Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dressing the dolls

You can set your calendar by it: the first week of May, my friend Deborah gets stressed out. Why? because she is the director of Arts Alive Studio and the first of May means one month until production time. This year's acting performance is The Hiding Place, which they have done several times before. No need to make an entire set of costumes like last year. This year's clothing crisis is for the ballet, of all things!

The production they are doing this year is based on the children's book The Best Loved Doll. I've never read it, but the basic plot is that a little girl gets invited to a party where all the guests bring their best-loved dolls. The older students are the party guests and the little ballerinas are their dolls.

I don't know if you've ever had the opportunity to look at a dance costume catalog, but they are FULL of amazing costumes of every shape, size and style you can imagine. Unless you are my friends Deborah and the ballet's author/director, Nicole. They had a very specific look in mind that just couldn't be found in any of the catalogs they checked. A sweet, vintage girly look. So they decided to make the costumes.

Deborah, bless her heart, is making pastel leotards and matching skirts for the older girls who are the guests at the party. And based on the sample I saw last week, they are just as nice (if not nicer!) than store-bought ones. The dolls will be wearing dresses in a color that matches their owners' leotard. Deborah had done the rough construction of each of the seven dresses, but needed someone to "fancy them up." Would I be able to help with this?

Heck yeah!

On Friday afternoon, I picked up a bag loaded with pastel loveliness, lace & ribbon and given free reign for embellishing the dresses. Yippee! I culled through my stock of vintage patterns for ideas and have knocked out 3 of the 7 dresses already. Here's a sneak peek of an apron I made for one of the dresses:

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