Saila’s New Bubble Gum 40’s Dress

I bought this pattern in February 2013 and never got around to sewing it. In March of this year I asked another woman if she’d like to do a sew-along for this pattern and she agreed so we’ve been doing that all month.


She made a complete dress the first time and we were devastated to find that the yoke was too wide. It buckled and showed the doll’s cloth body under the neck and didn’t seem to work up at all like the picture on the pattern cover. She tried it on her American Girl doll and the fit was iffy on that doll too.

So I thought about it for a few days, and then redrew the yoke a few times in order to sew a “muslin” out of scraps to put on my Maplelea doll Saila to adjust the fit.


The first adjustment (above) was still buckling a bit and the body was showing.


The second adjustment was much better so I went with that and tried a fitting with the entire bodice put together after shaving off a bit on the centre front of the main bodice just to ensure that no buckling of the yoke would occur.


This seemed fine although the front yoke is slightly deeper. I didn’t want to get into trying to redraw the whole pattern. Everything after this point was fine and I did no adjustment on the waistbands. For the skirt I added a bit in length so I could turn a deeper hem and hand sew it as I don’t like the look of machine sewn hems and I wanted some extra weight on the hem.

At this point I developed benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and had to stop everything for over a week as I couldn’t keep my balance and my eyes kept going kerflooey. Lucky me!

I bought two sewing patterns from an Etsy seller in the interim, and took a chance and asked her if she had any 1/4-inch red buttons for this outfit I was making. I can’t buy this sort of thing in Canada and I was already spending money on a money order for the patterns so didn’t want to try ordering from somewhere else with yet another money order. She had them and sent them along! People are so nice.

And here is Saila looking very summery with her Criss Cross sandals that I bought from Maplelea.


This was a frustrating project because of the ill-fitting pattern but it turned out well in the end and I derived some satisfaction from forging on and making the pattern fit better. I might make another one after doing some sewing for myself.



Explore posts in the same categories: Dolls

Tags: , , , , , ,

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Comments on “Saila’s New Bubble Gum 40’s Dress”

  1. ironwing Says:

    The dress fits very well, and you can’t go wrong with black/white/red! It was one of my favorite combinations when I was in college (back when I could actually buy clothes and didn’t have to make my own if I wanted to wear something besides spandex underwear!). That kind of yoke can be tricky at any size.
    I checked out the Maplelea dolls and Saila is definitely the prettiest – a couple of the others look a bit deranged to me.

    • JJ ColourArt Says:

      Many people think the Maplelea dolls look odd. Léonie, the girl from Quebec, and Saila both look more natural than the original dolls.

      Saila is their newest sculpt and they did a great job with her. I have some small Inuit sculptures and have been interested in their art since I was a teenager, so she was special to me. I don’t think I’d ever buy another one, but she is neat.

      Oh yes, I remember the days when you could actually buy clothes too. My wedding dress was a nice Laura Ashley cream cotton skirt and blouse.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s