|UFDC's Miss Unity|
Then the Spring 2014 issue of UFDC's Doll News had an article by AnneLise Wilhelmsen, with patterns for four outfits for Miss Unity. There was also a paper doll by Gael Shults, featuring some of the same outfits. Immediately I went to the UFDC website to buy Miss Unity. The patterns were the tipping point. They were in the style of 1830's clothing, and as the story of Hitty in the original book began in the 1820's, Miss Unity would fit right in with my little Hitty family. I had been looking at Miss Unity on the UFDC website for several years, and I was lucky to have bought her when I did, for she sold out shortly thereafter.
I made four outfits for my Miss Unity. Three of the dresses are made with print fabrics. In the early 1800's, the fabric printing process was greatly improved, and prints became very popular. I went to the Reproduction Fabrics website to find 1830's appropriate prints that I liked and downloaded swatches. I then miniaturized the prints in Photoshop, to make them a realistic size for Miss Unity. I then had to copy-and-paste the swatch enough times to print out on a 12x15" sheet of fabric, which was more than enough for each of the dresses.
The second dress has a fabric pattern borrowed from Reproduction Fabrics. I was trying to get a darker background color, but when printing on very light, thin fabrics with a computer printer, there's a limit to how much ink will be absorbed and thus a limit to how dark the fabric will become. A thicker fabric will absorb more ink and thus can appear considerably darker. I added a belt to this dress, copying the paper doll green print dress.
The third dress has the most complicated design. The pattern instructions had the skirt pieced, so that the stripes ran vertically in the upper portion of the skirt, and then alternating diagonals around the bottom portion. As I was printing the fabric for this dress from a computer, I just did all the piecing in Picasa. The sleeves also have a bit of an elaborate design. The sleeve heads have 4 rows of barrel pleating. A narrow piece of the stripe is then sewn over the bottom row of the barrel pleats as a trim.