Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Happiness!

Happy Halloween.  What a fun holiday.  I had a cousin whose mom is from the UK.  When she came to this country and realized you could go door to door and get candy for free.  She went crazy!  We still laugh about her enthusiasm.  She even shipped candy back to her sisters who were younger!  Funny, having grown up here, I don't think of Halloween as a US holiday, but it is.

Now, being much older, I miss the days of making costumes for my kids!  Every August (yeah I start early) -- I'd ask them what they wanted to be and by Halloween, viola a costume would appear.  Most costumes were without patterns etc.  My youngest had the best "ideas" for costumes -- I would then execute them.  -- some of my favorites were a crayon, rainbow fish (from the book), oh and yes an ice cube -- that was tricky.  It was pvc pipe made into a cube shape covered in clear vinyl.  (her body was through the center of it).  Good times, good times.

Here's my daughter's costume this year (it is actually for homecoming) -- They were Magic Kingdom Seniors.  So I made her, well, the kingdom of course!  It's a massive costume, the roof is over 6' when on her, the spire is several feet over that.  It is probably about 10' soup to nuts spire and flag atop it.  There are turrets on the side that can't be seen in this photo.  It's felt and foam, foam core board, poster board, bamboo (skewers painted gold used for the flags), mesh for her to look out/breath and velcro to fasten it around her body.  It's wearable -- you can walk (though cumbersome) in it.  The kicker is I made it in one night (a looooooong night) -- started at 7:00 ended at 2:00 (yeah, that's am).  She did get first prize!  (they don't win anything) -- it's the thrill of it.

I didn't start on Halloween early enough this year.  I wanted to make Marie Antoinette -- killing two birds with one stone.  (I would get the Marie outfit I've always wanted for a doll and it could be used as a halloween costume) -- by next year I hope to have a halloween diorama.  I've started collecting little pumpkins and decorations.

Here's Agnes, on her way to a halloween ball.   She stopped for a photo.

Happy Halloweenie!

How I made it:  I started with the skirt  I cut 2 pieces of fabric.  Stitched the sides for the seams.  I also made a slit down the center back about 1/3 of the way down.  I folded over the sides to hem the raw edges.  I ran a stitch at the top of the skirt and gathered it.  For the bodice, I folded over the top and hemmed it.  I marked out where darts should be and darted the front.  I also darted the back for a better fit.  I folded over the bottom hem (as the velveteen made it too bulky to just sew a seam).  I made a tulle underskirt of black using a simple running stitch with a piece elastic through the waist area.  I basted the bodice to the skirt. I attached with a top stitch.  Snaps close the back (could have used velcro) I'm lazy; for me the snaps are easier.  

The mask (I was going to make out of velvet) but it turned out to be too bulky.  Next time I'm going to get flocked paper in black.  I found the right color cardboard so I cut out the mask.  Painted a tooth pick in gold, added glitter to the mask, attached the mask to the tooth pick.  The mask and gown are more purple in color.  The lighting is weird today as we've had nothing but rain.  

There's a peek of the Cinderella carriage.  (More about that in a couple days!)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The glacial progress (of the pumpkin coach)

So,  I've been making progress albeit ever so slowly.

I attached the lining to the interior of the coach, I still have trim, etc to do.

After removing the clothes pins, I trimmed back the excess fabric.

You can still see the back seems.  I will cover those with trim.

This is a straight shot in.  You can see the brocade is smoothed out.

Without the flash, it has a rosy hue to it.  It isn't.  It is a pale grey/white with silver brocade.

I took a shot looking up (the interior roof)  Again, there is trim that will go down the walls and the center will have a button to give a cabochon like quality.

The blue mark is from the disappearing marker I used to mark out the pieces.  I was very thankful that the pieces fit.  I had

So far, I'm pleased with the results.  I had to abandon my thought of "quilting" the interior.  The thumb tacks were stressing/ruining the fabric.  It takes a long time to attach the interior as each stage has to dry before proceeding to the next.

I just lined the door (interior) with some fabric.  I still need to make the bench/seating and figure out the flooring.
More stuff to do and not necessarily in this order:

attach door
attach the trim
put on the ornamentation on the interior
Decorate the exterior
make the wheel base and attach it
make curtains; install them
as I mentioned, seating and flooring

So, there will be more posts! (seems like lots more).

Friday, October 28, 2011

It's my birthday! I want a dolly!

So, my mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday (and no I didn't blurt out: another porcelain bjd!) -- Even if that is what I was thinking.  I want a friend for Agnes.  They can wear matching outfits, etc.

I was thinking about this description.  I know people like to call these dolls porcelain, but in reality they are bisque.  (fired to a mat finish and not glasslike as porcelain would be).  I know in the antique world people who refer to those dolls as porcelain (are thought to know little about them and are usually quickly corrected).  So, who's going to be the first to refer to their doll as bisque bjds?

Out of curiosity, I googled bisque bjds.  I saw where Soom (the doll company) is now making Bisque bjds.  Once a resin only company.  I wonder how they will catch on.  They have a neo-angel section with a new Bisque doll.  She's selling for $700.  Sold out.  But they do explain the process.

I think it is interesting that Soom lists the strengths of bisque.  Basically the same are the short falls of resin.  Resin -- perhaps a fancy name for plastic.   I still equate the change to that of the antique bisque doll that lasted a hundred plus years with the composition doll that replaced it and can rarely be found in tact today.  I'm not meaning to upset anyone here.  I have several resin dolls.  I've got bobobie Lan, Narae, a goodreau, and even a JamieShow doll -- all resin.  Narae is my prized resin doll, but it was such a nightmare to order her that she was my last.  I've heard many worse horror stories about ordering Narae so I'll consider myself lucky.

So, will doll collectors abandon resin for bisque?  I doubt that.  But most bjd collectors are not looking out 100 years (and really should they?).

It really must be my birthday.  I can't believe all the porcelain bjds there are out there! Now with Soom in the game, I'm wondering if this will start a trend with other bjd companies.  I remember seeing a prototype for a bisque bjd some years back from a resin bjd company.   It was a major company, perhaps it was Soom.   I don't know if that doll was ever made.  It was a costumed doll.

I was surprised to read about the company Volks.  I did not know the dollfie was born after the founder's wife saw a bisque bjd in 1998!!  I had no idea bisque bjds had been around for that long.

So, I'm actively looking for a friend for Agnes.  My trouble being I really want to stick with the 1/6 scale.  Most bisque bjds are 1/5 scale or something else.  Over 12 inches tall!  I did find a 10.5" doll, but it is no longer being made :(  Terri, if you read this, got any new scupts??  ;)

I want a dolly.  Not just any dolly.  I want a special dolly.  (Agnes is already a special doll.)

Here she is in MioMio's outfit and the black beaded slippers.

Post script:  I saw another really cool thing the other day and that is 3D fabrication.  That is going to change the doll world (IMHO).

If you know of a 12" doll that is porcelain, ehh, bisque and is jointed, and is strung using springs, and has a removable wig, (see where this is going?)... then Agnes may find a friend.  (Is that like phone a friend?)  May all your days be happy -- especially if today is your birthday.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lace overlay cranberry skirt

I've been working on this (forever) -- actually, I did the antique lace overlay probably about a month ago. All that was left is to add the waist band, easy?  Yes and no.  Easy if you put your mind to it and actually do it.  Not so easy if you don't.  ;)

It is a cranberry dupioni with antique lace.

How I made it:  First, I measured a piece of silk.  I hemmed the silk.  Then, I attached the top to the lace.  I gathered both together.  I stitched a seam halfway up the back (leaving enough room for Agnes to get in.  To make the waistband, I cut the silk on the bias (think diagonal) I folded the silk in half.  Ironed that.  Then I folded under the hem in the front and in the back of the waistband.  I placed the waistband over the skirt portion.  Then I basted it to make sure it all fit.  I tucked in the ends of the waistband (no raw edges).  I machine stitched the waistband.  I added a single snap to close the back.

Viola.  Now, I need to make a top.  I think a cranberry top with offwhite lace trim.  I have something in mind, but I also have a ton of projects I should be working on.  

Thanks for following along.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Marie wig... progress??

So I remembered this wig that I have been "working on".  I think I have several more steps, but this is where I am.  Needs something.......  Can't put my finger on it.

I used thin drinking straws to curl the goat hair.  I made 2 sets of three curls.  I wet the hair and wound it curler style onto the straw (Cut into 2" pieces) once it was dry, I eased it off the straw and glued it in place.  I also made some tendril style curls to place at the temples.

I've made this style wig before for my Narae doll.  If I remember correctly, a user named Ira_scargeear on DOA first posted how she was going to make a Marie wig.  I was very intrigued.  That was the first I had ever seen a Marie wig.  Now, years later, here is Agnes' in the works. ;)  I think you can even buy Marie wigs now.  Just saw where Dollheart has them!   (Probably not in Agnes' size).

There are so many amazing things on DOA.  It was there, I remember seeing a doll with a ship on her head!  It was like a clipper ship.  It was about 2006 when it appeared on in human size.  Later, I remember seeing the same thing again for an ED!  So, perhaps there are just so many ideas or everyone gets inspired by stuff they see.  If it's out there, it will usually show up on DOA, then on a variety of boards or forums.

So, here's this recycled idea on my blog :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I saw this fabric....

That is how it always starts.  I did see a fabric that for whatever reason made me want to make a very simple gown for Agnes.  So, although I have tons of projects backlogged, I took the time to make a simple ad hoc gown.  Something to wear with those beaded slippers!

I need to make an updo wig for Agnes.....  which reminded me, I still have that Marie Antoinette wig to work on....

Monday, October 24, 2011

One down, tons to go. Black beaded slippers

Finally, completed the slippers!  Once the tops were beaded, it was just a matter of putting them together.

How I did it:

Trace Agnes' foot.  Make 4 things from that trace.  Inner sole, lining, outer sole, upper.  Once I traced and cut out the upper.  I proceeded to bead it.  (Really painful).  Once I finished that, the rest is pretty routine.  I glued the lining to the innersole.  Attached the beaded upper to the inner sole.  Once that is glued on, I glued on the outer sole (plain leather).  If you wanted, you could add a heel at this point.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

more pumpkin coach

So, I marked the pattern on the back of my brocade fabric.  Silly me I used disappearing ink.  Problem with this is humidity erases it.  I went outside to take a photo and it was really humid.

This is the reverse of the fabric.  Heavily metallic.

By the time I set up, the lines were beginning to fade.  Noooooooooo.  There are supposed to be purple lines!  I rushed inside and cut the fabric.  I wish I had taken a photo, but I was so excited that I rushed up to sew the pieces together.

Once I assembled the pieces, the next step was to insert the lining into the Pumpkin.  I'm going to use some type of trim to finish the interior doorway.  So far so good.

So I stuffed the stitched lining into the hole (doorway).  This is what I had.

Looking straight in without a flash (As it bounces and washes the fabric due to the metallic)

I plan on attaching the fabric using silver thumb tacks in a quilted pattern.

If I step back, so you can see the pumpkin in its entirety, you can get a feel for the stage I've reached.

And miles to go before I sleep.  (Robert Frost reference... This project is going to be loooonnngggg)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Store bought vs. making it

I'm the first to admit that I'm no seamstress.  Especially in 1/6 scale.  From the beginning, I have always said Agnes' wardrobe would be a combination of store bought and "mommy made" fashions.  As I think more about this, I think any of the items you would need/get in your every day wardrobe should be store bought (if possible).  Specialty items such as party dresses and one of a kind styles should be made.

So, with this in mind, I have been desperately seeking clothes that "fit" Agnes off the shelf.  Her thin torso makes this a little challenging.  Also,  she has lovely delicate fingers.  I won't force them into any outfit so I have learned to adapt by opening sleeves to accommodate her hands.

So here's a jacket I got for Agnes. (Oh and a pair of cargo pants).  The cargo pants are too short, the sleeve of the jacket are a bit short -- this reminds me of shopping with my oldest daughter ;)

The boots are from Mimiwoo

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's Shoe Time!

 Bored, I decided to take a look at DOA at some of their tutorials.  Lots of very talented people there.  I came across a post by Switchblade.  It's title is Tutorial: Really Simple ballet flats. Well, its really to make flats (I'm not sure why they are referred to as ballet).   I drafted a pattern using paper towel.

Then I changed my mind.  I thought maybe I didn't want such a rounded toe.  Decisions....Decisions....

Now, I have to pick out some leather.  So I'm off to my stash.

Hmmmm.  I've got blue, red, black.... same old same old.  Ahhh..... yes.  metallics.  I love these metallic leathers.  I bought them years ago when I wanted to make some French fashion doll shoes.  Never made the shoes, but I kept the leather.  Finally a use.

Here's a sampling of some leathers.

I'll post my progress once they are completed (with the how to)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Amazing outfit

I got this outfit last week from MioMio on the doll boards.  Wow.  The workmanship and quality is amazing.  Very happy with this outfit.  I chose the Poppy version.  Oh Agnes looks sophisticated -- she needs an updo wig! (Put that on the list).  I was hoping I'd have the beaded slippers ready at least (didn't happen).

This outfit is two pieces.  The top is a blush silk covered in black net reversible to plain black.  The skirt is a blush silk with a rose covered tulle.  Really isn't done justice in my mediocre photos.  Also, Agnes' stand tends to push tops up and forward -- but as she is the porcelain beauty that she is -- she will not go standless ;)

The pretty cameo came with the outfit and is lovely.

Here's another shot

And finally, I thought I'd change it up with a change (of hair color)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

You've got mail -- and stuff

I'm like a kid when it comes to getting packages in the mail.

I got the "Chanel" bag I ordered and the LV tote too!

Here they are:

I so wanted a logo Chanel bag and I just couldn't wait.  I got this one from Ebay as was the LV tote.  Would I order again?  Probably not.  Although both bags are cute, the quality just isn't there.

The most fun part of this purchase was my husbands reaction.  I was out when the package arrived.  He had to sign for it.
Him:"Did you get the package I left for you on your desk"?
Me: "Oh, yeah, thanks".
Him: "What was it?"
Me: "Oh just something for my doll"
Him: "Oh more dolly stuff?"
Later, in the evening.  "Oh, what did you get from Chanel?".
Me: "nothing"
Him: "well there's a box here"
Me: "Oh that.  It's my doll stuff".

What did he think, I got a package with something from Chanel and I was hiding it.  ;)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Yet more beading.... the crown!

Jumping around with these beading projects have made this challenging to say the least.  I've got these projects going:

The purple silk gown
black beaded slippers
pink crown

Hand setting each bead -- painstaking... but rewarding.  I wish I were quicker

I wish I could focus a camera better.  So many wishes!  ;)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

What's this you ask?

Well, it's the innards (of the pumpkin coach) -- actually it is a felt prototype for the lining of the carriage.  This was harder than I thought.  I took the measurements of the outside of the pumpkin, but this did not equate to the inside measurement.  I needed to piece together and stitch the felt just to insure it was the correct dimension.  I have to say, until I have the brocade stitched, I won't know if it is correct, I'm hoping I'm close enough (for government work).

I'm plodding along.  Although I don't notice the progress, it's happening.... although glacially.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The black beaded slipper!

So, this project has been on (well for a long time).  Thus far my progress has been to bead the upper.  (Not too much progress -- but progress none the less!)

You can see the tabs on the sides.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ok, I'm obsessed! Doll things excite me.

I saw the coolest thing on one of the doll boards.  It was a black umbrella (fully functional).  I messaged to the poster of the photo and inquired where she had gotten it.  Ebay.  I looked but couldn't find one.  Trust me, I've found a lot of things there, but no umbrella.  Then the other night, I was just surfing out of boredom, I finally found the umbrella.  (it took me about 2 weeks).  Once it gets here, I'll snap a quick pic.  It is for a scaled figure (as was hers).  Can't wait. (if you want one, there are more.  search 1/6 umbrella)!

In the meantime, here is Agnes' guitar:

And her Tennis racket:

I just love scaled items.
Beware, I have more "technology" on the way.  If you have a laptop and an ipad, what more do you need???  You'll see as soon as it gets here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What's taking so long? (Beading)

I started this weeks ago.  I really don't like doing it though.  If I watched TV, maybe I'd do it then.
There are 3 types of glass beads in a random pattern (first mistake)  Random takes longer than structured for me.

This is the tail of the lined silk skirt that will eventually become a gown.

it looks ok.  But I'm not thrilled with it.  I'm trying to decide if I want to remove it and start over!

I'm going to look it over, maybe it will grow on me.

I bought new beading needles yesterday!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Catching up! Carriage photos.

I will dedicate the next several posts to working on/finishing my existing project.

Well, this is a bear of a project.  But I want to do it right, so I'm going to take my time.

I started with the pumpkin.  I showed this several posts ago.  Today, I felt ambitious, so I started the painting.

Here are a few shots of the white pumpkin becoming a silver carriage (It's easier when a fairy god mother waves a magic wand!)

What you are looking at.  It's the pumpkin with a door/window cut out sitting on a cardboard box stuffed with plastic (so the paint doesn't get inside) after a first quick coat (to prevent drip marks) -- it is spray paint (but not regular spray paint -- as that "eats" foam) Our pumpkin is foam (although hard foam -- foam nonetheless).

So far so good.  Thin coat, no drips.

From this view, you get a better look at the door (bottom of the photo)  It looks like a set of teeth to me.  :)  That will be attached using a small hinge.

Here's the totality of it from above.  Reminds me of the tin man.  If I were going to make a tin man halloween pumpkin, this is how I would have started.

I was thinking about this project yesterday.  I recalled a doll "carriage"-- antique with velvet interior.  Really splendid.  I'd like mine to be of the best quality I can muster.

Working inside this pumpkin will be challenging.  I was thinking I should have cut the thing in half  horizontally and reconnected when I'm done (however that would be "cheating" and moreover, I can't imagine reattaching it and not seeing seams and the like).

So, I'm "working in the hole".  First.  I want to attach batting to the walls (glue will work for this) it is just attaching the correct sizes so there are no lumps.  I decided strips would work best.  As it will be covered with fabric, if I just laid a large piece of batting, I would have gotten lumps and bumps where the batting wasn't laying flat against the curvature of the pumpkin.

The pumpkin is large.  Large enough for Agnes to sit comfortably inside.  Not too large though.

Hopefully, you can get an idea of the size hole that I am working with.  It is the combination door/window.

I placed the first bit of batting and secured it.  This was actually harder than I thought it would be.  Maybe it is my big hands or that small opening.  (The opening isn't that small).  On a scale of 1 to 10.  I give it a 7.

The interior with the pumpkin on its side.  The interior is a weird yellow color.  The exterior of the pumpkin was white.  I think this yellow is the natural color of the foam used to make the pumpkin.  In the next photo, I panned out a bit so you can see the opening.

The hinge is for the door.  I'm filling in the batting (a pain really).  Next step is to measure and stitch the lining -- this is a brocade fabric with metallic thread.  To attach it, I'm going to tack it creating a quilted pattern.  I then need to create the seating, attach to a base and add wheels, finish decorating.  Put the door on.  Add curtains.  Yikes lots of steps still to go.  I'm just muddle through one step at a time.  :)

Rome wasn't built in a day, neither will Cinderella's carriage :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Came across the photo that started it all!

Or, should I say the doll that started it.  Betty Modish.  Wenham Museum.  I feel like my wardrobe, (although I knew it would pale in comparison, just isn't doing justice to this massive undertaking.  I feel like I should start over.  Channeling Betty....

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Too much time surfing

The net that is.  I find I've been spending too much time looking at others.  (Other people's dolls, other people's doll stuff, etc.)  I need to get off the web and spend some time with Agnes developing her wardrobe -- then I want to do some dioramas.  I think I'm going to make one large diorama with walls/floors that I can change out for other scenes.  Seems complex (to me) -- but I'll figure it out.  I don't have the room to build an entire house (I have my doll house from when I was a kid, that was then passed down to my kids -- I definitely don't have room for two!)

First things first.  I want to make some kind of closet/wardrobe big enough to fit all of Agnes' stuff.  To be able to hang gowns, fold sweaters, stack shoes.  Definitely a dream of mine.

I have a great "doll find".  (And it's cheap).  I was at the container store.  They have the greatest lucite "shoe boxes"  I can't fix the high heeled ones in there, but the flats fit fine.  $2 for a dozen!  Can't beat it.
They come in a package.  The brand is BoxBox.  Crystal Clear (must be the color).

Those of you with Barbie, Fashion Royalty or Joe Thai -- would find these perfect.

See how easily I get side tracked.  I started off talking about spending more time, "sticking to my knitting" if you will, I ended up digressing into my latest "find" for Agnes.  No more shopping -- more finishing of projects!  I have a ton of unfinished and yet begun projects.  I have the materials, maybe lacking the creative juices or drive.  I guess without a deadline, I have a hard time completing things!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Happy Friday!! Evil Bay?? I think not.

I know that a lot of people refer to "that" site as Evil Bay.  I've bought and sold stuff on there from back in the old days.  My ID was so old that when I moved (because I also changed internet providers) -- they would not let me use my old ID -- because I had lost the password -- I was somewhat addicted to Ebay -- I'll admit it.  So when I moved to Florida.  I put it (and my password) out of my mind.  I was pretty upset when I contacted Ebay and they wouldn't allow me access although I thought my credit card hadn't changed -- but in their defense, that was really the Paypal portion of it.  I had about 200 transactions on my old ID all with positives, I was upset to start over.  But I did.

Where else can you make such a perfect market.  I've bought from and sold things to people all over the world literally.  I recently bought something from a guy in Florida who was selling the same item (cheaper) than a guy in Hong Kong.  How? When the item is from Hong Kong I'm not sure.

I buy mostly little items.  But I have bought large things.  I've even sold my car (to a guy who turned out to be local) for thousands more than the dealer or CarMax wanted to give me.  So, thank you Ebay!

So,  here's a sampling of the stuff I've gotten for Agnes for the Baysters!

Agnes "needed" a laptop.  I had seen some on the other boards and on DOA.  I was coveting them (I admit it).

Decisions, decisions.  Should I get an Ipad (so cool) or a Vaio laptop.  Both of course.  That's the thing about Ebay.  This may be my last chance to get item X.  Must have it!  Even my daughter thought it was cool.

It has the Apple logo on the back.  It says Ipad (I'm not sure if the real one does).

Then, the screen is just as impressive.

The Sony Vaio was super cheap.  I think it was like $3+ and came with a messenger bag case!  Couldn't beat that!

Rock on Ebay, I love you!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Stand by

I had an urge to finish one of my many unfinished projects.  This is the wooden wig stand.  I'm no artist (as is evident) -- I'm a crafter.  I just muddle along.  I'm happy with it though.  And I can cross it off as completed.

I painted the base with some gold metallic paint I had lying around.  I used the blue I owned, I bought the black and the red.  I followed my pencilled drawings with paint.  I sealed the heads with shiny clear coat.  Each head is different.  I liked that. Now they are ready to be covered (by wigs!)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Michael Kors inspired shoes

I wanted to make a pair of shoes out of patent red leather (found a scrap in my stash).  Then I thought, I have the platforms from the Volks shoes in red, good, good.  Then I wanted to make them like the espadrilles I made in Denim for Agnes.  I was in my daughter's closet (She asked me to mail her some stuff to NY as it's getting cold there).  Then I spied them, I'm sure I must have had them in my subconscious when I made the Denim espadrilles!  There were a pair of old red espadrilles.

Here are the denim espadrilles

Now that I see the red ones, I'm going to change the direction of the rope on the red pair.  I can't believe I have red patent leather.  (I'm pretty sure this was one of my old New York trip finds).

I removed the uppers from the soles yesterday by boiling.  Now I have red soles.

I then put on the leather:

I closed the toe and then I added the rope detail

sorry for the out of focus shot

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I'm Excited!

After last week, I decided to give the "fashionista" Barbie line a try.  It is an inexpensive playline.  The good thing is somehow there is enough room (in the rear) for Agnes.  I would love to find a line: Fashion Royalty, Poppy Parker, etc that might have clothes that could fit Agnes.  I would like to have her everyday clothes "off the shelf" and then I could sprinkle in a dress or two.  Some of the silkstone line has wonderfully worked fashions.  I could only wish that a line would fit my beloved Agnes.  But, now I have hope.  I'm going to start looking!

Here's Agnes in a $3+ number:

It is a little snug in the hips, but it fits.  I think the tailoring is better than I could do.