little .

These dolls look perfect in classic kids’ clothes, and as you can see she fits into the H4H size smocked dress pattern available here with long sleeves shortened by about 1/4″ (5-6mm).

A 4-season dress

Remember the survey back in the summer? Lots of you said, “More modern stuff” as well as “more separates to combine”.

The other day, I took one modern separate
https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/free-pattern-for-august-heirloom-sundress.pdf

and resized it for my smaller doll by copying the original at 77%.  This will also work for other 13″-14″ dolls like Hearts for Hearts/Cheries/etc.  Note that the button bands become too small to be usable at that size, so you can eliminate them and add a little to the back if you want an overlapping closure.


But it’s only a summer dress, right? Wrong! Over the next few weeks I’ll show you how I added different pieces and accessories to turn it into a 4-season dress. This will work with any sleeveless dress, or even a short sleeve dress with tight sleeves like the T-shirt dress from last week, so you may be able to save yourself some work and use that or something you did during the summer sew-along.  If you’re making something specifically for this, my suggestion would be to make it in a neutral or muted-color print/dots/stripes so you have more options when it comes to accessories.

OK, so make a dress of your choice for your favorite doll, and your accessory for it this week (summer) is a sun hat.  Pic of hat is in the pattern.  I intended her to be wearing it, but it was incredibly windy the day we took these pix and I feared it would end up in the water as the towel did as soon as I removed the doll from it!

 

Just had to share this adorable pic.  You may have seen boxes around your neighborhood called “little free library” and anyone can add to it or take books from it.  There are a lot of them around where I work, but they are mostly just plain, painted wooden boxes on poles.  When we saw this one in Denver last weekend outside the Byers-Evans House Museum, I dragged DH over to take pix, even though the lighting was less than ideal.  Hmm, maybe there are plans for this somewhere and I can make my own with taller doors…?  Right after this pic was snapped, a gust of wind came and the doll flew to the sidewalk below before I could catch her.  I have no explanation for how it could have happened, but she threw her arms up and landed on the sidewalk on her hands and feet, kind of in a crawling position, miraculously protecting her face.

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