Wow. It took me four days, some pricked fingers and some degree loss of faith in myself; but I managed to prooduce a really good bodice pattern for my large bust JID girl.
I started off looking at a Gracefaerie pattern that I adapted for Ellowyne, but it was not to be. The proportions of JID gal are really different to the slimmer MSD dolls that Gracefaerie design for. Although it must be said that the one pattern I do have from them is delightful, well explained and a really good fit for my Ells.
Soooo, I went back to basics, again, and measured Rachel up, plotted out a pattern, and tried to work out the darts. Darts are so hard and a fitted bodice is one of the hardest things to produce from scratch. I commenced the first test garment in some scrap fabric and tried it on the doll. I didn't even bother ironing it, so it's very tatty work!
UGH! It looks horrible, but mistakes are golden. The glaring errors in this toile give me everything I need to adjust the pattern. Side seams too far forward, neck too tight, armholes too tight, darts too high on the bust - in fact EVERYTHING needed adjusting in this.
So after all the necessary re-drawing and re-measuring, I cut out the second draft and sewed it up. Whee :) It was much better and looking good. It's only tacked, but I pressed it just to show the seams better in the photos:
The darts are now at the right height and accomodate her boobs well, the neckilne is a tad too low for the look I want, and the shoulders need a slight reshaping. But now it will be easy to make those particular adjustments. I feel the armholes and the neck gape a bit too, And I'm not sure why, so I'll try and figure out how to adjust for those.
The back is looking very nice too, I don't like untidy backs on doll clothes, it lets any good workmanship down badly.
So. Now I've redrafted the pattern and am on version 3, I felt confident to go ahead with some nicer fabric, and I decided to do the lining too for this attempt. Very often, gaping necks/arms and slightly poor fitting around the dolls bust - despite careful measuring - just seem to be resolved once a garment is fully lined.
I used some gorgeous vintage cotton lawn that I found in a charity shop. I washed it gently to make sure colours didn't run, and pressed it. I was delighted that the fabric is in lovely condition, and is a dream to sew. the third toile was so successful, it's no longer a toile, but is the basis for a nice new dress for my girl:
The fit over the bust is just great, I'm so happy with this. It's my first ever garment incorporating darts, and I can't quite believe it only took three attempts. I've designed simpler things in the past that have taken up to seven attempts!:
And the back closes perfectly. I like the way the pattern of the fabric has fallen nice and neatly across the bust and continues round the back too, and the two paisley shapes at the tops of the back closure was quite by accident, yet looks good. My work is done.
Well, almost. Next comes the skirt. I'm thinking of a full 3 or 4 tiered gypsy style skirt with some frills and ruffles. I don't have lace to match the fabric, so I'll make the frills out of the cloth itself. Then she'll need a petticoat and maybe some tights or leggings to go underneath.