A scrapbook of whatever I'm making, collecting, or just obsessing about
at the moment.

Monday, December 28, 2015

McCalls 2123 View B: gathered waist dress, first version

View B is my favorite of this pattern: the bishop sleeves and the slightly raised waist of the dress are pretty elements from 60s fashion, and the jewel neckline is sweet and demure, letting the focus be on a slender waist.

That makes it Barbie's turn to shine.  There's so much fabric bunched up in the gathered waist--fabric that is human scale, not 1/6 doll scale--but she still looks petite. Instead of tiny, her waist just looks small.

Elsewhere the fit is problematic: there's a wrinkle stretching from neck to bust, pointing, as wrinkles always do, to the trouble spot--the bust that is just not quite accommodated by the fabric covering it.

But it's subtle enough that it probably wouldn't bother a young girl dressing her Barbie doll. And as usual, it doesn't pull when the other dolls wear it.

As it turned out, the elements I had liked in the sketch did not translate to the finished dress. The waist was lower than I expected, and the gathered skirt is fuller and sticks out more than I like for this look.

But the biggest problem was the sleeves. The pattern instructions want you to turn up 1/8 inch, then another 1/8, then top-stitch to form the casing, then slide 1/8 inch elastic inside. There's no way you're going to get 1/8 inch elastic into a casing that is six layers thick (counting the turnings), especially after top-stitching has further reduced the width. I considered using string elastic, but it wasn't stretchy enough. So I just zig-zagged the cut edge to prevent raveling, turned it up 1/4 inch, and fed the 1/8 inch elastic through that--and it wasn't any too easy even so!

Immediately I began plans for modifications to a second try at this dress. I will change the way the sleeve is gathered, reduce the bulk at the waist, maybe raise the waist a bit.

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