Best of PR Contest- Deer & Doe Plantain tee


I went ahead and made the other free t-shirt, Deer & Doe’s Plantain t-shirt, for Pattern Review’s Best Pattern contest.

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I had just enough of the coral stripe rayon jersey knit to make this project with some left over for doll clothes.  I was able to get the stripes to match at the side seams!

I used a size 42 at the bust, shoulders and waist then graded out to the 46 for the hip.  I used the length for the size 46 since I wanted the shirt a bit on the longer side.  I also used the size 46 neckline just to have a higher scoop neckline.  For the dress I made last year, I used the 42 but it is a little low-cut for my taste.  The 46 was a better pick.

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In comparing the two shirts: The ideal t-shirt neckline would be somewhere between the plantain and the kimono.  I like the looser sleeves of the kimono shirt better but I like the length of the plantain sleeve better.  I like the looser fit at the hips of the plantain shirt just because it is a little more relaxed than the kimono t-shirt.  But otherwise both are great t-shirt patterns to have.

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Best of PR Contest- Maria Denmark 101 Kirsten Kimono Tee


Sewing Pattern Review is having their best pattern contest.  I flipped through the qualifying years.  I knew I should really focus on tops.  2014’s list included 2 t-shirt patterns; Deer & Doe’s plantain and Maria Denmark’s Kirsten Kimono Tee.  Also a plus is that both patterns are free.  I decided to start with the one I haven’t used before the Maria Denmark’s Kirsten Kimono Tee.

I had enough of the Maggy London ITY fabric left over from a yet to be blogged skirt to make this top.  The instructions say it takes 0.9 yards of fabric.

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First thing to note, the pattern does not have seam allowances included.  However, there are seam allowance recommendation in the instructions.  I didn’t have the instructions open as I was tracing so I just used a straight five eighth seam allowance everywhere.  Also the pattern is in metric which I think caused me some conversion problems when I did my neckband.

I used a medium for the bust and waist then graded out to the extra-large for the hips.  After wearing it a bit, I probably could have just graded out to the large for the hip and be fine but the extra room isn’t a bad thing.  I also used the length for the extra-large.  I didn’t want my t-shirt to be too short.

I added clear elastic to the shoulder seams.

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My neckline binding was too long.  I think it was because I didn’t faithful convert metric to inches.  I roughly rounded.  I had to shorten it.  So my neckline was not laying flat and turn out.  I went ahead and stitched the neckline and that also allowed me to add a ribbon piece to mark the back of the shirt.




Last Blue Floral Doll Dress- Simplicity 1391

DSCI0191This time I tried out Simplicity 1391 for Cecile.  The pattern was designed by Eve Coleman from Keeper Dolly Duds.  This pattern contains three dress views, one jacket, one bonnet, one apron, and a pair of pantaloons.

I decided to make view B’s dress.  I did not have any coordinating trim in my stash so I left that part off.  The blue floral cotton is a fairly busy print but after my dress was completed I do feel like it is lacking something special that the trim would provide.  The dress is a little plain without the trim.  I think I still have some of the navy linen look fabric that I can use to make her the coordinating jacket.


I had not tried out any Keeper Dolly Duds pattern before.  Since this was my first and I knew I wanted to put it on Cecile, I did not make any alterations to the pattern.

Interesting items to note about this pattern is the back bodice of the dress has darts.  I haven’t seen that used before.  The other item is the neckline facing.  It was fiddly to sew but give the dress a beautifully clean look on the inside.  I definitely will keep that pattern piece in mind when another doll pattern needs a neckline facing and it isn’t provided (example: coat in Simplicity 4347).

The dress came together easily and the directions were pretty good.  The pattern recommends three-eighth inch buttons which I did not have so I subbed in Velcro instead for the closure.


In the pictures Cecile is wearing her chemise, hoop skirt and pantalets (all from American Girl) as well as a petticoat that I made for her.  I really like that the dress still fits well over all that stuff.  I think that this dress would also fit my older Kirsten doll well as long as she doesn’t have on too many undergarments.

I still have a tiny bit of the blue floral cotton left.  So the actual last item from this blue floral cotton will be a pair of Janes shoes whenever I get around to making them.

Kit’s jeans- Liberty Jane Boot cut Jeans


I made this with the left over stretch denim from my Vogue 1247 (Rachel Comey) skirt.  I had added a half-inch total to the pattern (a quarter per piece) since most of my dolls are the older ones.

The pattern went together easily.  I didn’t exactly follow the instructions.  I added the waistband in flat then finished up the back seam.


So Kit has a baggy bottom on her jeans.  I think this is because of the stretch denim, which did have a lot of stretch to it.  So if you use stretch denim, don’t add any width to the pattern for the older dolls.  I probably should test this pattern with the extra width in a non-stretch denim just to make sure it was fabric choice that caused the baggy bottom.  I know the skinny jeans from Liberty Jane’s jean bundle were tight on my older dolls when made in a non stretch denim.  Adding a half-inch really helped out on that with the non stretch denim.


Just for reference, the top and hat were from Kit’s school outfit.  I didn’t make either one.  The navy blue coat is from the Simplicity 4347.


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.