Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pretty As A Peacock

Beth8144 and I danced together in the Invite Your Partner 16: Summertime Swing swap on, and we agreed to swap dolls. She loves peacocks, so, naturally, she received an elf with a peacock-inspired costume.

The doll was from my own hand-drawn pattern, similar to Ghilie's poppet, but much taller and thinner. I try to mix up pattern pieces so that no two dolls are exactly the same shape. Similarly, the patterns for the clothes are tailored to each doll individually. Her outfit consists of an under-robe, a skirt, a bustle, a corset and slippers.

The under-robe is black lace and has a ribbon belt. That same lace is used on the lower edge of the corset and is covered with free-motion stitching in a stylized feather motif (that is repeated throughout the costume). The corset is two layers of royal blue and white satin. Blue ribbon is laced through satin loops at the back, and tied above the bustle. The skirt is also royal blue satin, but overlaid with emerald chiffon and quilted in the feather motif and trimmed in vintage lace. Snap closure at the left hip. The bustle is where I went overboard with the Gibbous-styling. A champagne satin base is drowned in chiffon, Chantilly and vintage lace, organza, more satin and peacock feathers. The 'eye feathers' are circles of fabric with burnt edges. The fabric for the slippers was quilted with lace, ribbon, chiffon and organza before being cut and sewn into slippers.

I don't usually like making doll clothes because the seams are so tiny and there is so little room for error. However, I really enjoyed creating the clothes for this doll. I can only attribute it to the freedom of the style I chose to work with. When there are no rules, there are no real mistakes, just artistic decisions. =)


  1. Inez, she really is pretty as a peacock, as you say! I especially love how you have tweaked the doll pattern to make a slender elf! Her feet are very cute. And the outfit is amazing - I saw a show once where the artist layered many things and quilted them together and the resulting fabric was so beautiful - much like your shoe fabric - and I thought OH! how can she cut that up to make something else!? but as your shoes came out so wonderful, so did her doll's outfit. I'm trying to learn how to sew basic clothes so I can make something like this. Thank you for sharing! ~puamelia aka Su

  2. Thank you! I've had a difficult time getting the pattern shape the way I want it for the feet, and shoes are always tricky. This was the second pair that I made for this doll...a smaller doll of mine got the first mistakes.

    I found 'Creative Cloth Doll Couture' by Patti Medaris Culea really helpful (lots of interesting construction and embellishment techniques). You might be able to get this from the library - it's pretty popular and it's been out for a while. Her other books are great to check out, too, if you like making dolls (and I know you do! your dolls are gorgeous!).

  3. Thanks are very sweet! I looked at your feet again and I really like how they turn down nicely at the front of the ankle. I haven't tried shoes yet so maybe the next one. And thanks for the book tip! I'll go check her stuff out.

  4. GORGEOUS, she is really amazing I love all the details. And I LOVE her shoes! Very nice!