Tuesday, December 10, 2013

More than a ruffle….

There are many ways to use lace on a doll's dress, however it is more than just a ruffle at the bottom.
You can gather it, pleat it, lay it flat and use as a decorative motif { know as appliqués} or, cut from yardage to cover the whole dress. I always line the dress when it's made from an allover patterned yardage. I don't like raw edges showing. But that's just me.
   One can also combine lace with other things to create a pleasing design. Such as sewing a gather lace {and never use a pre gathered lace. It's to bulky to work well.} However one can remove the binding from a gathered piece of lace by pulling the thread at one end and unraveling it. Then you can gather it down on your dress, and cover the raw edge with ribbon, sewn on top. Or sew several rows of lace, one just covering the top of the layer below. Then use ribbon , braid, rickrack, or another piece of lace with two flat edges called insertion lace. The flat edge covering the gathered lace edge.
  One can even embroider a design of a couple of different stitches and different colors to cover the raw edge or on top of the ribbon covering the raw edge. We'll get into embroider at a later time. Next on the list is using several different kinds of lace and layering or stacking them one on top of the other in a stair step fashion. Victorians loved their lace, and there are many fine examples in books and museums.
  By spending some time looking at different designs the needle experts of the past used, it will give you a better idea and inspire you to try your hand in a more intricate design.
One can hand create lace by crocheting a design, and also knitting a lace. There are many books with simple designs I am sure one can master very quickly. It just takes making the effort. And always that reward of seeing your own creation. Something to take pride in, for sure.
  I might add here to take a delicate approach when using lace and keep your stitches under control, with a fine touch. It never pays to be sloppy. Just a bit more time.
  And it only takes practice.

Until next time…. try a different accent.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A little lace

One of the very first thing most often used to embellish doll dresses is lace. You can buy it by the yard, in fabric yardage, in appliqués, and it comes in many many style and colors. One can spend a lot of time just talking about lace. So what is it,  exactly?
  Lace- a delicate kind of network, used for the ornamenting of female dresses.
    It first began in Egypt, more in the form of a net, then what we are use to today. In time it evolved into different forms divided by countries, and fashion styles. And of course, money. {Only the rich could afford lace and it had to be white.} From that very beginning lace making has been described as being a form of needle work. So what is needlework?
Work executed with a needle; sewed work; embroidery.
So does this mean any form of needle? Knitting needles for example?
 For my purpose, I would say yes. Anything made with any form of needles, including crochet hooks, and tatting. {I'll explain about that at a later time}.
  The subject of embroidery by it's self is another very large area of discussion , so lets leave that for now and get back to lace.
  Lace consists of two parts, the the ground and the pattern. The ground is plain, and the pattern is the fancy stitches that create the design.

  Lace work listings:
  Point or needle made
  Oya- Turkish crochet
 Chinese Tissues

Places known for their lace.
and nowadays, Ireland as well.
  I don't plan on going into these lists any further but only to show the wide range depending on the area you where in or going to. Lace was traded a lot from country to country, allowing for many different designs and creation.
Today one can even learn lace making {with bobbins, needles or hooks}, and not be left to only what can be found at the store. I've tried my hand at Torchon lace made with bobbins, twisting the threads into designs and patterns.
  I am beginning to learn Oya lace or flowers. This is created with needles and knots.

I would have to mention bridal lace as part of this subject, as so many gowns have lace on them as well as other decorations. Used more here, then in any other item worn by women {unless you count lingerie}.
  Widening the picture still more, is the art of combining lace with other forms of needlework.
  If you have every had the chance to see, hold or feel old lace, you will wonder at the making thereof.
I have a collection going back over 100 years old. Not a lot, and someday soon I hope to use it in a doll dress. I've been holding onto it for far to long, it's time to use it.
  Each area splinters into different designs created to identify where they were from.
  How one uses lace on a dolls dress is best served "pleasing to the eye". One can over do it, and then I've seen some with the wrong size, pattern or kind there of in too little and to much.
Try experimenting with different pieces of lace worked together. {patchwork, layer ,rows and single} And don't forget colored lace. One can even get lace with elastic built in so it stretches.
Try your hand at lace making, there are many books and much to be found on the internet. It's really not as hard as it seems. It's what use to be called "fancy work". Meaning it takes time and patients.
Use ribbon to trim the lace edge, or embroidery and you will have taken the use of lace one step away from the ordinary. From time to time I will mention lace in combination with something else, but for now it is it's own show all by it's self.
Reference -
History Of Lace by Mrs. Bury Palliser

Until next time…. Use a different accent.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Start at the beginning...

  Before I begin something new, I like to do a little research, and I start by looking up some words associated with what I want to learn. The dictionary is good for more then just spelling. And I hope you will see my point when you have read this post.
  We are looking into the art of embellishing doll clothes.

Embellish - To make beautiful, to adorn, beautify, to decorate.

Embellishment- The act of adorning. That which is embellishes . That which renders anything pleasing to the eye or agreeable to the taste. Adornment, ornament, decoration.

 OK… so now we have a couple of more words to look up.

  Adorn- To beautify, to decorate, to set off to advantage. Embellish, to add to attractiveness of / by dress or ornament.

Ornament- That which embellishes or adorns. Something which added to another thing., renders it more beautiful to the eye.

Ornate- richly & artistically finished

Decoration- To deck with something becoming or ornamental, to beautify, to embellish.

Beautify- to make or render beautiful, to adorn, to decorate.

Beauty- An assemblage of perfections through which an object is rendered pleasing to the eye or the mind. loveliness, grace, elegance

So here we have a connection foundation upon which to build. We all know what it means to embellish something, and have a pretty good idea what is and isn't connected to that art. I find it interesting to see how these words describe and connect to one another, although they don't mean the same thing. But they all describe what we are about to venture down a rabbit hole to find.

Some of the arts I am fairly good at doing and some like most things, one has to practice at in order to  remain good. I don't do some of the things as often as I would like to do, so some ideas that I will generate will be up to you to find out all the in and outs on how to do it. With the internet and so many books available I must leave some for you to work on or I will never get though the very long list I wish to present for you further consideration.
  Also as I am working on a slim body 18" doll, and everyone else will have their own dolls to work on {both side and shape} it will work out better for me to just share the embellishment and leave it up to you to choose the pattern on which you want to work.
  I have not found a way to make anything available for download from this blog. If that changes in the future I will count that as a plus and of course use it.
In  the mean time, choose your own patterns and doll with which to work. I will try to provide links to how-to's  that will explain techniques for you. I think once you start to look, you will find lots of references in your own books.
  So, lets get started with the very next post. I hope to keep things in some semblance of order and group things together. I can't however make it a promise. lol.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Just a little shift to the right...

Well, I wanted to make this a blog everyone could use. So I decided to shift the view to a doll everyone can use. The slim little girl 18" body. Just a bit slimmer then the American Girl dolls. The best part of this while you can make your clothes up to fit this doll, if you have a dress pattern you like and wish to use the techniques to make clothes for a different doll I believe it will be possible. However I will be using my doll as the base to work from, and show the designs on. She will be big enough to allow for almost everything, but still small enough to work with. And this is a very popular doll to dress.
  My clothes designs will fit any slim doll like
Carpatina, Just Pretend, Idolls, Stardust Classics, Magic Attic, Hartmann.
Feel free to enlarge or reduce to fit your doll. So now I just have to figure out how to set up a download.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Starting New

I have decided to change the direction of this blog. The new direction is one I think everyone who makes doll clothes will enjoy reviewing for it's content.
  Some years ago, I made a cloth doll and then made a wardrobe for her with as many different clothing embellishments as I could think of using. I gave a talk on this at a UFDC doll convention in Great Falls, Mt. I think it would be worth doing again, only this time I will share the doll pattern, and all the design techniques for the clothes with the patterns. I will explain each embellishment so you can finish the garment for your doll, and hopefully understand how to do each one.
  The clothes will all be my own designs/patterns. If I should every use a pattern of someone else's design, I will post that info and it will be up to you to purchase it from that person or company.
  I will also be throwing in embroidery and stitching techniques that I have gathered over the years. Some of which are in danger of being lost.
  Nothing is mandatory and everything will be based on your supplies as to what color or print of fabric etc that you use. As it will often be impossible to repeat exactly what I use, follow your own desires or use something from that color pathway. Sometimes I will state "use this solid color" and list it for you. Prints are a different story.If I use  a yellow ducky printed fabric, and you only have yellow bears… try it and see if it works. Most often it will.
  As this ongoing project will only cost you what you want to spend to create the design samples, please don't copy my work. Just direct others to this blog. Make it and share it, or sell it. I give permission to sell anything you make from these designs, but not to reproduce my work or explanation and then sell that. I will be copywriting all of it, to protect myself. Do not download and print out to sell. Thats not nice, or legal.
  If at any time you don't understand something, please send me an email and I will do my best to help you. So, next post…. here comes the doll.