Selina is a very special knitting pattern for American Girl dolls.
Not because it is my first custom design for a doll, but because it was made for a very special girl who is a daughter of one of my test knitters on Ravelry.
When her mom was testing my blue Celesta dress, the girl has commented that she would prefer to have a sleeveless dress for her doll. So her mom, after testing the dress and the sleeves, never attached those to the finished sample.
I just had to intervene. I have promised to design a sleeveless dress as requested. It did take me several trials and errors. Though the general idea and the look of the dress were clear to me, to decide on the lace pattern for the skirt and the way the bodice should be finished were kind of a struggle.
The skirt has turned out to be a lesser problem as the only "must haves" for stitch pattern were the ability to work it from the bottom up I I didn't and decrease stitches within the pattern itself. With my library of the Japanese knitting books that was not a problem.
I had struggled a bit with the look of the bodice and the finishing of the armholes. With the skirt being the main attraction, the bodice had to be rather clean with no excessive embellishments. Yet being too clean was not working either until that pretty stitch ( one of Ravelry knitters has named it a"rosebud stitch") was pulled up to continue all the way up to the neckline. Frankly, I did try to use that stitch also as a neckline trim but it didn't work out, it clearly was too much for a bodice of a doll dress.
Finishing of the armholes was another sticking point, though a smaller one. Personally I don't like the look of the cloth bodies and especially how they are connected to the hard limbs and the head. I always try to hide those areal of the American Girl dolls' bodies. The garter stitch trim around the armholes and the reverse stockinette trim along the neckline did the job quite well.
And finally, the color of the dress. The first sample was done in teal color. Not bad, but a bit too somber for a young girl. The coral color turned out to be a sure bet, pretty, gentle, girly and so very sweet!
For those who decide to knit this pattern and are thinking about what yarn to choose, for me the Patons Lace (without sequins) has worked perfectly. It is a fingering weight yarn, small amount of wool gives is some memory while mohair content makes lace pattern less see through without taking anything from the its beauty. I am beginning to like that yarn, it's a pity it comes in so few colors.
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