Sunday, 27 September 2009

Lillipution Marmalade


Now that I have finished Mrs P's dress, it's time to turn my attention towards a birthday present promised to my sister-in-law back in July! To open on her birthday I slipped inside her card, a tape measure and measuring sheet with diagram and strict instructions on how to measure. She sent the measurements back to me a couple of weeks later, but I could see in an instant that they were wrong. Upon her next visit, I found out why. She is very tall - 6ft I think - and because of that, has a longer body than the average "standard" measurement. I measured her properly, and we picked out some fabrics which I knew she would like, and discussed the design which was to be 'A-line' - she trusted the further details to me..


So today out came the two fabrics we had picked together - a creme linen/cotton blend, and green Kaffe Fasset. Then, as a pile of other fabrics fell out of the cupboard, I thought "oh what about the green linen"? ... And then I was in a quandry as to which fabrics to combine - use them all, or just two, and then which trims, and how to combine them all (or not) etc., etc., you know how it goes.

After consternating for a while by draping every co-ordinating fabric and trim I could find over Madge the material girl, I still couldn't decide upon which fabric to use but it did help with the design. I decided that a wrap-around skirt with covered buttons to fasten might be nice...

I remembered that I have some 1/4 scale blocks - I could make a mini version of the skirt and decide what looked best! Then I remembered that I have a little artists model which would be perfect for 'modelling' the design. Here she is - Mini Madge!


I drew a tiny pattern, cut out the fabric pieces and stitched them all together by hand - can you believe that this 1/4 block is actually 1/4 of a full size 12?! Hard to believe, I am only 4 times bigger than this!!


This mini experiment was a very very useful exercise because not only did I find out exactly which pattern pieces I would need to cut for a wrap around, but I could play around quite nicely with the design components to find out what would work ...

And what wouldn't work..
I think 'no' to the green linen .. don't you? Here is the cream ensemble ..


I wondered if it would work if I cut a diagonal front, in order to show off the lower fabric better ..
Hmm.... still not sure about this one .. what do you think? For now, I stuck with the more simple design, and pinned it to Mini Madge..


And then I discovered, that if you look at her side on, it is apparent that when she walks, the green Kaffe Fasset Fabric shows up a treat!

So I think I will leave Mini Madge posing on the desk for a while before I make my final decision.


16 comments:

Pomona said...

That is so fantastic - I can't quite believe how clever you are! And this will explain why the measurements I take are absolutely no guide to which size I will need - I have a long body, too.

Pomona x

Gina said...

What a wonderful idea... you are clever! I think I like the second version, especially the way the patterned fabric peeps out.

A Bun Can Dance said...

Ah, I'm a fellow long bodied blogger, so I can fully understand how your sister-in-law feels! Don't even mention swimsuits or all in one bodies (underwear) to me......
Mini Madge is quite the catwalk Queen isn't she? I love the mini version of the skirt, what an inspired idea - you are clever! I usually spend ages making up various full-size toiles - such a waste of fabric! So now I'm on the lookout for Mini Madge (secondhand of course!).
Happy week to you!
D x

Lucy Locket-Pocket said...

How absolutely totally and utterly brilliant! I love the idea of making scale versions of the clothes and having a mini Madge to model them for you!

Fab!

Lucy x

peppermintpatcher said...

Very clever idea! I love the fabric and trim selection.

Tracy said...

That is such fun, what a great idea! I expect Mini Madge will be a studio model from now on. :o) LOVE the fabrics & trims you're tinkering with--scrumptious! Happy Day ((HUGS))

dottycookie said...

Mini Madge is looking good there!

Mummy Boo Bear said...

Oh I do like mini Madge! great idea. reminds me back when I was a child and making clothes for Barbie dolls :0}

I love the clean white linen and then lo and behold a hidden paradise of colour as you walk. A great design! Cant wait to see the full grown up Madge version!


MBBx

Chrissie said...

Looking good on mini-Madge. Love the simple cream with the covered buttons.

Miss T said...

I think MMM (mini Madge Marmalade) needs her own blog :-)

laoi gaul~williams said...

i adore mini-madge! she made me smile :)

that green fabric is gorgeous too...

The Coffee Lady said...

She does look very cheery, Mini Madge. And limber, I expect.

Billie Jane said...

You are soooo inventive! What a wonderful idea... Mini Madge is def a big hit... and where do you find the time to do all this? Julia you are amazing!

twiggypeasticks said...

brilliant, lovely fabric.
twiggy x

Ginny said...

i like that you are sharing your process... we have a mini magde artist's model and my smallest girl likes to make clothes for her.
when i was at college we had 1/2 scale dummies which we would mock up on... a good way to try ideas without wasting too much fabric.
i enjoy reading these dressmaking posts... i am so nearly there with making some clothes of my own and now have no excuse as i have found a new fantastic dressmaker's dummy.
x

Sew Create It - Jane said...

That's better than making clothes for Barbie!!

I'm just impressed you can draft your own pattern..let alone at 1/4 the size!!