Taking a little gamble for this year’s Winter ILD and going with a handmade maxi dress for my coord. The moment I saw this “make your own” Victorian doll fabric it spoke to me. There is a hint of Jane Marple or Emily Temple cute about it that I couldn’t resist. However, I had no intention of making the actual dolls as the manufacturer intended, instead to use the panels as an unusual take on a border print.
The fabric is a series called Victorian Paper Dolls and it has 3 different prints: the small dolls (used in the bodice,) a medium sized print that is classic paper doll style (shows the girl in her underthings and the clothing has the little paper tabs drawn in,) and the large panels to make and stuff dolls from. There are a couple of Etsy shops that have the fabric and the price was great – about $6 a yard and I got free shipping.
For the pattern I borrowed liberally from Emikyu for the bodice shape and skirt pleating. ETC dresses typically have a tiny row of lace in the bodice which I had to have too. Those dainty but cute details are what I love so much about otome styling. In addition, I had just enough pink velvet ribbon lying around to make the waistband and a matching Alice band. Since the print for the bodice is a different scale from the skirt I felt like the ribbon gives the eyes a visual pause or break in the transition between top and bottom.
On a separate front I have been stalking Ebay and other sites for months and months for anything that vaguely resembles Jane Marple buckle strap shoes. At long last, finally scored a pair of Vivienne Westwood 3 strap ballet flats in my size!!! And by luck the color is a nice coppery gold that is a perfect match for the dolls hair in the print of this dress.
After contemplating making one of my handy dandy rosettes it just wasn’t feeling right so instead took the plunge on something new and wacky. Why not make a gigantic pin out of one of the dolls? Sure, that sounds good. I was cracking up while sewing it, figuring it was going to be a flop… but I truly love how it turned out. I don’t know if you agree but I think it is the just right finishing touch to my new ensemble :3