Friday, April 30, 2010

A Summer Play Dress for 18-inch Dolls :-D

Today I made a new doll dress to sell. :-)
Pattern Description: Simplicity 4654, View A

Pattern Sizing: doll size :-D

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes and no.  I actually think it turned out better than I was imagining it would. :-)

Were the instructions easy to follow? Very much so.  It is a very easy pattern.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Hey!  It's a doll dress!  C'mon!  :-D  Okay, so it was very easy and quick and cute! :-D

Fabric Used: Um... fabric from our stash. :-D 

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: None except that I fastened it with snaps in the back instead of Velcro.

Would you sew it again? Yes, I am planning on making some more out of different fabrics, to sell.

Would you recommend it to others? Oh yes. :-)

LOOKIE!!!!!  I SPY SOMEONE ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-D :-D :-D

Thanks to Margaret for taking the adorable pictures! :-D

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Yellow Summer Dress

You know I've been dreaming of having a yellow dress. :-) Well, now I have one. :-)

Pattern Description: B4443, a sleeveless dress or jumper

Pattern Sizing: size 10

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? yes :-)

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, the directions were quite easy to understand.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I just... like it! :-D I love the style.

Fabric Used: Yellow linen-look fabric from JoAnn's. (65% polyester, 35% rayon, if I remember right :-) )

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I just shortened the bodice a teeny bit, though after finishing the dress and comparing it with the last dress I made in this style, I don't think that was necessarily. Still, it fits just fine. :-) Next time, though, I think I will lengthen the skirt, as it is a little shorter than I am used to wearing. (I meant to lengthen it this time but had already cut the piece out when I realized I had forgotten!! :-o )

Would you sew it again? I might, though this was the third time I made a dress with this pattern and I should probably branch out a little. :-)

Would you recommend it to others? Ohhhh yes! :-)

P.S. I did not make the shrug. It's from J. C. Penny's. :-) The dress is sleeveless and I prefer to wear a jacket over it. :-)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Picnik effects

Hi! This is Margaret again......I didn't take the following picture but I've been practicing/playing around on Picnik with it and thought I'd post some of the things I did to the picture, and please, tell me which one you think looks best! I want to see ya'lls opinions on them! :)

Fancy Focus

I think I like the Orton best, but tell me which one YOU like best! :)

Photo credit: Google Images

Friday, April 23, 2010

Next Movie Review...

Hi everyone!

I am sorry I didn't post my movie review on Thursday. I'm still without my computer and it's a lot harder to sit down and write something on someone else's computer if you are used to your own. ;-) Also, I am not sure what to review next. Which would you like of the following?

Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Sense and Sensibility (2007)
Persuasion (1995)
Luther (2003)
Little Dorrit (2008)
Wives and Daughters (1999)

I also have seen a really good docudrama about John Wycliffe, along the same lines as "Luther" (though not as well known) that I might want to review too. Eventually I'll do one on "Our Mutual Friend" too but I have only seen it twice and my mom doesn't like it so I am not sure when I'll be watching it again...though I think I remember enough to give an overview and an opinion...

So which would you like next?

P.S. AWESOME votes on the "Emma" poll!!! 19 "LOVE IT-swoons", 3 "it's okays", 5 "haven't seen it yets" and ZERO "hate this adaptions"!! :-D BBC must have done something good... ;-) Go Emma!! :-D

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Emma's Pink "Box Hill" Dress...for 18-inch dolls! :-)

Here it is! The finished product! Well, maybe the finished product. I might add some embellishments to it later.

I based this off of Emma's dress that she wears to Box Hill in the 2009 version of Emma. It's not identical, just based on it. :-) Once I get my computer back, I will load some pictures of Emma's dress for comparison.

I used the pattern for Josefina's Christmas Dress, but added maybe an inch or two across the bodice so that it would gather at the top. I used brown bias tape on the neckline and waistline.

This dress will probably be going to a lawn sale booth in May and if it doesn't sell there I'll put it on Etsy. Though, to be truthful, I don't think Rebecca would mind keeping it either. :-)

P.S. The strange contraption in the background (the silver thing) is a coffee urn that belonged to my great-great-great-grandmother. Just in case you were wondering. :-D

I Have Been Reminded....

...why I screencap my favorite costumes and movies.

And I wish I had finished screencapping "Emma" before my computer went goofy and started refusing to turn on for me.

It (my laptop) is in the shop right now and I think the problem is fixable and I should have it in a few days; however, right now I am without it, and I am sewing a doll dress based off of Emma's pink Box Hill dress, and I keep needing to see pictures of it to see what to do in a certain spot, and I haven't screencapped that yet, and my sister's computer won't read DVDs for me to screencap it from there!!  *sighs*  So I am kind of "guessing" as I go.

As soon as I get my laptop back, I will screencap that dress right away. :-)

BTW, so far the doll dress is turning out very cute, though I am having a problem with material not cooperating with the bias tape on the sleeves, and that's looking a little messy.  But anyway, I think it will turn out and I can't wait to show you all. :-)  I am also almost done with Anna's second dress and am hoping to start my YELLOW dress (!!! :-D !!!) this week too.  (I am going to make it from Butterick 4443, the same as my Florida dress.)

I hope you are all having a wonderful week.


Monday, April 19, 2010


Oh Augusta! It is linen-look fabric from JoAnns! And it is yellow! And there is a great deal of it!!

It is JUST the right shade!! I love it. I got 5 yards but I am not sure which pattern I will use for it yet. :-)

P.S. The picture I took and posted doesn't show its color very clearly; it is a little bit more creamy yellow than is showing up in the picture.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Emma (2009) ~ A Review

Emma is a miniseries made in 2009 by BBC. Featuring a screenplay written by Sandy Welch (screenwriter for North and South, Our Mutual Friend, and Jane Eyre), and a stellar cast including Romola Garai, Jonny Lee Miller, and Michael Gambon, Emma makes for a delightful, 4-hour adaption of Jane Austen's beloved novel.


According to the first line of the famous novel, "Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her." Emma is the second of two daughters of an simple, elderly widower. She is a young woman of great importance in her social circle, and is very witty, and the problem is... she knows it! She enjoys arranging other people's lives, especially in the area of matrimony. Having successfully married off her sister to a long-time friend, and her governess to a local widower, Emma considers herself a successful matchmaker and becomes determined to carry on her matchmaking career. But whether it is with the sweet, simple, artless Harriet Smith; the handsome and engaging vicar, Mr. Elton; or her former governess' charming stepson, Frank Churchill, her plans all seem to go ridiculously wrong, and she comes to realize that she is not so knowledgeable about the ways of the heart as she thought she was; and her efforts to match up others cause her to nearly mistake and lose her own perfect match.


While there are some who may differ with me on this point, I really do think this is the most accurate version of Emma of the three I have seen (Mirimax, A&E, and this one). While Mirimax leans more towards the Elton storyline, and A&E leans more towards the Churchill storyline, this one gives the whole story equal attention and includes many details that the other film versions left out. It also, I think, captures the spirit of the book very well and presents most of the characters accurately. It also answers questions that the other films didn't answer very well (see two paragraphs below) and acquaints you better with some of the characters such as Mrs. Goddard, John, Isabella, and Mrs. Elton. (Oh!! Mrs. Elton!! Christina Cole tops them all! She is so the best Mrs. Elton...)

That said, the filmmakers for this adaption of Emma did have their own take on some of it. They attempted to make it more "modern" in some of the language, music, manners, etc., to make it more accessible to a modern audience. I know that sounds terrible-- it sounded terrible to me when I heard they were doing that!-- but when you actually sit down and watch it, the modernization is, to me and many others at least, very forgivable. You feel like you know the characters, like they could live in modern days. Those who haven't exercised their language abilities so as to catch on to the period language of Jane Austen's original works will find it perhaps a more enjoyable and understandable watch. True, a Regency girl isn't going to be lounging with her arm up over the back of the couch, but somehow it is forgivable when Emma does it, and makes her seem like a very real person. :-)
A few other changes the filmmakers made were very slight. They began the screenplay with "flashbacks" of Emma's childhood, giving a better understanding of Emma's, Frank's, and Jane's backgrounds. This answers questions some viewers may have, such as "Why is Mr. Woodhouse so overprotective of Emma?" "How is Jane related to the Bates again?" "Who is this Knightly guy who comes back and forth to and from Hartfield all the time?" Mrs. and Miss Bates' personalities were somewhat drawn about in such a way that they are more tragic characters. Instead of just being deaf, Mrs. Bates is withdrawn in herself because of the way her life has been; and Miss Bates has a lot more emotional depth than in the other film versions.


Emma is an absolutely deliciously clean movie. Most of the costumes are modest; there is much less emphasis on cleavage than there is in several of the other Jane Austen adaptions. There is no sexual content (though there is a kiss and some flirting). One of the things that makes me absolutely love this version is the absence of questionable language! You know the absolute annoying superabundance of "Good God!" and "O, Lord!" in those other adaptions? You don't get that in Emma! When a character is expressing surprise, they either exclaim, "Oh my goodness!" or just show the surprise in their faces. Someone told me that one character uses the Lord's name in vain once in frustration, but she knew it only from the subtitles, and when I listened during that scene after she pointed that out to me, I still couldn't detect it. Besides that, one character uses the term "d--n" but it too is not very noticeable.


As when I read or watch Jane Austen's other works, I usually come away from Emma in a mood for spiritual application. Jane Austen really had a way of working in the matters of the heart and the importance of godly living in her stories. This adaption of Emma, developing Emma's bad character and her realization of it and her change, was very good, and made me think: Am I, like Emma, full of myself? Vain? Prideful? Immature? Inconsiderate of other's feelings and needs? Impatient? Or do I allow the Spirit of Christ to control me and influence what I do? Do I truly desire others' good? Am I kind? Do I use what influence I have to help others do right? Am I bold to speak up, like Mr. Knightly? Life isn't about us-- it is about loving God and loving others. Sometimes we must fall hard after a major mistake, like Emma, but God uses those falls to make us dependent on Him and moldable in His hands.

Of course, I have a couple quibbles with Emma. Despite promoting Christian morality in her works, Jane Austen didn't lift up Jesus Christ by name in her works. The one notably "religious" person in the movie is Mr. Elton, who is actually (SPOILER ALERT) a real jerk! and I kind of wish Jane had decided to pick on another occupation besides clergyman (albe
it, I am sure a lot of clergyman were NOT Christians back then, as it is today!) Still, besides that, I do find Emma very challenging and thought-provoking spiritually.


I suppose I have been expressing them throughout as it is! If you haven't been abl
e to tell yet, this is my FAVORITE VERSION OF EMMA EVER MADE!!!!!!!!!!!! I love the casting... perfect Emma, perfect Mr. Woodhouse, perfect Mr. and Mrs. Elton, perfect Mr. and Mrs. Weston, perfect Frank Churchill, perfect Jane Fairfax, 100% PERFECT MR. KNIGHTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-D And perfect or nearly perfect everyone else. :-) The music is absolutely delicious and the ball scene has got to be the best Jane Austen ball scene ever to be filmed. Wow.
Most of the costumes are very lovely, and, again, most are modest. The sets are beautiful too. I love the whole thing! I do think the beginning is a little too slow, and the ending is a little too fast, Harriet's a little too dense, Miss Bates not quite silly and talkative enough, and I wish they had left in the "Bro
ther and sister? No indeed!" line, but besides that, I love it! :-D Now this is one I do faint in delight over. ;-)

I do highly encourage you to get a copy of this adaption of Emma, or pull it up and watch it on YouTube, if you haven't seen it already. Who knows, you might not like it-- I've known a few who don't, but I know more who do (and believe it or not, I even know a GUY who has it on his iPod and watching it now and then! So your brothers might not pretend to be all grossed out when you pop it in, who knows! :-D) In any case, I highly encourage you to give this adaption a try. 10 to 1, you'll buy it the instant the end credits pull up. Serious. :-)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Organizing... Again :-)

"My Aunt Holbrook's sewing table!!"
Actually, it's my grandma's sewing table. :-)  My mom gave it to me to use today.
Look!  What a great many little compartments! :-D
The way I had organized my sewing stuff the other week was better than it had been previously, but I was still dealing with threads getting tangled up in ribbon, needles and pins hiding beneath pattern pieces, etc. :-S  So I decided! :-D

And here's what came of it:
A place for everything...
...and everything... its place! :-D
And now my sewing box is a place to store half-finished projects. :-)
I love the feeling of being organized. :-)  Especially as that's not what I usually am. :-)

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Hi all! This is Margaret! Eleanor told me that since we changed the name of this blog to "The Dashwood Sisters" so we can have a wider variety to post about, she said I could post some of my photography on here! So I have---this is my favorite picture lately! :) I took it in Florida last month.
And here it is photo-shopped (sp?) on Picnik. :) I'm still experimenting with Picnik to see what all it has, so this isn't that good, but tell me what you think. Which do you like better? The original or the photo-shopped? :)


P.S. Don't forget to look at Eleanor's most recent post: "North & South (2004) - A Review". :)

Movie Reviews

For a while, I have been considering writing and posting reviews of different costume dramas, from a Christian perspective, here on The Dashwood Sisters Blog. I've had several people ask me about the different movies I mention, and I thought it might be nice to have a collection of movie reviews on here for quick reference. :-) I would like to start doing this soon (though there is no guarantee how often I'll post them...) Is there any movie in particular you would like me to review?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I think....

...I might combine this dress...

....and this dress.

I know that doesn't make sense because they are from two totally different eras.  But what I mean is I might do it basically like Molly's dress but use the front closure option (like Bella's) instead of the back, because I'm not sure that I like the V-neckline without it buttoning down the front; it just looks a little bit blank.  What do you think?  Should I go ahead and do that?  And what material should I make it in?

Warning: This idea is liable to change and make way for another project, according to my mood when I am in the actual act of shopping for fabric.   But this is how it stands now. :-)

Now I'm off to work on another dress for Anna! :-D

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Dress for Anna

 It was a delight to sew this dress for Anna and the doll dress for her doll Jessica.  I used McCalls 2590 for Anna's dress and Simplicity 4654 for Jessica's.  They are very similar except that the McCall's pattern has an A-Line skirt and the sleeves are gathered, while the Simplicity pattern has a gathered skirt and the sleeves fit without gathering.  :-P  

 I added the ribbon because I thought it just "tied it together" better than leaving it plain. :-)  It ties in the back and looks so cute!
I am making another with the same patterns, but I am going to alter the skirt on Anna's so that it is gathered like the doll dress.
Just for fun, here are Anna and me (and Jessica the doll ;-) ).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I Really Really Feel Like....

....making another historical dress!! And what's so sad is that I have to wait until I make my 1800's corset, and I have to wait to make my 1800's corset until's Laughing Moon Silverado Corset Kit is back in stock!! *snaps fingers* (I knew I shouldn't have put off buying it until after our trip... :-/ )

*sighs* The weather is sooooo beautiful and it just feels like I should be working with five yards of beautifully, springy/summery fabric for an 1800's dress. Here are some of my options:

Love it!!!! I SEW want to make it!!! :-D :-D :-D

Yellow!!! I love yellow!! I love this dress too!
And more yellow (with blue)...(Oh! And there's Mr. Knightly! :-D Better and better... :-D )
That's not another yellow dress I spot, is it? :-D
One of Ada Clare's dresses would be lovely too!
Okay, so this one isn't yellow, and wouldn't take five yards of fabric, and isn't 1800's, but it is beautiful!
I also really want to make some 30's and 40's outfits after watching the "Molly" and "Kit" American Girl movies!!

What do you really really want to sew?