I Am Not a Robot

I’ve finished the 11-tuck skirt of Lily Auguste’s first dress. The tucks are not perfect. 

Looking back at my inspiration, a dress made by school girls for Rose Percy, I think they were driven to perfection by their instructors, used a very precise sewing machine or they were robots. 

I am not a robot. 

I am human and I can live with my wonky tucks. 

Whilst hand sewing 660 inches of tucks by hand, I made a few observations:

  • When sewing for smaller dolls, it feels like I just get started on a line of stitches when I find that I’m done and need to move on. The larger scale of LA’s clothing allows me the luxury of finding and enjoying a rhythm.
  • I thought about how when experts examine the stitching on old garments they usually deduce that more than one person stitched on a garment if there is any inconsistency in stitch length or precision. They would think that about LA’s skirt. My first rows have longer, more inconsistent stitching. The stitches got smaller and more even the more I stitched. 
  • Monotonous stitching is meditative. And it can be something to look forward to. It was easy to pick up where I left off, even if I had only a few minutes to sew. 

The tucks lined up pretty good at the back french seam. I’ve also sewn the placket and the gathering stitches for the cartridge pleating.

Next will be the bodice and sleeves.

But after completing the 55 feet of tucks, I needed a break. So I’ve been working on my embroidery instead of doll clothes for a bit. 

I’m also thinking about the rest of LA’s outfit. In addition to sewists, doll costumers have to be milliners, cobblers, wig makers, hair stylists and sock makers (knit or crochet). 

For this outfit, I am hoping to use a pre-made straw hat as a base to embellish for her first chapeau. I have two possible options from my stash. 

This one is a good style, but the brim is too large. 

Because of the way it’s made it will be easy to remove a few rows from the brim. 

And I might flatten the back into a more squared off shape. 

I am also considering this smaller hat. 

It looks a bit small from the side, but fashion dolls of the 1860’s and 1870’s often wore tiny hats.

Which do you prefer?

Next on the sewing agenda will be LA’s bodice and sleeves. I’ll share how I make the patterns when I get back to dolly stuff. 


I Am Not a Robot — 8 Comments

  1. I think your skirt is perfectly imperfect. Once it is finished the effect will be perfect. I like both bonnets. The smaller, once embellished will be a very good size. The larger, once trimmed down, will cover the entire crown of her head. Once it is embellished it might be too powerful for the light airiness of her frock. She’s a beauty! All of this IMHO naturally.

  2. I think your skirt looks lovely! 550 metres of pin tucks. OMG that is enough to hypnotise someone doing it. lol Looks wonderful. I did some on a petticoat a few years ago and I look at it now, as i have not dressed the girl yet and I think, that was a bit of a waste, all those pin tucks on a petticoat…but it has sort of doubled as a dress so that is ok. xx

    • Thank you. It’s actually 660 inches or 16.76 meters. I shouldn’t write posts when I’m sleepy. I’ve corrected it.

    • As a doll seamtress myself, I bow down to your patience with those tucks, I would have given up after the second row!! I must admit I love the look of big ole bonnets with lots of lace, flowers, and ribbons, as ostentatious as possible, so I would go for the big one, but it may not suit your more demure dress that you are fashioning.

  3. She’s just to die for….. personally I prefer the larger hat but no matter what, she’s fabulous.