Tuesday, 25 July 2017

FLEURS D'ÉTÉ - a WOW outfit for Ellowyne Wilde

It may not be cool to say WOW to myself, but I'm so ecstatic over this latest outfit.  I've been banging on about wanting to do something a bit creative and artsy, and I've long loved experimental embroidery.   I've just never known what to make.  Doll's clothes seemed a bit daunting, because you can't just go mad and embroider, or applique, or whatever takes your fancy... the thing has to FIT. It has to take shape and look amazing on the doll.

Well, I've been sewing dolly clothing for so long now, I finally bit the bullet and got on with it.  All those learned skills over the years stood me in good stead.  The dress grew organically, and now my glue has arrived and I've finished the shoes, I'm ready reveal all.

First, the making of the new Ellowyne Wilde outfit.

It's impossible to create a pattern for this, so I hope people will enjoy and be inspired by the creative journey.  You can click on the images to see larger versions.

Mostly, I wanted the new project to fit my girls, so I used the corset from SSP-050 as a lining, and decided to build the dress around the lining, as it were.  I've added a couple of straps here, because I wasn't confident that the resulting garment wouldn't slide down the doll when it was fastened.

I've bought bagfuls of hand dyed open-weave muslin (also called scrim) from a very lovely Ebay seller, and thought it was high time I used some.  I've applied the fabrics to the dress shell here, basting with tiny touches of Aleene's tacky glue.

Then I picked out some suitable embroidery threads from my not inconsiderable stash, and got to work.

Here's the dress with embroidery holding the applied fabrics to the shell.  It doesn't look much, and I admit at this stage, I was considering a do-over.

 But, I persevered and started seeing light at the end of the tunnel once I figured out a way to form the bust.

I used french knots to blend the colours of the bust fabric a bit, and then started crocheting flowers.  I made dozens and dozens of these, and have used them all.  I think I may have one left over somewhere.

It's beginning to look much nicer. More cohesive, and organic.

I crocheted some tiny leaves (you really can find anything on Pinterest!) and added those.   Green seed beads were used for the flower centres too.

The neckline and shoulders were looking too symmetrical for my liking. I'd wanted this to be faerie-like from the start.  So I made more flowers, and crocheted some chains for the arms.  You can see here where I placed them. I use tiny sequin pins for dolly dressmaking, and they're so useful for pinning fripperies to a dress.

That paid off. I made yet more flowers, and added them to the shoulders and neckline.  Here's the left arm:

And the right arm:

The textures and colours made me very happy.  This was working beautifully.  

I had an old pair of Ell shoes, which I took apart, because the uppers weren't that well made, IMHO.  And set to work on some matching shoes.  Usually I make my own soles and heels, but as I was using cast resin soles/heels, I had to wait for my clear resin glue to arrive. Aleene's is marvellous, but wont hold plastics permanently.  And these had to be professional.

Once I'd finished primping and changing my mind, I sewed some cute knickers, made some gloves, and some jewellery.  And the outfit is complete.

Here she is, in all her summer glory.   The title of the outfit is French for Summer Blossoms.

Fleurs D'été. 

Available to buy in my Etsy shop:

£165.00 plus shipping.

The bodice is fully lined, I'm quite pleased with myself for being able to line something after the fact.  I've never attempted it before!  I'm so inspired by upcycled vintage shabby fashion.  You can find a wealth of it on Pinterest.  And this dress really fits the bill.

I changed the ties on the shoes, making them longer, and adding beads.

And here are the little knickers, and the gloves.

I have thrown in a free pair of tights, but I prefer the shoes over bare feet.  But tights are always useful, so.

The jewellery is very pretty too. I'm pleased with the wire flower pendant.  Not easy to make! It took me several attempts.

So that's that.  I think that's my main piece for this summer, although I am attempting something in a similar vein for Evangeline, at this moment.  It won't be by any means the same, but already it's kinda fun.



  1. Wow indeed.... that's absolutely stunning... it almost makes me want to cry at how beautiful it is.... and I'm sorely tempted to go and buy it... Well done you clever thing.. I can just see her going off to a Garden Party at the Palace in that outfit.... I especially love the hat... now I think I need to revisit hats and see if I can make them as lovely as yours!!

    1. Oh Trish! *Hand you a tissue and some cookies* Thanks so much. I've been looking at it all week, appraising every stage, so I sort of see how lovely it is, but not quite. If that even makes sense. Yes, I think she'll be meeting the Queen in that get-up! I found some gorgeous hats on Etsy, and I wondered if I could make something similar, so I had a go, and they worked nicely.

    2. Never thought of looking on Etsy for inspsiration.... I usually go to Pinterest!! I want to revamp the hat pattern i have as it tends to go a bit floppy... I'd like to finish off my Beach Blues outfits with hats but I'm getting fed up of the blue now....and the bag of purple yarn is calling to me loudly as are the fed up Patience crew!!!

    3. Etsy can be fab, but you have to trawl through so much.. erm. stuff. (trying to be polite) But I spend so much time on Pinterest it's no joke! I get tired of the colours I'm working on too, so it's always nice to start a fresh project... especially purple! Poor neglected Patiences. ;)

  2. How can you be so darn talented and skilled and amazing and incredible?!! NOT FAIR at all! ha ha Tess, it's just fabulous, amazing, remarkable. You're a doll ARTISTE, Missy.

  3. This is incredible work Tess, you're an amazing inspirational artist! Every little detail is just perfect - those shoes!!!! How can you bear to part with it? I would so like to do something like this for Pippa, guess I'll have to learn to crochet first! I'm looking at my latest outfits and they look so stiff and formal now!

    1. It's not so bad parting with stuff, but those shoes are a wrench! Crochet is pretty easy, you can find some great little beginners tutorials on youtube.


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