Whats better than a new dirndl… a new dirndl that is one-of-a-kind. I am always willing to go the extra mile for someone who would prefer something that is made just for them, which make them… Very Rare!
I received a message from a relative of mine a few weeks back asking if i would be interested in making custom dirndls for her granddaughters, Elizabeth and Olivia. I became immediately excited about the project… one problem, they live in Tomball Texas, so there would be no fitting. Even though I would be unable to have them try them on to make sure they fit, I was ready for the challenge. I had also never made children’s clothing so i didn’t have a pattern to work off of. So i started from scratch with their measurements and referred to my good ol’ pattern making book. I made a new block from their measurements and it went surprisingly smooth and surprisingly fast… probably because they’re little. 🙂
The other step was choosing the fabrics. “They are into princes, barbie and fairies… Elizabeth’s new favorite colors are teal and magenta… Olivia’s new favorite colors are pink and purple” So i went to my fav fabric store, Vogue in Evanston and went fabric scouting. I brought home some samples, scanned them, and sent them to Helen, the grandmother, for approval. Once the fabrics were chosen i sketched them out and began working. It was so fun to work with bright colors and poofy, frilly, and girly in mind. Another great part, “They both judge their dresses based on twirliness”… just like I did when I was little!
After completing the dirndls i had extra fabric left over and I thought about when I was that age… I loved my dolls. After i brought it up to Helen and got the go ahead, I went right into the attic to look for Kirsten… my sister’s American Girl doll. Making a pattern for the doll was surprisingly easy. Kirsten was a great model, didn’t complain, was always available for a fitting, and her weight won’t fluctuate! Make the doll dresses were not quite like making dresses for people… they are so darn small! I used different techniques and used nearly every scrap of fabric i could and they turned out just as cute as the regular sized ones.