When Fandoms Collide: American Girl meets Downton Abbey

I’m a big fan of the British television series Downton Abbey.  I blame it on my sister for getting me hooked.  A couple of months ago I was checking out AG goodies on Etsy when I ran across a dress made for AG dolls that was like a dress one of the characters wore on the show.  Unfortunately the lady selling it wanted $81-ouch!  I don’t think so.  I filed the idea away in the back of my mind for later.

Several weeks later I was surfing Pinterest (another dangerous site!) and I came across the link for the pattern to make the dress.  $5.99 for the pattern seemed much more reasonable to me since I do know how to sew.  I still wasn’t quite sure though because it was sold through a company that I wasn’t all that familiar with.  That all changed a few weeks ago when I came across the link to get free patterns through Pixie Faire-after trying out the polo shirt pattern from them, I decided it was worth giving it a try.  All I can say is that I am sooooo glad I did!

Just so you know the dress I’m talking about, here is a picture from Downton Abbey, the dress in the middle is the one.  I’ve always liked this dress, I wouldn’t mind making one to fit me and not just my dolls.

da fashion

The pattern is called “Lady Lilly’s Afternoon Tea Dress” at the Pixie Faire site. It looks like this:
LUB_Lady_Lilly_Cover_WEB_large

Once I got it downloaded and reviewed it I thought it would be a relatively easy dress to make. I did want to try out the pattern though, so I looked through my fabric and found a piece I thought it would look nice in. I picked up the lace at Joann’s and I was ready to go. I worked on it for about 2 hours that afternoon and finished up the detail work on it the following morning. The hardest part was figuring out how to fold the lace to get that point to lay right, other than that it was a breeze.
Downton AG 1     Downton AG 2

Doesn’t Samantha look cute in it?  You can also see from these pictures that I have one of the older “pre-Felicity” Samantha dolls, her body doesn’t match her arms and legs!

I was very happy with the way the dress turned out, but there were one or two bugs in the pattern (primarily with the way the lining goes in) that I wanted to work out.  I dug through my fabric stash again and found a piece that I bought about two years ago out of the remnant section at Joann’s.  I decided it would be perfect for my next “experiment” and set to work.  I decided to skip the lace this time for two reasons: A) it’s expensive! and B) it really had nothing to do with my working the bugs out and wouldn’t be affected by the changes I was making.  I was really glad I decided to try it because I liked my way of assembly better than the instructions.  I even think I like this dress better too.

Downton AG 3    Downton AG 4

Rebecca looks ready to celebrate the 4th of July next year, doesn’t she?

Now that I was satisfied with the overall dress, it was time to start looking for the striped fabric.  That turned out to be more difficult than I thought!  In the meantime I found some really cute fat quarters at a local quilting shop and after I got the one home, I got an idea…let’s try this dress one more time but in a shorter version!  I reprinted my pattern and cut some of the length off, it seemed to work well.  Word of advice though–don’t try doing something like that when you aren’t feeling well.  While the dress turned out okay, I wasn’t 100% please with the fit, and I blame that on my ill state.  I did add some lace and made a change in the bodice that I really liked, it gives a new option on the same pattern.

Downton AG 5   Downton AG 6

Don’t you wonder what Kit is thinking in that second picture?  Probably “get me out of this frilly thing, I want to go climb a tree!”

I have since found the striped fabric in several different versions, I just haven’t had the time to get to it yet.  My sister is coming to visit at the end of the month and she wants to try out my sewing machine, so we are going to each make one, she wants one for her Felicity doll.  It’s all her fault anyhow!   I will be sure to show you the final results.

Downton AG 8
“Presenting Lady Mary, Lady Sybil and Lady Edith Crawley”

In case you are wondering, the shoes that Rebecca and Kit are wearing are from The Springfield Collection, Samantha’s shoes are American Girl, from the Sweet School Dress set.

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