Better Late Than Not At All

So we begin again. Behold the second chapter in our personal challenge to work up all the Vogue Craft doll clothes patterns in our library: Pattern #7536. This took a bit longer than we anticipated, but not for any technical reasons. Mostly.* We did all the prep work for this project over the course of several days. As we mentioned in the preceding post, we have some experience with this pattern already. We worked up View A, with some custom modifications, and ran up View C as well, for our Sundress 2022 extravaganza, but we've never tackled the other three outfits. Looking at all the pattern pieces, we expected it would be another challenge for our skills and test of our patience, but in the end this group turned out to be a good deal less complicated than the previous one – and a good thing, too. Which is not to say it didn't have its own challenges – just not as many of them. Here's a look at that prep work:


This is View A, all sewn up. Glad we started with the trickiest one first. Not that the pattern was all that problematic - just the fabric (of unknown fiber content). First, we just could NOT find a decent thread match. Second, the fabric was slippery AF. Pinning was an exercise in futility - we ended up having to hand-baste just about every seam and dart. We stuck with it, mainly because it is a drop-dead GORGEOUS material. Dreamy. Shimmering. And we love the detail of that Ultrasuede® faux belt with the tiny, tiny buckle. Still needs a few accessories, but that will come at the end. All other pieces in the #7536 project, except for the tote bag, is (happily) built from 100% cotton. Moving on!

Photo 1

Photo 2

After a brief hiatus*, we realized it was time to finish that second item. The top half of the dress was done with no issues, and all that was needed was to stitch up the skirt, then slap the two halves together and it would be WAH LAH Time. But. We only got so far, and no farther, as you can see in Photo 1, just before we hit a wall. The skirt was pinned to the bodice and the gathering stitch was drawn up, and somehow, someway, it all just went to hell. Nothing was working. Unpin it. Loosen the gather. Repeat ad nauseum. Sat back and stared at it for quite some time, and at last the clouds parted and the angels sang. A double line of gathering stitches was needed to get the right result. Frustrated and exhausted by our rookie mistake, we had to walk away. But. We are nothing if not dogged in our determination. Once a hot meal and a glass of wine were consumed, the project was tackled anew. After basting that skirt to the bodice no less than THREE SEPARATE TIMES, it finally came together. Then it was fitted onto an “original body” doll. The poor thing was absolutely swimming in it. It was then tried onto the "curvy" model, and the result was serendipitous bliss. A little snug about the hips, but bliss nonetheless. Absurdly pleased with this unintended happy result, which you can see for yourself in Photo 2. And here we'd been fretting about not being able to use Augusta Ryan for any of these Vogue Craft projects. Trust Fate, yeah?

Absolutely no notes on this one, View C. Easy peasy. Stitched up like a dream. Then again, this is the second time we've done this particular dress. There was a moment of indecision, though. Line it fully as before, or just seam-bind all the edges? Went with the full lining. Still needs some accessories and styling, but again – that's for the future, when all 5 views are done. Not too sure about those shoes, though . . .

We took a number of extended breaks* while working this phase of the Project. When we did get back to work, we decided to skip ahead and assemble the tote bag, View F. Fashioned from a lustrous upholstery fabric sample, lined with bleached cotton muslin, and fortified with the cardboard from a cracker box. Just for something fun. And it was! Gave us an excuse to break out the hot glue gun, at any rate. There was a (very small) bit of sewing involved as well. But after this? It's back to the Singer® and building those two sporty casual looks.

Not quite moving right along* with the Vogue 7536 Project, this is View D. Can't say we're all that thrilled with how it worked up. The capris have a front closure - and weirdly, there was no room for that blouse to get tucked in, JUST LIKE THE RED CAPRIS (from the previous project), only even more snug. The top is baggy across the chest, and the collar set in with some difficulty, with the end result not exactly resembling the pattern photo. The rose-on-a-ribbon at the throat went a long way toward concealing that awkward fit. The armholes were about the only thing we liked. We considered cropping the top length, but decided to leave it alone and worn untucked. With the addition of the wide belt, made of navy blue Ultrasuede ® with a buckle from a child's old wristwatch band, it looks more finished. In the end, we decided it's pretty okay. Still, it needed a hat, and we knew just which one to make.

At last overcoming our pumpkin spice chai induced lethargy, we put some (relative) speed on things, and were able to complete the final number (or letter if you want to get all literal about it) for #7536. View E, to be precise. We had some serious misgivings about doing set-in sleeves for a casual shirt, but the result was a more polished look than we honestly expected. The shorts were a simple construction, and came together quickly. Again, a snug fit about the waist, but a looser fit in the leg. 

We couldn't, in all good conscience, call this phase of the project done until there were hats.

A Quick Aside About the Accessories:  All hats were sewn primarily by hand. Not because we're all that super expert with our hand sewing – it's just ridiculously difficult to work those tiny interior seams by machine.


We spent half a day organizing the final phase of #7536 by digging through our extensive catalog of accessory patterns and sketches, and locating the most suitable fabrics to hand. The first item we rolled out was our take on the ubiquitous baseball cap (which bears an uncanny resemblance to an equestrian helmet, now that we think about it), fashioned from navy blue Ultrasuede® and accented with a powder blue satin rose, labeled as View E.

For the evening gown, we took our inspiration from the House of Dior and their Spring/Summer collection from 2019, reminiscent of early aviators' leather helmets. Labeled View A, the upper photo shows the inspo in a side-by-side, Photo #2 shows the hat and bag, a slim envelope clutch. If you think making a tiny, close-fitting cap from sequined fabric is an odd choice, you'd be right. But we've said it before and we'll say it again - we here in the Atelier LOVE a challenge.

We chose to make a backpack (in navy Ultrasuede® with leather straps) and a sou'wester/slouch hat (in cobalt blue felt) to go with View D. They really elevate the look, and they were a JOY to build – that hat is rapidly becoming our favorite, edging out our previous fave, the classic beret.

The penultimate addition to the project was only a little fiddly: a beaded and sequined oversized pillbox hat in light aqua felt with a beaded and sequined oversized asymmetric envelope clutch in pale pink felt, which paired up beautifully with the View B dress. Tech note: we used vintage matte finish sequins, and super tiny turquoise Japanese seed beads.

And finally, the *ahem* cap on the Vogue Craft Project #7536. It's a modified roll brim cloche in baby pink felt, teamed up with a pocketed shopping tote in light aqua felt. As a moral imperative, we had to tuck in a (hand-dyed) hankie. Everyone should carry one, you know. A hankie, that is. Not necessarily hand-dyed. 

There you have it. Two down, six to go for the overarching Grand Vogue Craft Project. That number is, of course, predicated on our not losing our damned minds and picking up those other two Vogue Craft patterns we've been eyeballing to add to the madness. Also, this is assuming we won't lose steam, or forget to come back to it after National Novel Writing Month (November).

Still not too sure about those shoes . . .

Harking back briefly to the #7108 project - all the outfits, hats, & accessories created for it (see previous post) were in fact a birthday gift for my daughter. And I know she's super busy these days, so I'm sure as soon as she has some time, she'll take a few photos of those outfits on her dolls. HINT HINT.


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*Something about autumn days brings out the “Stop and Smell the Pumpkin Spice” in us – lazing in bed of a morning, reading tales of high adventure, sipping caramel lattes and munching crisp little apples, sitting on the back porch and watching the trees dance in the wind, shedding their leaves like The Seven Veils, sharing meals and spending time with family – no wonder we're two weeks late with writing this post. 

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