Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Dress Pattern for Ever After High dolls

I like it when I can combine my interests, and this post is about dolls and sewing!

Members of my brood expressed interest in the Ever After High dolls when they started to appear last year (2013), and luckily, this happened before birthdays or Christmas, so all went well.  The unfortunate thing about these dolls, the girls anyway, is that their bodies are way slimmer than Barbie or Liv dolls, and healthier looking than Monster High dolls, which means that for the time being, any new clothes will have to be made.  By me.

I have spent some time searching for patterns that I can try (as in free) and tweak to suit my purposes, without much luck.  There are lots for Monster High dolls though (which is fine, as some of those ladies live here too).  And then I found some great measurement information on Requiem Art.  If you click on the link, it will take you to the Doll Clothes and Patterns page - the measurement information is in the Subpages for Doll Clothes and Patterns box to the right.  And yes, I could just buy one of the patterns on this site, but I really want to drive myself to the edge of insanity try it myself first.

This information was useful.  I combined the information into a giant spreadsheet of my own, placing comparable dolls side by side.  With that information, and looking at the pictures that are also available on the site that compare body types, I was able to get a better idea of how I might be able to alter a pattern for Monster High (MH) dolls so that it will fit Ever After High (EAH) dolls.

My first attempt has been to use a pattern I stumbled upon while on Pinterest.  The image of the pattern is here.  Just in case this link is broken, it's on sunlight_neko's photostream on Flickr.

Anyway, I printed the pattern, and traced it, adding 5mm allowance everywhere except the hem (there, I added 10mm).  Then, I decided to extend the lines of the bodice front and back to make a shift dress and sewed it all by hand.  You will notice I did not mention enlarging the pattern.  In order to make this dress fit a MH doll (let alone an EAH doll), you will have to.  If you use it as is, it will fit a La Dee Da doll, which have even skinnier bodies.  Just so that you know that this pattern can fit a variety of dolls : )

So after that little experiment, I enlarged the pattern by 130%, 135%. 140% and 150%.  I figure I might as well have a variety of sizes available.  While studying the pattern, I realised that the area at the bottom of the armhole would probably go around the bust, and I had the bust measurements from the charts above.  The 150% enlargement had a finished bust measurement of 8.9cm, more than enough for and EAH doll.  So I traced, added seam allowance and hand sewed a second sample.  This is what it looks like:

Ashlynn Ella's arms are up to allow for better viewing of the dress.  I doubled the pieces for the bodice because the fabric I used would have frayed too much without it.  The alternative would have been to create facing pieces for the neck and armholes, and that's too small for me!  This picture shows how short the bodice is on an EAH doll...it would be even shorter on an MH doll, and might be better referred to as a yoke.  The waist seam is just below her bust.  So, my thoughts on the next attempt are to lengthen the bodice pieces so that the waist seam is at the waist...or I could make the skirt less flared so that the dress is similar to an Empire style dress.  I guess I have some options.

Please note, the area of the pattern that I measured is just above an EAH doll bust, and the bottom of the bodice, in the enlarged state without alteration, will be just below.  I also realized that I can use the 140% enlargement for these dolls as the pattern measured 8.1cm and would make a closer fitting bodice.  And I would recommend adding the seam allowance to the pattern, rather than enlarging it enough to include it, but if you decide to go the second route, please let me know how it worked out for you!  I should finally add that I have not yet tried to make the socks included with this pattern...I might get to that after I'm happy with the dress.

Please also note that this dress will be longer on Madeline Hatter as she is shorter than most of the girls, and shorter on Cerise Hood as she is taller, although I'm sure that many EAH enthusiasts are already aware of that.

Hopefully, my next attempts will be better!

P.S.  I'm still working on the Skipper post too - I've decided to rewrite it from scratch because it was getting too long and rambling!