Thursday, March 10, 2011

Au Courant Crafting...Doll Dress for the 18" Doll

In an effort to actually CREATE instead of
simply reading and being inspired,
Thursday's posts are all about my latest crafting efforts.


Last week, I was reading Charity's blog, Four Now. She wrote a heart-wrenching post about a friend who has been battling ovarian cancer for many years. This friend, Kristi, has been told by doctors there are no more medical options. She has been given six months to live. That news in itself was, at the very least for someone who doesn't even know this woman, sobering. It hit me right in the heart when I learned Kristi has three children that are very close in age to mine.

Some friends of Kristi's and Brian's, her husband, are organizing a fundraiser to help with the medical expenses the family has incurred over the last four years. One of the requests was to donate a raffle item. Now, that is something I can do! Thus, this week's Au Courant Craft is an American Girl Dress.

AG Store...Safari Dress
LittleGirl and I were flipping through the pages of the newest AG Catalog, when we came across a cute zebra-print dress. LittleGirl just 'oohed' and 'aahed' while I began scrutinizing the dress details. As most of my bloggy friends know, when I look at those AG Clothes, I soak in the details and say to myself, "I can sew that!"

Sewing doll clothes feeds my creativity cravings while allowing me to complete a project in about an hour...perfect for this ADD crafter. So, I culled through my fabric stash. Alas, no zebra print was to be found. Actually, I have no animal prints in my stash. I need to remedy that.

I came up with a yummy black floral on a delicate pink background. This all-cotton fabric washes well and will hold up to the rigors of little hands tugging and pulling at it. I grabbed my measuring tape and tore (yes, I tear fabric instead of cutting it...GASP!) off a 12" x WOF piece. Sketching an outline of the bodice, I cut two pieces. I wanted the bodice lined so the inside was just as pretty as the outside. I stitched up the straps, and made some box pleats on a strip of fabric to create the skirt. Voila! A pretty new dress for the raffle!



The dress is longer in length than the inspiration dress. I decided to make it a little more formal in case some little girl would like to tote her doll to Easter services or a Spring party. After giving the dress a thorough once-over, I decided it needed a little something extra. I added a black bow of grosgrain ribbon, and some zig-zag stitching around the top of the bodice and the bottom of the skirt. These additions really make the dress pop!

To keep the inside looking good, I gave this dress french seams and a faux waist stay. The waist stay is simply more of the black grosgrain ribbon stitched to cover the raw edges. It adds that 'extra' touch that makes this dress even more special.  I need to make a few minor adjustments to my pattern when I sew it next time. All in all, I would call this a sewing success.


Please excuse the dull colors of this photo.
We have no sunshine in the South today!
The first two photos represent the true colors of the dress.


All this little dress needs is a pair of black shoes and perhaps a shrug to complete the ensemble. I'm pondering the idea of sewing the shoes myself. Have you sewn AG doll shoes before? I saw a tutorial somewhere out there in Bloggerville. Once I have the shoes, this will be packaged and sent to the raffle.

For more information about this fundraiser, visit Charity's blog. If you'd like to learn more about Kristi, she and her husband, Brian, share a blog:  Kristi and Brian: Living! with Cancer. It's raw, honest, and so compelling.

What have you been crafting this week?
Do you ever craft to contribute to fundraisers?

Happy Thursday!



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