Not sure what to be more chuffed about - finishing this project after three months of VERY sporadic work, or managing to take some pretty decent photos of said work. No matter. It's all a done deal now, and it's time to take a Little Detour. More on that at the end.

First, though, the Recap:

Work began in October '22 on this phase of the Grand Vogue Craft Pattern Extravaganza, and proceeded, as per normal, at a snail's pace. Now, since we are indeed rebels gone rogue around here, we started with View B. And we continued skipping around for the entire run of this chapter.

If you recall, we threatened this would be an all black and white collection, but there would naturally be the occasional pop of color. We're more than a little in love with gold at the moment, and our affection in that direction never wavered.

Before we start, we need to mention something. This particular pattern was clearly intended for the original Barbie body, with the tiny waist that made the chest seem so large by contrast. And none of the dresses had the kind of back closure we've grown accustomed to. On most of the more contemporary dolls, the back closure had to be adjusted. By a lot. 

Anyway. Here's the first completed outfit for the #9686 project, View B:

  • Construction notes: 100% cotton print fabric, and instead of lining the dress fully, bias binding was used on the neck and arm openings. It gave the bodice an interesting boxy effect. 
  • Styling notes: This is still our current favorite tiny hat style. The leather belt was made with a vintage doll-shoe buckle, and the gold ribbon rose was selected as the connecting element for this project. 
  • Doll notes: This is a hybrid doll - the head is a rescue from a "12 Dancing Princesses - Genevieve" doll, and the body is that of a Barbie 60th Anniversary doll (Model Muse). 
Next up, View A: The Coat:

  • Construction notes: Black microsuede for the outer shell, and black acetate for the full lining. It was a breeze to build. No issues with the sewing at all.
  • Styling notes: we added in a golden yellow cotton knit tube dress, worn with a purchased skinny black belt. The golden yellow felt cowboy hat and a faux snakeskin clutch, both accented with faceted brass beads add to the look, and the ubiquitous golden rose worked well to draw the eye to the soft, popped collar.
  • Doll notes: This is a tall Fashionista #44 with no modifications.
On to View C: 

  • Construction notes: 100% cotton print bodice and skirt, with an attached faux leather belt. The bodice is a tad roomy on the Model Muse, and that's even with being fully lined. But. The skirt fits like a dream. 
  • Styling notes: We still love that fun hat shape, and the golden rose was the perfect accent here.
  • Doll notes:  a Black Label Barbie, The Look Collection: City Shopper doll, 2012 edition. When she came to the Atelier, the hair had been butchered - but in addition to that, the doll was manufactured with what's been termed a "glue head," that the inside of the head had been filled with a gummy sort of glue that over time breaks down and leeches into the hair, making it gummy, stiff, and not to put too fine a point on it, hideous. It does not wash out. Ever. In our research, we learned about that, as well as the history of her face sculpt, "The Steffie." We just loved those eyelashes. Don't judge. This doll presented a serendipitous melding of several things.
    We wanted to try re-rooting doll hair. With actual doll hair. We'd practiced on a few doll heads with wool and acrylic yarns, and watched a LOT of videos on How To, and felt it was within our skill set to accomplish. And we did it!
We jumped around again, doing up that ski outfit, View H, next:

  • Construction notes: The hoodie is made from an old pair of cotton socks, and the ski pants are a knit fabric of unknown fiber content. The pattern directions for the hoodie were a little confusing and tricky, but we stuck with it - and were pleasantly surprised with the results. In contrast, the pants were absurdly simple to run up.
  • Styling notes: In the collage photo, you can see the model wearing moon boots and gloves, and the eye protection from the Barbie Robotics Engineer. For the final "beauty" shot, she's wearing mittens to match her pants, since we finally cracked the code for their construction. Also, she's got on Fashionista 148's boots and Fashionista 167's sunglasses. Sorry, no golden rose on this one. Just didn't make sense.
  • Doll notes: This is the Barbie 60th Anniversary Careers Astronaut Doll, a gift to the Atelier (thanks again, T.J.!!), with no modifications.
Moving on. The last of the October productions, View E:

  • Construction notes: A silky black & white print rayon; the bodice was self lined, and the overskirt was constructed of black rayon ribbon and netting. This was another easy-peasy build, clear instructions, no surprises.
  • Styling notes: There's that golden rose, pinned in the model's hair. The gown was kind of ho-hum and just cried out for A Little Something, so we threw together that shawl of black netting, and it really fit the bill.
  • Doll Notes: She is the 50th Anniversary Reproduction Doll that came in the "Sparkling Pink" gift set - a dead ringer for the Atelier's first Barbie, ca.1962. No modifications.
In mid-November, another frock was completed, this time View G:

  • Construction notes: 100% cotton black on white print fabric. There was some fiddling to get the self-lined bodice to fit, but it worked out with the addition of some super tiny buttons. Love that floofy skirt. We'll say it again - most of the patterns in this project were really easy to build; it's just that they were designed for that vintage figure. Didn't know that going in, but it's always easier to nip and tuck a creation than get it to expand.
  • Styling notes: Modified boater type hat of black felt, and the golden rose pinned at the waist gave the look just the right touch of sweetness, to our way of thinking.
  • Doll notes: This is the videographer half of the Barbie Careers' TV News Team doll set, with a petite fashionista body, flat feet, stiff legs, and articulated arms and wrists. No modifications.
There's a gap in time of over a month before work resumed, this time with View D:

  • Construction notes: Black crepe of unknown fiber content, with the bodice lining of black acetate. The capelet is made of faux snakeskin leather, lined with black felt. Both pieces came together in under two hours, if that gives you an indication of how simple it was to build.
  • Styling notes: We should have gone with sexier, strappier shoes, now that we see those 'working woman heels' in the photo. *sigh* The golden roses at the waist of the gown and pinned to the capelet's lapel work very nicely to elevate the simplicity of the gown.
  • Doll notes: This is a Barbie Basics doll, Collection 01, #09, with the Model Muse body and the Diva face sculpt - gifted to the Atelier in the long ago time (thanks again, Darcy!). No modifications.
And coming in last, but clearly not least, View F:

  • Construction notes: 100% cotton print, self-lined bodice. Tricky business with those skinny straps; couldn't follow the directions here - the neckline edge was machine sewn, but the arm edges had to be basted first, then top-stitched together. Just too narrow for turning. At least it was for us. And again, that back closure seemed awkward, even with this is being the right model for the pattern.
  • Styling notes: Just our favorite hat pattern, this time in golden yellow felt, and the golden rose at the neckline was all this needed. Well, maybe a ring and some earrings, but it had already been three months, so . . .
  • Doll notes: This is a vintage 1966 Holiday Barbie. She arrived with the City Shopper as part of a rescue group, donated to the atelier in September (thanks again, Gloriann!). The hair was something of a tangled, matted challenge, but one we've faced here before. Other than a bit of a doll hair salon effort, no modifications.
So that's it. Vogue Project #9686: A Fait Accompli. Now, to tackle a new doll challenge:

To design a mini-collection for an Extra Mini Barbie. You may recall we once made the vow to never acquire another doll unless it be white of hair and fully articulated? Welp:

(Image: amazon.com)
We call her River.

We're using our pattern for Dawn doll clothes as our starting point:
(Image: etsy.com)

Muslins have been cut. The Singer awaits. Here we go.

See you all on the other side.

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