Sunday, January 27, 2008

Last Lap

I've completed three more garments for Nikki during the third week of the January "Take it Further" challenge.  After reviewing what I had done so far, I knew I needed a black top to complement the moss green outfit and the coat.  I also needed a neutral top to go with the cotton skirt.  And I had a skein of crochet thread I bought specifically for this project, so I wanted to at least attempt something with that.

My dear Tulsa sister had sent some lovely Handmaiden silk that she had left over from a project she had done.  So I decided to use that for the neutral top, even thought the color wasn't exactly what I had in mind to match the skirt.  It whipped up fairly nicely in plain garter stitch, considering I had no pattern.  I just kept measuring the garment every two knitted rows or so against Nikki.  All I have to do is add the velcro closures at the neck and back edges, and it will be done.

Next, I turned my attention to the crochet thread that has been patiently waiting since early January.  I decided to just wing a long, funky vest because Nikki was with me only part of last week and I was unable to measure the garment against her every few rows the night I started the project.  I used a stitch count based on the sweaters I had completed, and just set about doing what was in my mind.  Knitting with crochet thread was challenging, but I actually like the look and would consider making an adult garment out of it.  The twist of the fiber is really tight, so the thread doesn't split, and the drape is nice (not great, but nice), but it requires very small needles (I used size 0 USA).  The fit of Nikki's vest is okay, but if I had to do it over again, I'd allow fewer stitches on the two front panels and provide more of a shoulder seam.  When I tried the vest on Nikki,  there was so much overlap in the two front panels that I realized if I made a belt, she'd have a mini-dress or a beach cover-up.  So, I did a teeny-tiny I-cord for the belt and found a small plastic ring in my embellishments stash, and voila! another reversible multi-purpose garment.

My last and most dreaded project was a black blouse, which looks more gray than jet black in the accompanying picture.  The problem with black fabric is that it's so hard to see what you are stitching when you are using black thread.  By the time I had completed the project, my eyes were worn out and I was thinking this was the last item I'd do for the color-coordinated wardrobe.  I guess I was partly starting to feel like I did what I had set out to do - make color-coordinated outfits in the color family assigned for a fashion doll.  And I was also partly feeling the time pressure - the need to be ready to move on to the February challenge, which God wiling will NOT entail making doll clothes.

At the moment, I still have to stitch on all the velcro closures and I need to get some shoes for the doll.  And I think I'll host a fashion show to demonstrate how the garments look on Nikki and maybe some of her "friends."  You see, I've told some of my coworkers about the project, and they think it might be fun to use part of a lunch hour to put the dolls on a catwalk and do a photo shoot.  Yes, I'm talking grown women with Barbie dolls.  I guess this project has brought a smile to more than just my face.  Or maybe it just says that we have too much time on our hands and we should be cleaning out our kids' toys now that our kids are in college.  Nevertheless, it looks like we'll have a photo shoot at the end of the week - Fridays are always a good day to get giddy.  So, just as the next challenge is upon us, I'll be posting the final pictures from January's challenge.  See you next weekend, and I hope you got at least a little kick out of these posts.



loretta said...

Oooh, I can't wait for the fashion show. The Handmaiden silk is just perfect for a halter top. If you have trouble finding shoes for Nikki, maybe you could make some I-cord and felt up a pair of UGG boots for her! Not suggesting, just sayin' LOL!

Barbara Hagerty said...

What you're doing is so wonderful and creative! I love your concept! I had thought of doing a rag doll each month in Sharon's color scheme, and then I got lazy, went to an 8-1/2 X 11 flat format so I could easily scan and not have to photograph. Your doll clothes are exquisite! Can't wait to see them all together!!