Maud Humphrey

Maud Humphrey

Monday, April 1, 2013

Patty Play Pal Reproduction Dress

A doll club friend recently acquired a 1960 "carrot top" Patty Play Pal doll.  For those that are unfamiliar with her, this doll was created as a companion for children and could wear real children's clothing.  She stands 35" tall This is her above, on the cover of a book.  She is very rare because of her bright orange/red hair.  My friend's doll is nude, so she asked if I could reproduce her outfit.
After walking (and walking and walking) around my favorite fabric store for 1 1/2 hours, I finally settled on the above fabrics.  The original dress fabric has more yellow in it, but I felt like this print had the vintage vibe I was going for.  The green fabric for the pinafore was easy to match, but I had to go to three different stores before I finally found rick rack in the correct shade of orange.  I'm still not entirely happy with it...I feel it's a bit large for the scale of the dress,   But the color matches well, so I guess it'll do.
I used a pattern by "The Classy Kid Collection", especially made to reproduce this dress for Patty Play Pal.  They have a website which offers all kinds of doll clothing patterns:
The pattern went together fairly well, but it is not for the inexperienced seamstress.  There are instructions but no pictures...and some of the steps are a little vague.  But the end result turned out adorable, I think.
I love the big bow that ties in the back.  All little girls dresses should have a bow, don't you think?  The pinafore is not a separate piece, but part of the dress.  It closes with snaps.  For some reason, my sewing machine had fits with the green fabric.  It is 100% cotton, but my machine kept skipping stitches, and acting as if it were having a hard time getting through the fabric.  I have no idea why.  I spent a couple of hours switching out needles, using different thread, adjusting tension, and cleaning out the throat plate (sheesh, I think there was a good fistful of lint down there!), in the hopes that it would fix the problem.  But I finally realized that the machine wasn't having this issue with the floral fabric, or any other little scraps I experimented with, only with the green.  Has anybody else ever had this happen to them?  I remember this happened to me once before, with some fine-wale, baby corduroy.  This pinafore fabric didn't have any stretch to it, but I wonder if maybe the fibers were woven in such a way that made it more difficult for a needle to penetrate?  Frustrating, that's for sure.  I ended up lengthening my stitches just a bit, and gently pulling on the fabric to help along the feed dogs. 
Anyway, it's finished!  I think my friend is going to love it. 

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