Lacy White Pantalettes- Kirsten’s Pretty Clothing

The blog may have been sitting idle for over a couple of weeks now. But the sewing machine has not. I have one completed project waiting for pictures. Sunday was too rainy for me to get my dad to take pictures of it. I am about 80% completed on another project.

This weekend I all of a sudden decided that my dolls needed some white fabric for some undergarments (and Felicity’s mob cap). So for thirty minutes on Saturday, I was cutting out several different undergarments from the Pleasant Company’s Kirsten’s Pretty Clothing. All total, I got two pairs of pantalettes, two chemises, and two petticoats cut.


The pantalettes came together very quickly. I think it took me 30 minutes to complete. I actually didn’t look at the instructions until after making the pantalettes. The pattern piece has elastic casing mentioned. The instructions list a different method for elastic then what I thought elastic casing was. The elastic is zig zagged onto the pantalettes. I actually made a casing and threaded it through. So that explains why I thought my pantalettes looked a little short on Marie Grace.

First model is Marie Grace. She was sort of Christmas present/ get better present/ and my state tax return. I compared Marie Grace’s pantalets to the ones I made. The ones from Kirsten’s Pretty Clothing are much looser in the leg than the ones from American Girl. This could be from changes in the dolls from now and when the pattern was made in 1990s.  The waist is loose on Marie Grace too.  If I get time, I may go back and change elastic in the waist to fit all dolls better.


I made the pair on the left.  Marie Grace’s original pantalettes are on the right.


I went ahead and checked Kirsten. This will be the major decider if it is changes in doll or not.  And it was definitely changes in the doll.  The pantalettes were much more fitted on Kirsten.  A side by side comparison of the two is below.



The ones on the right are Kirsten’s original pantalettes.  Left is the pair I made.


The crotch curve for the pantalettes flares out at the waist. It puts a point in at the center back and center front. I don’t see why it is cut like this. I think next time I use this pattern for pantalettes, I may try changing the curve at the waist to be more vertical.

I didn’t get a chance to work on the petticoat or chemise yet. I will post those when they are done.

I did notice that Butterick 6035 does have a chemise and pantalettes. I may try out that one to see how it compared to the Pleasant Company pattern.


1854′s School Day on the Prairie- Kirsten’s School Dress


I really wanted to make something for Kirsten. However much I adore the looks of the winter outfit from American Girl, I knew there was no way I would be able to knit a patterned doll sweater. Probably not even able to knit a plain doll sweater also. I had to settle for something easier that I could actually make.

I decided upon the school dress from the Pleasant Company. Nothing in my scrap bin looked acceptable for a calico look which is what I wanted more. Something that would at least be reminisce of 1850s mid-west. At Wal-Mart one early morning, I looked in the fabric remnant bin and found this dark blue rose print quilting cotton. It was the closest I could find at a reasonable price.


Cutting out wasn’t too bad. The bodice front does have a fairly tight curve so I had to use my scissors instead of the rotary cutter for that. The pattern calls for ½ yard of fabric and it does pretty much take up the whole amount. I think I had about a 9 inch by 8 inch scrap left afterwards. Nothing much to make anything else out of it.

The instructions are well written. But if you are a visual person, the pictures in the directions do not have a lot of detail. That could be why there is a “warning” that the pattern is for experienced seamstresses only and children need the experienced seamstress’ guidance. Also with the pdf, sometimes the picture got split between two pages. Luckily, I came across the blog “Hello Kirsti” which had a nice tutorial with pictures to consult also. I included the blog link at the bottom of the post. A quick glance at her pictures was very helpful.


All the pieces came together well. I was sort of apprehensive about this just because I had used the pdf file and had to piece the pattern pieces together. The dress was easy to sew together. As I was working on this, I realized that I forgot to cut the neck-band or that I had accidentally trashed the neck-band. I am not sure which one. I was easily able to get the same fabric at the store that matched what I had

I was able to create this dress for about $5.68.

Hello Kirsti’s Kirsten’s school dress tutorial:

AG playthings patterns:

1960s Spring dress- Simplicity 5822


Originally, I was planning on post both versions of this dress up at the same time. But the more progress I made on the navy cotton dress, I felt like it needed to have its own post. The navy cotton dress is sort of the warm-up for the silk duiponi version that I am currently working on. It isn’t technically a muslin because I had all the fit issues worked out already. But I wanted to know what to expect for the main star dress and when I adapted the pattern to be lined.

I don’t want to give away too many details in this post because then you may not want to see the final silk result. But I did go ahead and tried a new pattern alteration method. It worked out fine and was much easier to understand the changes to be made.

I honestly can’t blame the pattern alterations for this, but my bodice ended up too long (about half an inch at least). It is most likely because I didn’t account for how much the skirt would weigh the bodice down.


Construction of the navy dress was pretty straight forward and ease. I serged all the edges of the pieces before beginning so I would have a clean finish. My serger re-claimed its spot on the dining table and evicted all the quilt blocks (I had hoped to work on when sick but didn’t get to) and doll clothes patterns. Collar came together easily. The front facing was narrowed hemmed. All eight darts had no difficulties. One mistake on the shoulder seams had to be fixed. I sewed them together backwards so that the center front was connecting to the back side seam. But quickly noticed and fixed.

I basted the collar down, put the front facing on and clipped where needed. Then I went back to the sewing machine to topstitch the neckline seam only to notice that I was out of navy blue thread. Even though everything was clicking and going well, I had to put my bodice on hold the rest of the night until I could get more navy thread.

This is the first time I used the buttonhole stitch on my little Pfaff Ambition Essentials. It took an hour to do 5 button holes. I had to rip out stitching on buttonholes about 3 times. The weight of the whole dress must have been fighting against my sewing machine. All the small samples I made came out fine, but on the dress they were too small. I think next time I will go ahead and put the buttonholes in before attaching to the skirt.

Arms were finished with bias strips instead of the armhole facing from the pattern at the very end. I ended up taking in the side seams about a half-inch more on each side after I had the buttonholes in.

The wind did affect the picture session on Sunday.

I am going to wait for the other version of this pattern before I go ahead and post it on Pattern Review for everyone. It is sort of sneak peek at what is to come. But between this and the final silk version, I may go ahead and make a doll dress sort of as a mental break.

UK Holiday Outfit


So sick leave is over. I didn’t get as much sewing done I had planned. But I did get done two pairs of plaid doll shorts from Eden Ava pattern, another navy doll coat (Simplicity 4347), a white doll top (Simplicity 4347) and another zebra print gathered skirt also from Simplicity 4347. A pair of shorts, the coat, top, and skirt were all for the charity sack. I still have plenty of small projects left in the box to finish up between projects.

As I am pondering on alterations for my next dress, I went ahead made one of my doll tops that was in the need a small project box. I had already used the legging pattern for the UK Holiday outfit at least 4 times. This time I made the top to go with the black and grey striped leggings I made in December.



This top requires more than just fabric, elastic, and Velcro. The instructions call for hem tape to create elastic casings. I did go out and purchase that from my local fabric store. However, I think it would be possible to use fabric strips instead. Bias strips may not work because you are wanting no stretch.

Maybe it was exhaustion but that hem tape was harder to apply to the sleeves than it looked. Other than that, I really didn’t have any difficulties with the pattern. The instructions are very easy to follow.



Our model this time is Samantha. Samantha was the first American girl doll I got (in the mid-1990s), so she is a little larger than the new dolls. Even knowing that beforehand, I didn’t make any adjustments to the fit of the pattern. Just sewed it as is. The top still fit Samantha fine.

Next major post should be Simplicity 5822 from 1964. I just started it over the weekend.

Quick Check in

I can’t believe I am just 4 views away from 5,000. Wow! That is a lot more than I ever expected.

So, last Thursday I had laparoscopic surgery. Surgery went fine even though I was an absolute nervous. I have all of this up-coming week off of work for recovery.

I have been able to do a lot of reading the past couple days. Today was pretty much the first day I actually felt like doing some crafts. I was able to make a beaded flower from the book “Beaded Allure”. Then later in the day I put together some doll shorts. Sitting at the sewing machine wasn’t the most comfortable which probably means I will have to stick with light small projects like doll clothes for a couple of weeks. I had hoped next week of moving on to a silk dress but the bruises and incisions need to heal more before that.

So everyone out in the sewing world keep posting those beautifully done projects. Hopefully I will get to post one next month.

A Perfect Silk Slip- Simplicity 4218

It took a while to find the perfect fabric for this 1960s pattern. The original pattern is designed for woven fabric so it was cut on the bias. My fabric is a stretch silk charmuese fabric. Instead of bias, I went with the straight grain for my half slip.

Simplicity 4218

The original length of the slip was 25 inches. That was just too long for what I needed. I needed somewhere around 15 inches in length. I had the size 14 (bust 34- waist 26). Plus I needed about 4 inches added to the waist and hips. So I went ahead chopped about 6 inches off the top of the pattern. That added about 1 inch to the waist on each piece. Then I took an additional 2 inches out from the shorten on lengthen line area to get the length I wanted. Then I went back and split the pattern pieces down the center to add another inch to the waist.

The half-slip was much easier to alter than I had expected. I didn’t make a muslin of this after I made all my pattern changes. Everything worked out well.

A side note, I adore being able to adjust my zig-zag width. I was able to use the 7 mm width for applying the elastic at the waistband. For the lace, it was the narrow zig-zag probably somewhere around 1.5 mm. So far, my new Pfaff Ambition Essentials has not let me down at all.

I cannot say if this is true for the slip and the panties of this pattern. For the half-slip only, it would be a good starter pattern for sewing on the bias. It was only two pattern pieces a front and back. There were no darts on the half-slip. This also made it very easy to switch the pattern for a stretch fabric instead.

Jungle January went to the Dolls- Simplicity 4347

I may not be styling animal print this Jungle January, but one of my American girl dolls is instead. Hopefully Anne at Petty Grievances can forgive me. I really did buy a snake-skin patterned rayon Challis for myself, but I just don’t think I will have time to fit a pattern.

I had finished cutting out my navy and white fabric for the quilt blocks. I had enough fabric left over to squeeze out a couple of doll skirts.

The pattern used for Molly’s outfit is Simplicity 4347 (same one that I made the navy wool coat from).

DSCI0075 DSCI0078 DSCI0082

The top is from view B, C, and D. It isn’t very hard to put together. I think I had the entire top finished in 20 to 30 minutes but that doesn’t include cutting. I will admit, when I saw this lying flat on my floor, I didn’t think it would look cute on my dolls at all. It looks so much better on the dolls than flat.

The skirt is sort of combo of view B, C, and D. I didn’t put the pocket on it. The pocket would have gotten lost in the zebra print. There isn’t much sewing involved in the skirt. A lot of gathering the long rectangle into the waistband. I didn’t have enough fabric to follow the grain recommendations on the waistband piece. But the skirt still worked out well. Next time, I would add some length in the waistband. It was a little tight on Molly.

Even though this is a reprint of a 1950s pattern, everything is still pretty modern and usable today (especially depending on fabric choice).

The next post I swear will be something for myself.  Just to get out of the doll rut.