Expensive Fabric


I am finally getting around to dressing my doll who lost her head a few months ago. She’s a Simon & Halbig 890, size 3, and she’s 7 inches tall.

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Her coat dress, inspired by this 1885-1890 child’s coat from The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website will be made in the periwinkle blue wool gabardine seen above with the doll. It is a very light-weight, fine “designer” wool.

Her undies and dress/chemise will be made from “Sea Island” cotton that I’ve lightly coffee-stained because it was blindingly white. It is a very fine cotton with a beautiful sheen and a slightly crisp “hand”.

I bought “1/2″ yard of each fabric and each one cost $49.95 per yard. Even the cotton.

Or did it?

I had a Groupon voucher that I had purchased several months ago and it was about to expire. I paid $25 for the voucher and it was for $50 worth of fabric at a local store.

Both fabrics are 60″ wide and the 1/2 yard pieces actually measure a generous 23 inches. Since they are both natural fibers, the saleswoman didn’t cut them, but ripped them. So there’s no waste.

When sewing for dolls, especially small ones, you don’t use a whole lot of fabric. I figure the undies and dress/chemise will take about a 7″ x 9” piece of cotton. So for $12.50, I’ll have enough expensive cotton to make about 22 sets of undies. That’s around $0.57 per set. Not bad.

I call this Fabric-onomics. Every fabric-aholic can surely understand this logic.

Since the doll will be wearing a coat dress, I am going to make her undies and a chemise/slip that can also be a dress.


In this pattern from the April, 1896 issue of La Poupee Modele, it is shown as a chemise.


In this illustration from the January, 1905 issue, it is shown in light orange as a dress. Kinda reminds me of the 1980’s when wearing lingerie as outer garments was popular. My “Sea Island” cotton is a bit heavier than I normally use for underwear, so I think it will work well.

The lace I am going to use on all the pieces of her costume is new, french cotton valenciennes lace that I have coffee stained.


The coat has insertion lace and I was concerned about how wide the lace was. So, when I ironed it dry after its coffee bath, I stretched it. Now, my 10mm lace measures a mere 7.5mm wide. The “after” is the one on the right in the photo above. That’ll work.

Since it’s another snowy day and I’m stuck indoors, I’m going to cut out my patterns and start sewing.

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