Marie-Grace dress stage 2 + 3

The dress is starting to emerge! ✨ In stage 2, I cut out the fabric from a loosely constructed pattern, and drape it on the dress form. It looks like a mess, but I can see what I need to do next.

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Now I'm at stage 3 -- constructing the garment and refining the pattern. I'll hem and connect the skirt to the bodice, add sleeves, and a zipper in the back. Although I am as historically accurate (and faithful to the American Girl patterning) as possible, I also must maintain the functionality of these dresses as costumes for photographs. 

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Marie-Grace dress stage 1

Today I'm starting to construct Marie-Grace's Meet dress! I don't have a set pattern for my work, so I sample from a different sources to make the right silhouette. The current pattern pinned to my dress form is a Civil War dress from Simplicity - I'm specifically looking at the cut of the bodice and sleeves! 

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chemise and crinoline

I'm working on the chemise and crinoline for Cécile and Marie Grace -- it feels great to finally have studio time again 🎀 

allison version: left // doll version: right  

allison version: left // doll version: right  

day 3 at La Hacienda de los Martinez

What began as an innocent tour of La Hacienda de los Martinez (outside Taos, NM) magically transformed into the opportunity to take more Josefina photographs!

"You would have to clear the request with the museum board, if you're going to use flash,"  the woman at the front desk explained in answer to my inquiry about taking more professional images in the rooms.

"Oh," I said, seeing my chances improving, "I don't use flash. Just a tripod. And I dress up."

"Well, in that case, go on and get your things, dear."

the front placita (courtyard)  

the front placita (courtyard)  

there was an area for children (+ me) to read books and play with Josefina dolls. 

there was an area for children (+ me) to read books and play with Josefina dolls. 

a small house by the hacienda  

a small house by the hacienda  

polaroid teaser + celebratory margarita

polaroid teaser + celebratory margarita

day 2 at Las Golondrinas

day 2 was filled with three photo shoots -- the cover image for  Josefina Learns a Lesson, an image for the Happy Birthday, Josefina! set, and a second shoot of the cover image for Josefina's Surprise

getting ready behind the scenes

getting ready behind the scenes

a tour temporarily halts one of the photographs  

a tour temporarily halts one of the photographs  

day 1 at Las Golondrinas

day 1 at El Rancho de las Golondrinas (approximately 15 miles south of Santa Fe) was great! this is my third summer working with the museum; every visit is wonderful.

a polaroid teaser from the day's shoot  

a polaroid teaser from the day's shoot  

Josefina's bloomers

Even though Josefina's Christmas dress hides this pair of bloomers, I still must replicate them in full detail. These are in the style of overalls, rather than in the more typical pant. 

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schooled by a loom

After spending a few frustrating nights of wanting to burn my new tapestry loom to the ground, I'm finally getting the hang of weaving on this device.  

Confession: I approached this project with plans that were overthought -- the tapestry loom setup is simple for a reason. The warp is wound directly on the loom (mistake #1) and while a shed can be created with string heddles, most of the weaving action comes from moving the weft, by hand, over and under the warp threads (mistake #2).

Thankfully, with each new row woven, the process gets a little clearer. 

What I learned: the warp on the right, with an intense thread count, is best suited for a floor loom; the warp on the left is better suited for a tapestry loom. 

What I learned: the warp on the right, with an intense thread count, is best suited for a floor loom; the warp on the left is better suited for a tapestry loom. 

dying fabric!

Today I'm toning down the bright yellow of the fabric for Josefina's Surprise dress with a little brown fabric dye. 

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an hour later and making a little progress:

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from the studio

Allison-versions of Josefina's striped skirt and woven serape are queued up in the American Girl studio! 

I found this blue striped fabric yesterday; what a match. Now on to weaving the serape. 

I found this blue striped fabric yesterday; what a match. Now on to weaving the serape.