Monday, February 8, 2016

No Dress for the Tomboy

I've entered a gift exchange on a AG collectors posting board. After filling out a form detailing my general likes, dislikes, and the sorts of things I'd like to receive, I was given the information of another person, a $35 spending limit, and four weeks to ship them my gift.

I was terrifically excited while waiting to get my giftee's name, so I jumped the gun a little and started work on a beautiful, glorious, complicated outfit. I know, I thought, I'll make this amazing dress and undergarments and a hat and they'll be so completely blown away! I had this cute fabric that was pale yellow with tiny navy blue stars on it, and a new pattern I'd just gotten and wanted to try out for a dress styled after one from the 1850s and I was just raring to go.

The bodice and sleeves are lined with cream-colored silky fabric. I hate doing linings on regular human-sized clothes, and let me tell you, it isn't any more fun on wee little dolly things, but it really makes a nice finish and looks impressive.

The pintucks, the two-part sleeves, the lining-- it was not an easy dress to make, but look how gorgeous! And entirely stitched by hand with silk thread; why, it's a work of ART.

I knew my giftee was going to be blown away when she opened this. And I was ready to add a petticoat and a wrap made of navy blue raw silk with a fringe, and, and, and...

...and then I got my giftee assignment and she was not interested in fancy dresses. Her doll is a tomboy.

Dozens of doll people in this exchange, any of whom would drool unabashedly on this starry frock I had made, and I get the one who says her doll likes to tinker with car engines.

Challenge accepted. 

I set the silk and pintucks aside and pulled out some brown wrapping paper. I was going to make a pattern for mechanic's coveralls.

They're really just pants and a shirt connected at the waistband -- just like how a dress is really just a blouse and skirt connected. I did some quick sketching and measuring, came up with a pattern I thought would work, and whipped up a quick toile to check it.

Once I was sure it would fit and look right, I cut my pieces from an old work shirt. Blue stripes were perfect for that mechanic look, and the doll's name on a bit of iron-on patch to make a nametag added just the right touch. (They still need finishing on the collar and cuffs, but I had to get this post up while I had time!)

But what's a mechanic without her tools? So I set off to find some tiny crescent wrenches (thank you, Home Depot!) and then cut a scrap of oiled leather to make a tool kit. Flannel pockets hold the wrenches and two screwdrivers neatly in place, and the whole thing rolls up. Two buckled straps hold it shut, and there's a comfortable rolled leather handle to carry it all.

Look at that cute thing. That is a totally legitimate set of tiny, real tools. I bet I hear the squeals of delight all the way at my house when she opens this up. When we receive our exchange gifts, we're supposed to post pictures of them on the collectors forum so everyone can see what we got. I know it's prideful, but I'm really looking forward to reading what everyone thinks of my handsewn coveralls and tool kit.

I wonder what my gifter will send me?

No comments:

Post a Comment