McCalls 7639: Doll Clothes/Beachball Dress
It’s been gray and raining all week. It’s making me blue and I’ve been longing for the sun.
Pia’s been lifting my spirits though by her blank stare. Honestly I don’t know if I sew for her out of love or out of fear, LOL. I’m not as afraid of her as when I first got her but sometimes it feels like she’s burning a hole to the back of my head. Those eyes! The best is when I walk into the dark room, see her tiny silhouette and turn on the light. It can be jarring, lol.
I’m not saying that this doll is going to go all “Bride of Chucky” on me if I don’t make her a new dress, but you never know. To cover my bases I will sew her one. Digging into my scraps (from a UFO) I found fabric that was perfect for McCalls 7639. The colors make me smile and dream of the summer. How could they not….beachballs!
McCalls 7639 View A was way too plain for my taste so I decided to add a peter pan collar. It’s 1960s reminiscent. I’ve always thought the beachballs and floral contrast was a great print on print combo but not sure if I’d be able to pull this look off in human form. Lucky for Pia she gets to model my vision for us.😉
With every project I like to learn something new so I busted out the Patternmaking book by Helen Joseph Armstrong. I found collar drafting to be not that bad. For some reason I thought there would be more complex fitting involved but really it’s just making sure the front and back shoulder lines match.
Here are the final pattern pieces. Pretty straightforward.
I was surprised to see this dress had facings, just like full size dress! To construct I basted the collar then sandwiched that between the facings.
I had to sew slow as molasses around those neckline curves and armholes. It’s a very pronounced “C” shape in comparison to the gradual neckline curve of a human dress. Because of that and vague instructions I don’t think this is a beginner pattern. I rated it 4 stars on Pattern Review.
I am not sure if this pattern is drafted specifically for an American Girl doll (the pattern sizing just says 18″ dolls) but I did notice a fit issue of gaping behind the back neckline. Doesn’t bother me though. Pia will have to deal cuz I’m not remaking this for her, lol.
What did bother me was that the collar wouldn’t lay flat! Next time I will use interfacing. I handtacked it down.
And since I already had needle and thread in hand I went ahead and blind catchstitched the hem. It’s a little wonky but it’s good practice. Yes, this tiny dress has couture finishing, haha! What the heck…
Again I find myself wondering why I spend so much time sewing for a doll but Pia’s been giving me some serious amusement. I think I like this scrap busting challenge better than quilting.