Wednesday, 25 March 2015

A spot of self-indulgence

I haven't been too well for a while, but I can never put the sewing/crafting to one side because it's the one thing that helps with my problems.  So, bearing in mind I seem to have acquired a huge stash of wine or burgundy-coloured bits and pieces, I settled down to make some accessories for the red tulip dress.

I've managed to complete and bead the dress... however the pattern won't be available for a while. 
I won't be selling anything for a while - for reasons I won't go into online; I have a hundred and one things to get sorted out and I'm not well enough to do them all quickly. But if you've enjoyed my patterns, please bear with me. I'll be back hopefully in the summer - and I promise there will be new patterns.

For a while, it'll just be a bit of "show and tell" as and when I can manage it.

Firstly, here's the completed look.  I'm very happy with the dress and taught myself how to do perfect bead edging.   The seed beads I used are 15/0 and I think they're the tiniest that you can possibly get. Needless to say, after such tiny work, I was a bit cross-eyed for a couple of days!

The dress itself is made from Kaffe Fassett's cotton shots (I think the shade is mulberry) this is gorgeous soft shot cotton.  The weight is a little lighter than most quilting-weight cottons, it's almost but not quite as light as cotton lawn.  I love it for dolls clothing and will probably be investing in a bit more for my stash.
The underskirt is in my usual fine cotton voile - the shade is just a shade darker than the dress fabric, for a bit of depth.

I absolutely love beading, but really need to be in the mood for it.  It's very therapeutic - but only when it goes right.

The first accessory I wanted to make was this pair of gloves. I've had an ides for them for a long time now, and finally decided to have a crack at it.  They are made from woven fabric, not stretch, and they are actually lined! It's a tiny project, but luckily as I've sewed things for tiny Pippa dolls, they weren't too hard to make.

I'm working on some for the Tonner 17" guys too, and a pattern will be forthcoming at some point.

Of course I had to bead them.  I love sewing bead flowers.

As they're not stretch, they need a fastening, so I went for a wraparound glove, fastening with seed bead buttons and tiny hand-sewn buttonhole loops at the side of the hand. They're perfectly shaped for Ell.  I fully intend to try and make a longer evening pair, with lots of little seed bead buttons and buttonhole loops.

To tie in the flower motif, I made a little flower choker in the same beads.  My apologies for the quality of this next picture, it was out of focus so I had to doctor it a bit to sharpen it up.

The choker fastens with a 4mm bead as a button at the back, and a tiny loop made out of the 15/0 beads.

By this time, I was feeling really adventurous.  I don't often make shoes, because there's so much work involved in them, but as I'd spent so much time and effort, it seemed a shame not to have a go at the shoes .. and after all I have all this burgundy-coloured stuff in my craft drawers.

They're made out of real kid leather, with proper insoles and outer soles. The heels are pinned before gluing for a bit of extra strength.  It's all very involved, but I taught myself how to do this with the help of Tarja's fabulous doll shoes blog:
I recommend you read back through he blog, where you'll find loads of information on how to make doll shoes.  She's a very talented lady.

I'm very happy with my own efforts.  I even made a little flower decoration with a couple of pink rhinestones and some more of the 15/0 beads.

And that's it.

Here's my lovely Pris in the ensemble. Looking very glam for a cocktail party.

She probably needs some tights too, but I haven't got any tights fabric that is suitable. Maybe some kind of mesh in a neutral colour, I think more burgundy would be overkill.

Hope you enjoyed!  :)

I'm currently working on some pedigree Sindy patterns too.  So my temporary partial absence will bear fruit.


  1. This outfit is gorgeous! You are so talented.

  2. Glad to see you back.. Fabulous as always... and I look forward to being able to buy the pattern when it's ready. Don't like to make more work for you but I think Pris could do with a little clutch bag lol!! Maybe I'll have a chance now to catch up and make all those lovely patterns I haven't got round to yet! I'm up to 3 pairs of dungarees now...only Bel and Mimi to go and then maybe I'll get back to Miss Ellowyne! You take care of you and don't over do it... I miss you when you don't post! Hugs x

    1. Haha, yes, i was actually looking at it thinking hmm...clutch purse. I may have to do that thing.

      You'll be making dungarees in your sleep, lol!

    2. I can make them without the instructions now lol!!!

    3. Wow - good going! :)

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  4. Wow those shoes are incredible, just fantastic. I love your blog and check everyday for new goodies, I just wanted to say that because it seems you have been having a rough time and you seem like a really good soul and I hope you feel better, because you deserve too. Keep up the amazing work, that dress is even more incredible than the shoes. Sorry - this is my second time commenting - I also commented asking whether you would make any JID girl patterns to sell and I have thrilled that you said you will, eventually. Take care :)

    1. Hi again and thank you so much for the kind words. :)

      It does take me a long while to get around to specific patterns for dolls - it's taken me a while to start on the Pedigree Sindy patterns after being asked a long time ago, but I will definitely be doing the JID girl stuff.

  5. Oh my, this is breathtaking work Tess! So elegant and classy, it appears deceptively simple but a closer look reveals just how much work there is. Those gloves are just to die for! And I have to ask what stitch you used to bead the edges of the dress because when I bead pippa hems I`m never really happy with the result - either I can see the stitching or the beads don`t seem to lie in an even line, or both!
    And of course, welcome back - you have been missed! :)

    1. Thanks Anj! I'm so pleased with the gloves, and surprised that I can use the quilting weght cotton for them. I've emailed you re: the beading. I'll try do do a tutorial for it at some stage.


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