Flower Power

Next to fancy sleeves, the next biggest trend this summer is the return of florals. From pretty little dresses straight down to footwear, everything is growing up roses, pansies, violets and chrysanthemums! Though this is about fashion sprouting flowers, there are enough different ways to wear this trend from classic to edgy! In other words....there's something for everybody out there in our garden of style.

Photos: Zara.com
This post is not so much a tutorial as it is an exercise in styling as there are many ways to wear this trend.

A Rose is a Rose is a Rose

The newest way to dress dolly is by layering floral prints. Here Sybille wears a stretch rose dress (made from socks) underneath a classic coat (made from cotton upholstery fabric). This is a basic coat--the tutorial is HERE.) Both are oversized prints for her, but the graphic impact is what makes the look.
But if this is too much print for your doll, you can always slide the coat over a solid tone or bi-colored geometric dress (left). And the dress (which I have stitched in a line of shirring to one side), can be worn alone with a floral sheer scarf tossed over her shoulders. Tutorial for making a basic knit dress can be found HERE.

Placed Prints
In the market, a "placed motif" is a print where a design is printed only in certain spots against the background. You can simulate this with applique. Over a princess line dress in cotton chintz, Angelina wears a coat inspired by an item in Fendi's recent collection. I wanted to do this coat in linen but with this special motif. Tutorial for the coat with raglan sleeve is found HERE.
1. On the left, you see the simple princess line dress. (Tutorial for a princess line dress can be found HERE.)
2. On the right you see how I started out with a piece of the printed fabric. Using very sharp scissors, I cut away the motif I have selected. Place this on your garment AFTER you have sewn it together (to make sure it falls where you want. Use a light layer of fabric glue on the back of your motif and place on the garment. Iron well. You can stop right there.
3. But for the Fendi coat I was copying, I needed a flash of metallic. So I added a bit of foil. The tutorial for foiling can be found here.
4. In the middle photo, you see the finished look.

Olympia is wearing a classic blazer (collarless) over dress with a fitted bodice and gathered skirt. The tutorial for this jacket can be found HERE. Here's a tip: look for cotton squares sold for quilting! For the most part, the prints will be the right scale for dolly!
For directions on how to make the 2-piece dress, refer to the tutorial found HERE. Modification for the flared, gathered skirt part of the dress is found HERE.

Lounging Around
 In Paris, young girls are all over the streets in flowered pants (often mistaken for pajamas). Here, I've cut up an old silk scarf for Grace's wide, palazzo pants. The tutorial for these can be found HERE. What I did differently was transform them into drawstring pants. Do not stitch up the darts and, instead of a waistband, simply turn down the top edge of the pants and sew or glue down.

In the lower left hand side, you see what I've done. I threaded a wide eyed needed with silk embroidery yarn and made a running stitch about 1/8" (3mm) away from the top edge. Use a double strand and be sure to double knot each end.

Steel Magnolias

Floral prints don't have to be realistic nor bursting with color. Look for abstracts, floral silhouettes, monochromatic patterns. We paired a cotton print (again from the quilting section of the store) with an abstract floral silk sheer for Nichelle's exotic ensemble.

Her top is super simple. It consists of two tiny squares of sheer frayed fabric: 5"x 5" (13x13cm).  Lay one square on top of the other and pinch together the corners. Tack them together with a stitch, then wrap the thread around and tie in place. Repeat on the opposite top edge. (I wanted a little shine, so once again, I added foiling in the middle of the flower motifs.) Now place on the doll allowing one side to slide off the shoulder. This can be worn as is or belted.
Underneath is a basic pair of pants cut mid-calf length. Tutorial for a 1 pc pants can be found HERE.
Finally, I made a pair of "spats" out of the same cotton print I used for the pants which slide over any pair of dolly shoes. Tutorial for the spats can be found HERE.

 With the season abound with floral prints, it's no surprise to see the kimono make a show. This one is cut from a silk material (recycled from an old blouse). I have a collarless tutorial for the kimono HERE, and if you want to add a collar like I did, you'll find instruction for adding on a shawl collar HERE. Here again, I've combined two different prints, each a contrasting scale. What makes them work together is that both have the same colored background.

In this, another view of Katoucha's pants outfit (1 pc narrow pants and matching bra), you can see I've made matching espadrilles. The tutorial for that is found HERE.

But once again, if this is too much print for your doll...you can always pair your kimono with a solid pair of pants!

Okay, dollies. It's time to get out and smell the roses!!!!!

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