Monday, March 19, 2012

A knit dress for Little Pullip

I knit this wee dress while watching my beloved Seattle Sounders (eternal blue, forever green!) win their first match of the 2012 MLS season.

This ad made me laugh, I had to save and share it
The pretty blue and green yarn is left over from a pair of socks I knit a few years ago:

The Kelly (or Shelly, as she's known in Europe) dress pattern is #645 from "Sticka till Barbie," a Swedish treasure trove featuring hundreds of free Barbie knitting patterns. She even has a pattern for a Swedish football (as in soccer) kit, too cute. There are a good number of patterns for Ken, Tommy, and Shelly/Kelly too. Some of the Barbie patterns have been converted to Bratz size, which may fit Monster High dolls. I'll experiment with that later.

This Kelly dress was knit following the instructions pretty much as written. OK, I added 2 or 3 rounds to the skirt. Also, I knit it in the round instead of flat. Just remember to change the purl rows to knit rows if you do the same.

The dress starts out with 50 stitches and decreases to 25 for the waist, which results in a dress that fits Kelly perfectly. I pinched the dress around Pullip's middle and counted stitches. I estimate the dress will look fitted on Little Pullip if it has 15 stitches around the waist instead of 25. I think this dress looks cute on Pullip even if it's too big, but I'll make a new dress with her measurements in mind. The armholes could also be smaller, next time I'll bind off 2 sts instead of 3 (1 might be too small). When I cast on stitches for the straps I'll try 2 fewer stitches on each side. Also, I'll knit the skirt in the round until the waist and then switch to working it flat, this will make it easier to put on the dolls. Doing so will require a fastener be added to the back: snap, Velcro, or hook and eye.

(I'll keep notes on all changes when I knit the second dress and will publish the results with photos.)

Here is the same Kelly dress on LPS Blythe, she's a bit smaller than Little Pullip so the dress swims on her.

"Oh, it's really too big!"  "That just means there's room to grow."


In an effort to improve my digital photographs I made a simple light box using a U-Haul box and tissue paper, following the instructions here:

This lacks the infinity background because Blythe has issues*
 After I taped the tissue paper to the box it took about a minute to put my thumb through one of the tissue panels. Great. The thought of cutting and attaching a new panel every time the tissue tore wasn't appealing so I completely covered all three tissue panels with long strips of clear packing tape on one side. I would've used clear contact paper if I had a roll but I didn't want to buy anything new to construct the box.

This box hasn't solved all my photography problems, I'm still learning and want to improve more, but it helps. I'll be moving the box around the house to see which overhead lights look the best. I like the results I got from using the range hood lights today (shown in the photo above), but the laundry room lights might be even better.

Eventually I might make another box for larger displays. This box is plenty tall enough but I'm limited by the footprint. I have to make sure the inside of the box doesn't appear at the edges of the photos, which is a concern if I'm photographing 3-4 dolls.


Check this out, here's Blythe standing inside the box in front of a side panel:

I'm thinking I should put a single layer of blue tissue paper on the outside of the box (covering the white tissue already there, or maybe I'll remove the white tissue -- I can try it both ways). That should make a pretty blue glowing background instead of this plain white. The doll will need something to stand on so the cardboard box isn't visible. OK, colorful tissue paper is on my shopping list, I'll see if I can test it out this week.

*To see what I mean about infinity background compare the two pictures of Pullip and Blythe:

My Pullip's vinyl really is that white.

If your paper is long enough you can curve it so there's no line designating where back and bottom meet. Both dolls are balanced against the back of the box so I didn't have to use a stand. Pullip's hair is so poofy it clears the curve. Blythe's hair isn't poofy so I had to either adjust the paper (remove the curve) or use a stand. Does that make sense? It's almost 3 am, I have no idea.

Here's a photo showing the white background curving at the bottom edge of the box:

Pullip says, "Thanks for stopping by!"


  1. Hello from Spain: sewing is very relaxing while watching television. The dress It is beautiful. It helps a lot to your doll. Keep in touch

  2. The dress is so cute. Thanks for posting the information on the light box.

  3. Thank you for the kind comments! :) I knit some Barbie things a very long time ago but I don't enjoy writing patterns, so it was exciting to find a site that has so many patterns already written at a fine gauge.