Piccadilly Sweater & Skirt – Liberty Jane

DSCI0062

I had left over fabric from the Coco top I made my mom (it hasn’t been blogged about yet, I was waiting until I finished her dress and blog all the Coco items together).  Looking at the collection of doll clothes I have for my dad’s work, I decided I could use my extra fabric to make a top for the doll.  Alright, once the top was done, I thought about the photos.  I really didn’t want to use the skinny jeans.  The left over fabric from Simplicity 2246 (chambray shirt dress) and the Sew Powerful purse was still laying on the cutting mat.  I figured it would not hurt to make the skirt from the chambray to use with the top for photos.  Another bonus is that they are both separates that will coordinate with the rest of the stuff.

DSCI0063

Let’s start with the top.  This was easy to make.  I basted it together on my sewing machine then ran everything through the serger.  I will say that the pattern is very intuitive and I was able to put it together without the instructions.  If I was using the lace overlay, I am not sure if I would have been able to do this without looking at the instructions first.  I didn’t have a button that would work for this so I just used my Velcro instead.  My sweatshirt doesn’t look as loose as the pattern picture.  But realize that Kit is an older doll and she is chubbier.  The Velcro may also be causing a difference in fit.

DSCI0066

The skirt was made with chambray, so maybe a little lighter than the leather called for in the pattern.  The pattern calls it a skater style skirt which looks very cute on the doll.  I read the direction then got started on the skirt.  I decided I wanted to try to use the rolled hem foot for my sewing machine.  So I went ahead and did everything but the back seam.  I used my serger for a majority of the skirt.  I got to doing the rolled hem and had troubles trying to load the hem into the foot.  So I went with the serged and turned under hem instead.  I closed up the back seam and used Velcro instead of a hook for the closure.

DSCI0065

Autumn Chambray- Simplicity 2246

Looking a little more towards autumn, I thought a denim chambray dress would work out well.  Early fall I can pair it easily with ballet flats or heels.  Late fall it would look cute with colored leggings and boots.  All around it should be a dress that I get a lot of use out of even to work.

This should be the dress that almost didn’t happen.  It seems like it was destined to be plagued with difficulties.  I had planned this for the end of July for the pattern stash contest.  The knit dress I made in July took longer than I had planned for, so I didn’t start this dress until August.

DSCI0040

First night was tracing the pattern and ironing out the denim chambray.  There was a complication with the ironing; it was Lala.  Somehow, he felt that he had to sit in the middle of the fabric and dig it up.  Definitely not getting the wrinkles out.  I kept telling the bunny that he has to smooth out the wrinkle not put more of them in.  Lala was just not into getting wrinkles out no matter what I did.

I traced out a 14 in the bust and shoulders then graded out to a 16 at the waist and hips.  This time I resisted the urge to grade out further in the hips.  I looked at the finished measurement of the hem and saw 51 ½ inches there for the 16.  I figured the hip measurement couldn’t be too far from 50 inches.  The pattern diagram didn’t really show too much flare at the bottom.  I am happy with keeping a size 16 down to the hem and that was with trimming off about 2 inches and doing a 2 inch hem.

As always I strayed from the instructions order a little bit, so on the second night of working on my dress I did all the stay stitching, bust darts, and shoulder seams together.  The following night I set in the sleeves and pockets.  Since I was working with chambray, I decided it was best to flat set in the sleeves before closing up the side seams.  I wasn’t sure if the chambray would be as easy to set when the side seam were finished.  The button placket was very easy to put on the front.

Now it was time for the closure.  It was a tough decision between snap or buttons.  But I decided to use buttons.  First off, I didn’t want to type cast my dress as a western as snaps probably would have.  Most importantly, I thought the pounding in the snaps would upset Lala.  I didn’t need him running through the house thumping a warning of danger.  When a friend popped a party balloon by accident, it took two hours for the rabbit to stop thumping danger warnings and running around the house in a panic.

DSCI0039

So I brought buttons one weekend then decided I didn’t like them.  Another trip to the fabric store and I got buttons I liked.  Then I came down with pink eye.  So button holes were just too much detail work when I was sick. I like to do all my button holes in one sitting if possible.   I decided to make a maxi skirt instead.  Then after feeling better I decided to keep to a simpler project and made the Tilly & the Buttons’ Coco dress.  Finally after two weeks of delay, I come back to finish off this dress.  My little Pfaff Ambition made perfect button holes for this dress (all 12, never had to pick one out).  Machine sewing the buttons was a different story.  Two buttons broke and I didn’t have extra buttons.  The local fabric store didn’t have the ones I had purchased.  I wasn’t going to take the 8 buttons off and replace them with something different.  So I had to wait until Labor day weekend and try at a different fabric store.  I was able to get more buttons like the ones I had!  So this got finished after Labor day.

My second hard decision with this dress was the sleeve length.  Summers in Kansas can be way too hot and humid.  Heat index becomes the weather person’s catch phrase.  And it can be like this up until October.  So part of me felt that the wiser decision would be the short sleeves which means I may get to wear the shirt dress more.  But I really like the look of the ¾ length sleeve which means it will probably be limited to the autumn and spring times.

In future versions (if that happens), I may look at changing the arm scythe slightly.  It fits well, but certain movements make the sleeve feel restrictive.  I think this is because the denim chambray doesn’t have stretch.  The pattern may be perfect in a shirt style woven cotton with some stretch?

I did a quick google shopping search to see if there were any chambray dresses similar to what I made.  I did find a couple and the price varied from $99 to $300.  I did my search back in the beginning of August when I started my dress, so most likely the dresses have come down in price since then.   I was able to make my dress for $40 in materials.

Fun Floral Cuff- Beadwork April/ May 2011

DSCI0059

I wanted to try out a new bead technique.  So I choose the “Contemporary Corsage” pattern from Beadwork’s April/ May 2011 issue.  It is a cuff bracelet that uses bead embroidery, and peyote stitch (to secure the rivoli).  Beadwork magazine rated this project 2 out of 3 beads.  Accordingly, two beads means “Designs for an intermediate beader, a beginner ready to expand skills, or an advance beader looking for a project that won’t take weeks to complete” (pg. 95 on April 2011 issue).  This is pretty accurate.  I really didn’t have any problems with this pattern and I probably fall somewhere between intermediate and beginner.

DSCI0056

I just followed the material list in the instructions.  I didn’t even use half of the beads I picked up for this project.  The un-used beads from the material list include bead A, bead D, bead E, bead G and the 3mm bicones.  I think I picked up 10 grams of the cylinder size 11 beads.  Instead of using the white I had originally planned on for the petals, I switched it to the size 11 delica beads.   To be honest, as I was putting this together, I think the pattern is overdone.  There were just too many competing details.  I ended up leaving off the picot fringe around the center crystal just because it looked like it would be too much.  The bio for the designer did mention that she had designed jewelry for Steven Tyler, so maybe I should have expected it to be over the top?  I haven’t done anything else from this designer so I am not sure if that is just her design aesthetic.  Definitely read the instructions and decide what you want.

DSCI0058

The one part of the directions I don’t like is for the 3mm pearls on the flower.  The instructions say to randomly place the 3mm pearls throughout the flower.  But look that the picture, I don’t think those pearls were “randomly” placed.  Also, there is no count on how many pearls to randomly place.  Some of the pearls are needed to edge the cuff part.  So if anyone decides to make this, definitely consider doing the cuff part first so you have all the 3 mm pearls to randomly place over the flower without short-changing your cuff part. I still ended up with extra 3mm pearls after doing the cuff part of my bracelet.

The pattern does say to glue the flower to the cuff then stitch it down.  I found that I had a difficult time trying to get the needle to pick up just a little of the suede on the cuff.  So I tacked down one end along the edge of the cuff instead.

I plan on using the flower part again to make a brooch.  I think the flower would look lovely on a coat or jacket.

 

Sew Powerful Purse Project

This is actually the second item for selfless September.  I haven’t blogged about the baby onesies to doggie t-shirts yet since Toby has been sick.  I am sure he wouldn’t want the pictures of his baldly patches and cone on the internet.

DSCI0051

Sew Powerful is a charity from the Liberty Jane Clothing.  The main goal of the organization is to teach women sewing and tailoring skills so that they are able to support their family.  The women enrolled in the program right now have been making school uniforms.  But Sew Powerful is reaching out to the world-wide sewing community also with the Purse Project.  Basically, you make a purse from the provided pattern and send it in to them.  The purses will be used in partnership with the menstruation Hygiene Management program and given to girls in need.  The provided menstruation supplies and the purse helps the be able to stay in school and not fall behind.  With their education, the girls will have more economic opportunities available to them.

DSCI0052

This purse is rated at an intermediate level project.  I read through the instructions a couple of times before starting.  At that, I was still a little confused as to what exactly I was doing but I figured when I had the fabric in my hand as I was following the instructions, I would understand what it was telling me better.  After cutting the fabric, I was reading then decided to keep it simple and not do the front pocket.  Most of my troubles were in the very beginning.   It was confusing.  I ripped the stitches out several times and went back to how I put it together the first time.  I felt like I wasn’t following the instructions right.   As far as I can tell, the end purse that I have looks like the picture exactly.  The lining was easy and putting the lining in the purse was fine.  But I feel like I just missed something on it like a pocket that was supposed to be there and isn’t?  I just received the Sew Powerful up-date email today.  It stated next year, they hope to have a simpler to use pattern which will be geared more towards the needs for African girls.  Now, I feel better about all the troubles I had understanding the directions.  It looks like I wasn’t the only one.

DSCI0053

I definitely want to keep helping out with the Sew Powerful organization so I will most likely try to make some more purses throughout the course of the year.  It isn’t too late to participate.  October 1 is the deadline if you want to be in the contest for a trip to Zambia.  Otherwise, Sew Powerful stated they would be accepting purses year around and are planning another contest for September 2015 also.

DSCI0054

I still have two dresses I finished earlier in September to blog about plus a bead project.

More information can be found at: http://sewpowerful.org/purse-project/

 

Molly Waves Goodbye- Lee & Pearl 1943

DSCI0046

Granted I should have went through the bag of already cut out doll patterns to make up or even went through the scrap bin of the fabric to use this pattern. But I went ahead and picked up the navy linen look rayon/poly blend. I knew it would be perfect for Lee & Pearl’s pattern #1943, Molly Waves Goodbye. Anyways, it made up for the fabric store being out of the buttons I needed for my shirtdress.

The first night, I had cut everything out and had the skirt sewn about to the halfway point. All it was missing was the Velcro, waistband, and hem. The skirt is definitely easy to put together. I could read through the instructions a couple of times then turn off my computer and be able to make the skirt. Definitely be careful when taping the pdf pattern together. I must not have had the pieces lined up correctly because my waistband was a little short for the skirt. I didn’t have a problem with any other piece.

DSCI0045

The suit jacket is definitely an intermediate level pattern. I definitely needed to leave the instruction up on my computer for this one. This was especially helpful for the lapped curved seam on the front and placing the buttonholes.

My linen look rayon poly does fray easily. So for the lapped seam on the front, I did use fray check on that. Otherwise, I did use my serger where I could like the shoulder seams and side seams. I didn’t follow the instructions on the sleeve seam and used my serger again as so I had a clean seam.

DSCI0043

I only have one quibble about the jacket pattern. I wish the pattern pieces labeled which ones should be from the contrast material. It is in the instructions but if you are cutting without pulling the instruction up on computer, you miss this.  I recut the peplum lower back piece because I had cut two from the navy linen look and not one from navy and one from the contrast. I am just going to save that peplum lower back in case I decide to make another navy suit to give away.

I didn’t do any pattern alterations. Molly was originally purchased as a Christmas present in the early 1990s (best guess is 1993 or 1994). The jacket could be a touch too tight, but I wonder if it is because of the doll stand wire.

DSCI0044

The only other change I made beside using my serger was to finger press the lapels. I had finished hand sewing the contrasting facing in the jacket while I was at my co-workers’ softball game (they are in desperate need of fan). So I didn’t have an iron with me. I probably held the lapels down for 5 or so. Then I just couldn’t pay attention to the game much longer and pulled out my e-reader. So I squished the jacket between the front and back cover of my e-reader to continue “pressing” the lapels. This was for probably 2 hours.

Out of the two pieces I did, someone learning to sew would be able to make the skirt on his/her own as a first project. The jacket can’t be someone’s first sewing project. One needs to have a basic understanding of sewing then, I feel the pictures and instruction would get one though making the jacket.

DSCI0042

I really want to make the slip and hat from this pattern and the Glengarry hat (a Lee & Pearl pattern) too. But right now, Molly will just have to be happy with her new jacket and skirt. As I am now on to items for Selfless September. My plans for Selfless September included modifying baby onesies into doggie shirts for Toby, the Sew Powerful purse project, doll clothes for my dad’s work’s Toys for Tots drive, and a t-shirt for my mom.

Inspired by Vogue Pattern Magazine (1950)

Something just for fun today since I haven’t gotten pictures of my recent makes.

If you sew, by now, you probably heard that McCall’s Pattern Company has started a blog.  If you haven’t, go over and check it out http://blog.mccall.com/ .  I think the post I enjoyed the most so far is the one about the 1950’s Vogue Pattern Magazine Article on seven college pieces to sew.

For fun, I went ahead and put together a list that I think would work well for my dolls.  My list of essential pieces is extended or modified from the original list.

Short Coat options:

This is a tough one.  I love the coat I made with Simplicity 4347, but is it too long to be a short coat option?  Otherwise, I think my pick would have to be Liberty Jane’s Piccadilly Pea coat pattern (even though I haven’t tried it out yet).  I love the pleats in the back.

DSCI0173

One Piece dress options:

Ok, this one is much easier to pick patterns for but the only problem is how to just pick one.  I did narrow it down to two.  My two picks are Bonjour Teaspoon’s Taylor Regatta dress and Lee & Pearl’s 1031 (classic wrap dress).

Separate skirt options:

Based on how Molly was dressed for several months, Simplicity 4347 would have to be my pick.

DSCI0075

Tailored shirt

Is a tailored shirt really necessary for a doll?  This was the dilemma I looked at.  If the answer is yes, then I would like to pick Butterick 6035.  Butterick 6035 is designed more for the NOLA American girl dolls so it doesn’t really have the collar and buttons down the front.  Apparently, I can’t seem to find a really good one with a collar and button down front.  Pleasant Company has two (one in Addy’s collection and one in Molly’s collection).  They at least had a collar plus they are free patterns!  Otherwise, I like Gennie-wren Design’s Harriet Sailor outfit top, but I don’t think it will appeal to modern (perfect for Samantha and Rebecca).

If the answer is no, there are several cute tops out there.  These are patterns I haven’t tried out yet.  But I think Liberty Jane’s baseball t-shirt, Dolly Duds polo shirt, and of course it wouldn’t hurt to include the option of Lee & Pearl’s 1031 (classic wrap dress as a peplum top).

DSCI0069

Odd Jacket options:

Odd jacket category has to belong to Liberty Jane. The Penny Lane jacket and the Boomerit Falls Jacket are so cute. I have a Penny Lane jacket cut, but haven’t gotten around to sewing it up yet.

Suit options:

Here is the one that I do differ from McCall’s on.  They thought the traditional suit wasn’t applicable to today.  But what will a college girl wear on an interview for a summer internship or even after graduation for a job interview?  For the doll pattern choice there was no questions on this one, but I would definitely pick Lee & Pearl’s 1943 (Molly Waves Goodbye).  I am just finishing this pattern up and the end product looks absolutely adorable.  Look for this post soon.

Strapless dress

I know some would not mind a strapless dress on their dolls, but I don’t like that at all. Now my next problem in this category is that most of the fancier dresses I have are geared towards the historical dolls.  I definitely could use help here.

Pants

I don’t know about anyone else, but this is an essential in my college wardrobe so I added it.  My favorite doll pant patterns are Simplicity 4297 and Liberty Jane’s jeans.

DSCI0061

 

DSCI0061 (2)

What would you think should be considered in the list?

 

Ina Maxi Skirt

Pink eye pretty much halted progress on the denim chambray Simplicity 2246 at the beginning of August. I was up to buttons and buttonholes but needed to have shorter sewing times. Shorter times means all or majority of buttons will not be done at once. I think I have determined that pink eye is an illness meant to drive one to boredom. I couldn’t read, can’t do beadwork (at least not the stuff I do), and had limited sewing times. Maybe it was a cosmic sign to vacuum up the bunny fur on the living room carpet. I hate to say but the bunny fur is still there until Monday August 18. The boredom didn’t motivate me to vacuum. Only after cleaning the bunny cage on Monday was I motivated to vacuum.

DSCI0022
I was in need of a simple easy project which didn’t require a lot of sewing and not a lot of detail work. I wanted something that I would be able to finish and wear to the KC Pinhead group lunch. Denim dress wasn’t going to be done just too much detail work. I figured a maxi skirt would work well.

DSCI0023
This is the beta version of the Ina maxi skirt pattern from Sewing Pattern Review website which is designed for vertical stripe knit fabric. I used a horizontal stripe patterned ITY poly knit for the skirt.   I graded out 4 inches on the side seams of the skirt. It was probably more than what I actually needed. I didn’t include stretch of the fabric when I was grading for size. I changed the grain line for the godets. Since I had a horizontal stripe, if I had followed the pattern, my godets would have been vertical stripes. I used a narrow double fold hem at the bottom. I also took a little off the waistband. I added 1 ¼ inch elastic to the skirt.

DSCI0141

For it being a rough draft of the pattern, it was fairly easy to follow. First sew side seams, then short godet. After the short godet, put in the long godet. This is probably just me, but then I finished up the hem next. The following day I did the waistband and added elastic to the waistband.

The pattern was just released on Monday August 18th. I haven’t bought the final draft of the pattern yet as I had just recently purchased a couple of American Girl doll patterns.

Along with finishing up the chambray shirtdress (Simplicity 2246), the rest of the August sewing plans include Tilly & the Button’s Coco dress, and possibly By Hand London’s Anna dress.

I will have to admit the pictures don’t make the skirt look as great as they should. I had to rush to get the pictures done on Friday evening before the rain as it was supposed to rain on and off all day Saturday. Also, I think the skirt looks better with the shirt un-tucked. But I tucked it in so everyone could see the waistband.