Friday, August 17, 2012

Brave are the Artists

Today I finished off the last of Merida's clothes and carefully packed her in a box. The children said their goodbyes, especially my daughter.
I had blogged about her hand embroidered face a while back
Her hair is quite red and full, the yarn I used is Homespun and I have used it in other colorways in the past. This time I didn't cut it in to strands but left it looped at the bottom, this means it will hopefully not all ravel off her head!
Her arms are jointed at the shoulder, her legs at the hip.

In the end she has a nicely rounded wardrobe of 4 dresses, a cloak, undergarments and a blanket.

Click the cut to see more on ALL the clothes this little girl has.

Her undergarments consist of a pair of drawers (pantaloons or bloomers if you prefer) and a chemise. The chemise has an elastic neckline, the drawers have an elastic waist.

The first one I made was the green plaid. I have a ton of this VERY soft cotton flannel and every Scottish girl needs a plaid dress, so I cut one, this dress does not have a center front seam, though a back one was added for opening. Closes in back with 2 snaps.

The next dress was the maroon cotton sateen dress with long angel sleeves like what Merida's mother Queen Elinore wore. The bodice and skirt are separate pattern pieces, the waist dips down in a V in front, the skirt is a full circle skirt. Closes in back with 3 snaps. Sleeves are fully lined.

Then comes the green dress with split sleeves. these sleeves were a pain to sew, but this is iconic Merida so it had to be made. sadly the ribbon is not the same shade of green as the cotton the dress is made out of.
the front neckline is split and there is an X of ribbon, but it doesn't show well.  This dress is sewn with 4 body seams, sides and centers, like many medieval gowns. Closes in back with 2 snaps

The last pic is of the interior of the sleeves so that you can see how i finished them by felling the seams. ALL seams on all the garments are either felled or French so that there is no chance that they will ravel out.
 The last dress I made was supposed to look the most like the "fancy" dress Merida wore at the archery tournament. This one has hand stenciled Celtic knot on the hem, neckline, cuff and belt. I am most proud of this one! It is princess seamed and closes in back with 3 snaps.
The belt is only attached at the back waist, and was made of 3 bands of fabric, not ribbon!

The hem border I am most proud of. First I made a pattern piece that was the right shape for half the dress, scanned it into the computer then made a celtic knot pattern that would fit it. This was complex to do as knot patterns on curves are, but my husband showed me how I can make a pattern on the straight line first and then bend it around a curve. Ah the wonders of CAD, it sure does make some things easier!
So I printed out the template.
I taped the fabric to the paper and used a brown fabric marker to draw the pattern as it showed up through the fabric when on the light table.
I did not do the entire pattern, I left a few lines off at the seam on both pieces.
I then sewed the hem together and filled in the pattern

It fit Beautifully! the smaller bands were not as complex due to their size and the patterns do not line up at the seams.

The last garment was the black cotton flannel cloak. It is a full circle cloak with a lovely hood. the cloak closes with a button at the neck.

Check out the gathering on the back, which is an element I took from 18th century cloaks.

She does not have shoes, I couldn't come up with removable ones that would stay on her feet while being removable and wasn't willing to paint on permanent ones. Nor does she have a bow. She is now off on her way to her new little girl who will love her and play with her.

And me? well I will make another one. This one wasn't quite what I was looking for in a body shape, so back to the drawing board I go.

I made this doll with materials mainly from my stash. the only things I purchased for this project were some embroidery floss, ribbon and an embroidery hoop. Which isn't bad considering I do not have all my supplies out of storage from my recent move yet!

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