BTS: American Girl On The Runway Round Four (First Place and Contest Winner Overall)

Behind the Scenes of Round Four: Re-creations Theme

For Round Four, we have at least four ideas!

"Will you get off of Pinterest already and just make something?"

This was the hardest round by far - while I am no stranger to creating dresses from paintings and other sources of inspiration, I always make my own changes. I can't even follow a recipe without changing something!

I kept looking for an idea that was just right - not too drab (oh how I love drab colored fairytale illustrations), not too amorphous (yes it has a great background but the dress is a sack), and not too involved (trees, boats, a river AND a castle in the background).

I had two days left, and finally at midnight, I found a painting that would work.

I have no idea who painted it. If you know, please tell me! The image is from Pinterest.

Back to the 1780s (or a Victorian era impressionist, at any rate)

"It's lovely, but my arms don't bend!"

Yes, Lisa, you have the standard issue American Girl arms ... and they don't have hinges. We will have to work on that. After doing a leg swap for the Nature shoot in Round Three (you can read about it here), I had an extra set of Ott doll forearms, and they worked out perfectly. I didn't get any photos of the arm build, however, because time was extremely tight, but they were very similar to the leg swap build in Round Three. Lisa's dress wasn't the only dress on my sewing table the day before the photos were due!

It all started with a dog.

"But there isn't a dog in the photo ... "

Precious, the trusty sewing helper dog, is supervising the drying of the vines for the background.

Nan very kindly offered to let me use an artificial vine that she had in a basket from roughly 30 years back, but it was a little dusty. Actually a LOT dusty. Giving it a bath in the tub revealed some long petrified stink bugs as well! Hung over the heat vent, however, it should be dry by photo time.

Silk and satin and ribbon and lace

"I like this dress a LOT!!"

The under dress is made of ivory silk shantung, which isn't exactly period - it would have been made of a smooth silk, but this was all I had and there was no time to shop. The over dress, a polonaise, is a heavy ballet pink satin lined in China silk. It is actually a little too heavy to make a doll dress from, but it is such beautiful fabric and exactly Lisa's color that I was determined to make it work. The lining was the lightest I have, so it just barely worked. The cuffs and fichu are made from a fragile silk chiffon edged with lace. While not fun to sew, it did look perfect - light and gossamer thin, with the right drape for a miniature dress.

She still needed a hat, however - why didn't the painter just give her a basket?

Adventures in miniature millinery

"Isn't that stiffener supposed to be inside the hat?"

Well ... yes ... too late now! Lisa, you'll just have to make do ... and not sit on your hat.

The mossy wall

"Do you know that there is a bald patch?"

I used hot glue and dollar store moss to make the background wall for the photo, and unfortunately ran out of moss. However, the vines covered the bare patch and rounded out the background nicely. With some tufts of grass and some leftover nature elements from the Japanese garden, we were all set.

Berries in the hat

"Those are supposed to be flowers!"

I was unable to find any flowers to match the ones in the painting, so I substituted berries - it was the closes thing I could come up with, since the yellow bird from the Japanese garden shoot was brilliant yellow. And likely to make more of a mess in the hat than the berries.

And in the fourth and final round, we have @dolliedreaming in one corner ... and only one other contestant left!

"Where did @glitterpieag go?"

Glitterpieag had to drop out of the final round, sadly - and truthfully, I wasn't too sure I would make it to the finish line myself. Happily, though, I squeaked in before the final bell, and the rest is history!

Here is a lovely quote from the final contest announcement:

What's next?

Glitterpieag is hosting a photo challenge on Youtube, and has asked me to be a guest judge - so if you are up for another round of photo challenge excitement, click here to watch the opening video where we announce the 10 contestants in the Perfect 10 Instagram Photo Challenge!

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