Thursday, 10 July 2008

I mentioned in my last post that I was taking part in a couple of swaps through Swap-Bot, and this is something for one of them. Let me just say now that I will never, EVER sew anything out of synthetic satin brocade again. It is the most hellish fabric to work with, it slithers around and frays as soon as you look at it, and it doesn't help that I'm making a tiny, fitted bodice that is about two inches long. In the end I had to melt the edges with a candle flame to seal them and prevent it from just disintegrating.
The reason I chose this awful fabric was that my swap partner wanted a historical outfit, and since I have been reading a lot of books (fiction and non-fiction) about Tudor England and the intricacies of Tudor clothing, I thought I might make a 1530s style gown with a French hood to match. It needed to be brocade, and my swap partner's favourite colours are pink, green, yellow and orange. But could I find brocade anywhere? It was becoming a rather fruitless hunt, and in the end this was the only brocade I could find that looked vaguely Renaissance-ish.
The bodice is attached to a quilted velvet front-part with seed pearls sewn on, and a white cotton petticoat trimmed in broiderie englaise. The overskirt (strangely enough) goes over this and ties at the front. In the end I decided on a modified French hood with no veil, it was all becoming a bit complicated. Considering I had to draft a pattern from scratch and spent about 10 hours sewing and fiddling around with this outfit, I'm just glad it's over and done with, and I hope the receiver can forgive the (many) little imperfections in it!
On Sunday I went to a Melbourne meet of the Addicted to Plastic and We Play with Dolls, two Blythe and BJD forums. It was great meeting so many people who understand the addiction of Blythe, and to put faces to names. Unfortunately I forgot my camera, because there were so many dolls there, and so many wonderful outfits. I was especially enamoured of Natalie/Pixelkitty's customised Blythe with tiny fangs and a wonderful mass of crimped white hair that shaded into red.

Above is the outfit I made for Ivy for the event, from Dolly Dolly Pattern book 2, which included a tiny fitted shirt which really tested my patience. The Wolf even made me a tiny silver buckle for the skirt strap!


  1. Regardless of how you feel about the fabric, the result is magical! Fabulous!

  2. That Tudor gown is a smashing success, and I bet your swap partner will adore it. Gorgeous!