I hate ruffling. Not ruffles, ruffling. The act of making ruffles.
See, it’s terribly boring and repetitive. Press. Gather. Press. Gather. I entertained my friend’s kid by letting her pull the string on some ruffle, and she was impressed…the first time. But that’s ruffle for you. It’s not the ruffle that’s interesting, it’s what you DO with the ruffle that makes OTHER things interesting!
I’ve been doing a lot of ruffles in patterns recently, and I’m kind of sick of it. So this week, when it came time to pick between a ruffled pattern and a ruffled pattern, I went with Wa-Loli because I have some really cool fabric that I haven’t used yet that is perfect for wa-loli. Whatever works!
And even with this one I cheated by using some lace! Well, not really cheated. I had a very good reason for using lace trim, which is I was trying to get the kimono sleeves to drape naturally. I’ve only ever done this pattern on Monster High before, and they are almost as tall as these dolls but they’re like 3D representations of those twig-legged fashion illustrations. Barbies are a lot thicker all over, so a lot more fabric is used which makes them bulkier, which makes them stiffer and not drape so delicately.
Lace works pretty good, especially if you use it with real ruffle. It adds the delicate touches of layering without adding a lot of the bulk of layering. I think if I redid this again, I’d do the lace on the sleeves so that it juuuust peeked past the hem.
Here’s an example of a fully lined/ruffled kimono and the lightly lined/ruffled kimono:
I added some other tweaks to reduce bulk, but it is definitely stiffer. The doll can’t assume as many poses in the super ruffled/layered dress that look natural. So if you’re sewing for a Made-to-move bodied doll and want her to kneel delicately with her hands clasped in front of her at a little table set out with tea service in a diorama, you might want to go for lace+ruffle instead of ruffle on ruffle. If your doll is a 5-point articulated fashionista or just standing on a shelf? Won’t matter.
If you’ve already sewn the PS size and pick up this pattern, DEFINITELY READ THE INSTRUCTIONS! Like I said, I used some tricks to reduce bulk because there’s a huuuuuge difference between 8″ of ruffled fabric and 18″ of ruffled fabric wrapped around the waist of a dolls with only 1″ difference in height! The PS pattern was also adapted from a friend’s design, but Keely never did that style for this size doll so PS size is made with her style and M is made with my style. The end result looks similar, but how you get there is a bit different.