Monday, 15 March 2010

Designing a new skating dress

This evening I've been fiddling about with pieces of strong tissue paper (actually the paper that came out of a Hotter Shoes box) to make pattern pieces for a new doll skating dress.  As you know if you've read my blog for a while, my girls have several Gotz play dolls and they all have ice skates and skating dresses (or outfit for Peter the boy).  Most of these outfits I've made myself, only Jayne came with a showy figure skating outfit (Samantha's original outfit is more for the smart leisure skater).  Up until now I've made dresses with a classic leotard and skirt around the waist design.  I based the leotard on the 'Sarah at the ballet' outfit.  But in the Christmas sales I picked up some lovely fabric remnants at John Lewis that inspired me to do an empire line dress like some of the gorgeous dresses Jayne Torvill has been wearing for Dancing on Ice.

I follow the blog of IceMom, a mother in the USA whose daughter is progressing very well with her ice skating.  IceMom sews Icegirl's skating outfits and reviews the patterns and how successfully they've made up.  Her blog is extremely helpful, and it has pointed me to figure skating dress patterns, such as the Jalie range, which she really likes to sew.

I've found a Jalie pattern for an empire line dress #2674, and was lucky that they had the instructions for sewing to download free from their website.  4 pages of this pdf printed out was enough to give me the shapes of the pattern pieces and equally importantly how it all fits together.  I've now cut out all the paper pieces, but it is too late to start cutting fabric tonight.  I'm not going to cut the new lovely fabric first, this is an experimental pattern after all, so I'm using some plain white stretch jersey of a (new) T-shirt as my test piece.  If it works out okay, and looks alright, I might even be able to use the test costume on a doll and pretty it up with some sequins, but at least I won't be cutting the beautiful fabric until I know that the pattern works.

Hopefully I might be able to do some more to it tomorrow night.  I'll keep you posted.

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