Bonjour Paris- Lee & Pearl 1033


So this is the new free pattern for Lee & Pearl’s newsletter mailing list.  For a free pattern, you are getting so many different variations.  The pattern included a top, dress, shorts (cuffed and un-cuffed), and an apron.  I went ahead and made the shorts and the top for my dolls.

The top I made with white rayon challis.  The pattern recommends cotton, so my rayon challis is a little light weight for the pattern.  So I didn’t feel up to fighting both Toby and Lala investigating the iron so I didn’t iron my wrinkly challis before cutting the pattern out.  I really believe that is why the top looks bigger than what the pattern shows.  The pleats at the neckline are the only part that made me stop to re-read the instructions and match what I do to the pictures.  I didn’t top-stitch my pleats down.  Otherwise the top was easy to put together even with the pleats in the sleeves.


I had a cute blue floral quilting cotton that I thought would be adorable shorts.  First I had to make sure I could get a dress for Cecile then I could cut my shorts out plus I got a bonus pair of shoes too from the fabric.  The shorts do have a pocket, so for the pocket lining I used some of the white quilting cotton I had so it wouldn’t show through.  The shorts went together very quickly.  I think I had them completely sewn in an hour and a half.  So this is the first pattern I have used for shorts/ pants that didn’t use elastic in the waistband.  These shorts close with Velcro.




This pattern is rated at easy/ intermediate for the pleats and curved seams.  That is pretty accurate.  I really like the items I made.  It will definitely be used again later this year as I am working on the doll wardrobe for my dad’s work.

A Coco for All Seasons

So this post will be covering at least five different Coco dresses from Tilly and the Buttons.

In July 2014, my mom asked if I would be able to make a dress.  So after looking though the patterns in the stash already, I decided to order Tilly’s Coco dress.  It sounded like what she wanted a knit dress with sleeves.

The first Coco was sewn up in August for me.  I figured I should at least be acquainted with the pattern before making it for my mom.  For the dress, I picked out a rayon jersey.  The pattern recommends more stable knits like a interlock knit.  But from what I saw online, it looks like several have used thinner knits and been happy with the result.  For my Coco dress, I graded between size 4 and size 5.   The sleeves are a little long; they are supposed to be ¾ length.  I probably should have taken an inch out in the length.   Instead of the stay tape at the shoulders, I used the clear elastic I had at home.  Since I was using a thinner knit than recommended, I didn’t want to cause too much stretch in the knit.  I used quarter-inch seam allowance on the side seams.  That way it just skims over me.  At the end, I decided to take two inches off the bottom.  It was a little long being at the middle of my knees when not hemmed.  After that I used a 1 inch hem to get it to look like the same spot as the pictures.

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I thought I had everything lined up well.  But I didn’t.  One side seam the stripes match perfectly; the other not so much.  This was following the pattern’s cutting layout. I went through and very carefully lined up the selvage sides and pinned the stripe together.  Then  I laid the fabric down carefully and did keep the bunny off while I was cutting (which is very hard to do).   I think the next time I use a stripe for this dress, I may go ahead and cut it out single layers.

I was able to show my mom the dress over Labor day weekend.  It was exactly what she was wanting in a dress.  So we went by the fabric shop and picked up some ITY fabric to make her a top with the pattern.

Next Coco was the top for my mom.  I choose a size 7 for her.  I also knew I was going to need a full bust adjustment.  This is a knit pattern and I can’t remember if I have seen full bust adjustments done on knit.  I drew a line of where I was going to do the “simple” full bust adjustment, then cut along it and spread 2 inches.  This did add some in the waist and hip area too, but it wasn’t so bad that I had to go back and fix it.  I cut my fabric then basted it all together for my mom to try on.  She like the fit but preferred using quarter-inch on the side seams instead of the 5/8 inch seam.

Coco 3 was a dress for my mom from a lavender rayon jersey.  I couldn’t get the stripes to line up because the pattern on the fabric was crooked.

I actually don’t have pictures of the ones I made for my mom.

Now we are up to Coco 4.  I made Coco 4 in December right before Christmas.  I decided to go with sleeveless so I could wear it with a cardigan and leggings in the winter and still be able to wear it in the summer.  I got the floral knit at the KC Pinhead Christmas party.  I used the size 4/5 combo again this time but I went ahead and took off a little length before cutting.  I also added a quarter-inch on the neckline at the shoulders.  I don’t know if that was the cause of the neckline gaping, if the fabric stretched while sewing since I forgot to stay stitch, or both but I went ahead and put in a couple of pleats around the neckline to keep it from gaping.


So the last Coco was made with navy sweatshirt fleece.  I used quarter-inch for the seam allowances.  I added extra length to the sleeves and the hem to account for the thickness of the fabric.  I still had neckline gaping even with stay stitching.  I need to decide how I want to fix that.  Excuse the first navy photo because I was trying to not fall over Lala.


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I think the navy sweatshirt fleece will be the last Coco I make for myself.  I just can’t seem to get the neckline right and I don’t know what else to do for fixing it.

I think the next knit dress for me will be the Deer and Doe Plantain  baby doll tutorial.


Jungle January- McCall’s 5884

Time for Jungle January again.  This time, I decided to make something for myself instead of the dolls.


I found this snake print rayon Challis in the spot the bolt clearance pile.  This is the same snake print I rayon I passed up on early.  I figured it would work well for McCall’s 5884 which I made previously in July 2014.  So if you want more details on this patter please check out the link at the bottom.  This time I went with version D (long-sleeved version) which should work well for spring and autumn.


So this time, I added 2 inches to the bottom.  I found I liked to tuck and fluff my pink version so the extra length should help out.  Then I raised the neckline at least an inch and a half.  For the long-sleeved version (view D), I did make the finish cuff length of 9 inches.  I don’t think there are separate cuff pieces for view C and view D or I lost the piece.  But the cuff piece was 12 inches long and was falling off of my hand when I used the recommended side seams at five-eighths of an inch.

If you want more details be sure to check out the post for the pink top:

It was very windy but up near 60 degrees Fahrenheit for January.  The wind just didn’t make for good pictures.  The bishop sleeves were fluttering all over.


Trip to Colonial Times- Thimbles and Acorns 1770-01 En Forreau Gown


I decided to actually make one of my dolls a new outfit. Several of the past items I made went to my dad’s work’s toy drive to brighten a little girl’s holidays.  Alright, I will admit before Thanksgiving I did make myself the Piccadilly outfit (top and skirt).  But realistically, I haven’t made as many items for my dolls as I have for my dad’s work.

With eight dolls, one needs to decide who get the new outfit. This time I decided on Felicity.  She is really the only doll (besides Rebecca but she can share with Samantha) that doesn’t have a hand-made outfit.


Now on to deciding what I wanted to make Felicity. I had the Pleasant Company patterns and two patterns by Thimbles and Acorns.  I decided to go with the Thimbles and Acorns’ 1770 En Forreau Gown.  I mainly chose this one because I had nice coordinating fabrics and I had seen one review of it before.  I decided to use the same linen look poly/ rayon (from Molly’s suit) and a blue floral quilting cotton that I got from the remnant bin.  I used a white cotton for the lining.  Before I could use the linen look poly/ rayon for myself, I went ahead and cut another of Lee & Pearl’s Molly’s suit for next year’s toy drive. (I did go ahead and warn my dad that next year’s doll clothing collection could be overwhelmingly cute.)


This is the first time I have used a Thimbles and Acorns pattern. This pattern is rated at intermediate skill level.  I would say that rating is absolutely correct.  The instructions are very well written.  I did have a little bit of confusion when it came to the En Forreau back of the gown and the pleats.  There are three pleats on the back.  One in the center and one on either side.


As I haven’t used this company’s patterns before, I wasn’t certain of the best alterations to get it to fit my Felicity doll (remember she is from around 1993 to 1995 so she is chubbier than current dolls). The pattern did state that most body size variations can be accounted for with adjusting the closure or minor modifications.  Therefore, I didn’t make any changes to the pattern.  As I was making it, I was thinking it was going to be too tight to put on my doll.  The fit of this was much better than I thought it would be.  Actually if Felicity didn’t have her shift on, I think the fit would be fine.  It is tight but not so tight that I wouldn’t be able to get it on my doll.  I used Velcro instead of snaps for the front closure.

The petticoat was very quick and easy to put together.  I think the next time I would prefer to use Velcro for the closure instead of ribbon.  I did use a fairly thin ribbon so that may be why I just don’t feel the skirt has the support it needs.

I haven’t really worked on Butterick 6108 or Colette Pattern’s Lady Grey jacket.  Without finished garment measurements on the pattern, Lady Grey was sort of scary to trace out around Thanksgiving.  So instead of working on the two together, I will need to do each separately.  I think I will start with Butterick 6018 since the pattern is rated as easy.  Right now, I am trying to finish up my Jungle January piece.




Designer Time- Rachel Comey’s Vogue 1247


With the cold weather settling in, I haven’t really wanted to go outside to take pictures of my projects. Hopefully with the Christmas tree up, I can at least get a couple of pictures of completed projects.  But that means I am taking my pictures myself with the camera timer, so they may not all turn out well.

It all started with tidying up the craft room.  I had a bag from the fabric store laying on the ground that needed to be put away (bag goes in the storage container to be used for cleaning the litter pan).  Out of the bag comes two patterns to add to the stash.  As I was looking at the Rachel Comey pattern, I realized I had a silk cotton voile that may work for the top.  The voile wasn’t listed on the recommended fabric list, but the more I looked at it the more I really thought it would work.  But this is a silk cotton voile, so it shouldn’t be wasted on a pattern it wasn’t meant for.  I went on to Pattern Review and asked just so I was sure this would work.  So thank you to everyone who helped me.  The next day, while doing a bit more internet research, the skirt was popping up on practically every blog I looked at.  So I decided to add the skirt to the project too.

Everywhere I read that the top is very oversized.  It seems to be all over the place because some went down just one size to others going down at least 4 sizes.  I usually sew between a 14 and 16.  I traced out the size 12.  I did grade out to an 18 at the hem.  I was worried that the bottom would not be big enough.  But then I started thinking about the blouse shape.  The more I thought about the triangle shape; the more uncertain about it I was.  So in the end I decided to put the silk voile back in the stash for a different top.

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I stole the denim from the lot of fabric I had reserved for doll clothes.  I actually picked up this remnant of tan stretch denim so I could make several pairs of doll jeans out of.  (I still had enough fabric left over to make my dolls jeans which will go great with Molly’s suit jacket but no jeans for my dad’s work.) First thought through my mind, I can’t do the bias trim from the denim.  That will be way too thick and bulky.  The bias trim is from quilting cotton instead.  I picked up a couple of fat quarters when I bought my zipper.  I used one of the many fat quarter bias trim tutorials from pinterest.  It did work out well.  I had plenty of bias trim to use on my skirt.  The other fat quarter went to making the pocket lining.  I do like how finished the inside of the skirt looks.

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I wasn’t sure where the waistband was supposed to be at on me.  I thought the picture looked like it was under the model’s belly button.  I went ahead and used a size 18 for my skirt.  The denim I used is very stretchy, so I ended up taking in each side an additional half inch so it was probably closer to the size 16.   Luckily I am short, so the 15 inch mini length is actually longer on me so I didn’t change the hem at all. Actually on me the skirt is right above the belly button a little. It does have a tendency to ride up after I sit down.  The skirt still works.

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I still have two other projects to get up on the blog plus the Ginger jeans when they are finished. I really do need to get started on the Colette pattern’s Lady Grey coat.  I cut the pieces out and was going to trace out my size but got intimidated when I noticed there was no finished garment measurement on the pattern.  All the projects I had planned to use as a break from the Lady Grey coat when needed are now pretty much done, so I plan on cutting out some doll patterns to have for the break.


Winter Sewing Plans 2014


I forgot to get pictures of the Coco items I made my mom. So that will have to wait until next weekend.  Also planned for next weekend is photos for Toby’s Halloween costume.  I couldn’t get them on Sunday because Toby’s costume partner (Lala) was indisposed with a case of red lipstick stains (kisses from his grandma).   And I haven’t quite finished Butterick 5716 jacket.  So while we are waiting on the pictures of my projects, I decided to post more of a winter sewing plan mainly to keep me motivated.

My two big projects will be Colette pattern’s Lady Grey coat and Butterick 6108 jacket.  Actually Lady Grey coat and the Butterick jacket were not even items I was thinking about in the middle of October.  But Deepika posted about the coat on Pattern Review and offered to do a sew-along with me when I mentioned I had always loved the look of the Lady Grey coat but felt it was too advanced for me.  The first fabric I ordered online was too lightweight for the pattern.  That is where the Butterick pattern comes in.  I don’t want to waste lovely wool.  Yes that Butterick pattern is the 1918 pattern that was re-released.  Before everyone in the sewing blog world decides to check me into an insane asylum, I will admit that the entire outfit isn’t one you can put in your everyday wardrobe, unless you want to be Lady Mary for Halloween.  But I think that view B jacket would look so cute with skinny jeans, a simple t-shirt top, and either boots or ballet flats for a great autumn/ spring outfit.

So at my sister’s engagement party, several people were admired the top I made my mom and the chambray dress I made myself.  So with this new motivation, I really want to expand my sewing skills.  For both of these items, I would like to follow Gertie’s Lady Grey sew-along to learn more about tailoring.  These will probably be slow going projects that take some time to make.

The idea of just slow projects isn’t too appealing. So I decided to go ahead and cut a couple other projects out also so I can go back and forth between the tailoring project and faster items.  The top pattern contenders are Vogue 1247’s skirt, McCall’s 5884 tie collar blouse, an apron, a doll slip from Lee & Pearl’s 1943, and Heritage Doll Fashion’s Samantha’s ice cream dress.  I had traced out the top for Vogue 1247 but am now starting to doubt whether to make it or not.  I am not sure I like the idea of a “triangle” top which is narrower on the hips.  I would like another top but need to decide between Kate & Rose’s Zsalya top or Vogue 1367.  I would barely be able to squeak either pattern out of the 2 yards of silk/ cotton voile I have at home.

Anyone else have these items planned on their winter sewing list?

In the mean time please enjoy Lala’s other costume.  My sister got it for him from Petco but I had to add extra Velcro to make it work.  The package said it fit most small animals with a picture of a guinea pig wearing it.  Rabbits are not shaped like guinea pigs at all.


Piccadilly Sweater & Skirt – Liberty Jane


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.


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.


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.