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Doll Clothing Week- Heritage Doll Clothes Book Review Part 2

I wanted to be able to give a good review of the Heritage Doll Clothes book by Joan Hinds, so that meant at least making 2 different outfits from the book.  For the second outfit, I picked out the square collared party dress for Samantha.

Here is my only complaint about the book.  The fabric listed for the square collared party dress is silk.  I feel that a silk party dress would be more appropriate for an adult collector like myself than a child.  While silk may be time period appropriate, the clothing is still a toy that needs to be easy to care for. A silk dress is not something that you would throw in the washer and or dryer to clean.  Plus, the main reason we all make doll clothes is to get a better quality item at a more affordable price.  I know I have made my dolls a silk dress but it was left over fabric from the dress I made myself.  I didn’t go purchase the fabric to especially make it.

Instead of a silk party dress, I decided to go with a cotton play dress (a little more practicable and affordable).  As a play dress, I decided that less ruffles and lace would be more play friendly.  It may not be a time period correct idea, but at least I didn’t have to try to rummage through my trim box.  The pink is a cotton remnant from Hancock most likely.  If I had to guess, I think it would be a symphony broadcloth (it is fairly light weight).  The white fabric is the left over white cotton I bought to line doll clothes with a long time ago.  I don’t remember what it is.

All the pieces went together easily and it was easy to sew.

The only item I would suggest one to consider is the sleeve cuff.  It was a little tight wiggling Samantha’s hand through.  It is doable but a child may get frustrated that the dress isn’t easy to put on.  If I did this again, I would consider putting in some Velcro at the bottom of the sleeve to make it slide easier over Samantha’s hand.  The side seam would start about a half-inch to an inch above the bottom of sleeve cuff.  If you have it, look at Pleasant Company’s Kirsten’s school dress for what I was thinking about.

 

 

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Doll Clothing Week 2017- Heritage Doll Clothes Book Review

Today’s for Doll Clothing Week, it is furniture.  Since I don’t really need doll furniture and don’t have anyone to give it to, I will get a jump-start on tomorrow’s theme of Free day with a two-part book review.

Several times at Joann’s, I would pass the book Heritage Doll Clothes by Joan Hinds sitting on the shelf.  In the end, I decided to buy the book.  The cashier at Joann’s deserves a big thank you because she told me about the 50% off coupon instead of using the 30% off coupon that came up first in the cell phone app.

At first reading, I am wondering how new the book is.  All I can see is a copyright date of 2015.  But reading the “Getting Started” section, it mentions American Girl dolls by Pleasant Company as being the most popular.  American Girl hasn’t been owned by Pleasant Company since 2000.  So I think it is a re-release and was not sure if the original patterns were updated as they were converted to PDF or not.  Just as a reminder, the older American Girl dolls are a bit more stuffed than the ones currently being sold.

I honestly found it annoying that the CD’s paper case in the book was not perforated the best.  It would not tear open along the perforations and I am afraid the CD will fall out now that there isn’t really any back flap to keep it in.  I ended up buying a CD case at Micro Center to store my CD in.

For this book review, I decided it was best to make a couple of the outfits and to show them on the newer and older dolls.  Overall the book has 20 different outfits included.  The patterns picked for the review include Square Collared party dress and the Colonial everyday dress.

The Colonial everyday dress was first up.  I chose a quilting cotton from my stash for the dress.  The apron, fichu and mob-cap are a plain cotton (probably quilting weight).  As this is supposed to be an everyday in the house sort of dress, I didn’t use the lace for the neckline or bottom of the apron.  Seeing the dress on the doll, the lace at the neckline would have blocked Felicity’s lovely coral necklace.

I really like that the fabric ruffles at the sleeve hem are self faced.  It was nice not having to do a narrow hem on the ruffle (like what is requested on Felicity’s school dress from Pleasant Company).  It does make that much easier to complete.

The dress went together well and I didn’t have any troubles following the directions.

I did go ahead and put this one Grace first to get an idea if the patterns were up-dated or not.  Without era appropriate under garments, it was a little over a half-inch too big for her at the waist.  I basically just pinched the fabric at her waistline and estimated amount.  It doesn’t look like it is drowning her but does look a bit baggy.  From my first pattern used, I don’t think the patterns were updated to follow more current doll dimensions.  On Felicity, the dress fits better with just a little wearing ease at the waistline.  Felicity does have on her original shift that came with her back in 1993-ish with the dress.  Just remember that undergarments will affect the fit and decide if you want them or not.

 

Doll Clothing Week- 1940s

 

Today is 1940’s day for Doll Clothing week in honor of Nanea’s release over the summer. There are just so many different options; it was hard to narrow it down to one outfit for my dolls.  I thought Nanea’s meet outfit was adorable, but then I also had Molly that I could try to recreate one of her outfits.  I have Molly’s pretty clothing patterns.  Then I thought about another KRVP dress and even bought some fabric for it but didn’t want to repeat the same dress that I made earlier this year.  After that I thought about the “Heritage Doll Clothing” book too.  In the end, Wren Feathers made my decision easy when she released her 1940’s Island patterns.  I decided that my Nanea doll needed the 1940’s Muumuu.

 

The pattern came together fairly easily.  Nanea’s dress is made from quilting cotton.  The yoke is lined with white cotton and I was able to get a great square neckline with this method.  For the sleeve hem, I did a narrow rolled hem.  My tip for this is to use a small zigzag stitch at the edge.  This way I had something a little denser to be able to narrow roll.  I use two passes of straight stitch for the hem; fold over once and stitch, then fold over again and stitch.  I find I get better consistency doing the narrow hems this way.

The only item I would do differently next time would be to make the ruffle piece longer.  This is completely person opinion but when I look at Nanea, it seems like the bottom of my ruffle is pulling the dress in instead of flowing out more.

I took Nanea out to my parents’ house over the weekend to show my mom the dress.  She said that this dress would have been a better meet dress for Nanea then the top and shorts she came with.  My mom felt it had a better Hawaiian style to it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doll Clothing Week 2017- Simplicity 8397

Today is Pants/ Jeans/ Shorts day for Doll Clothing Week.  I decided to try out Simplicity 8397 for today’s challenge.  It is one of their American Girl collection line.

Tell you how much I must have not liked the finished pants, I didn’t even realize until this morning I had not take pictures of them when I was going to post the review.

I did view E (the long pants).  I didn’t add the bias tape or buttons to the front.  I didn’t have bias tape at home.  Anyways, something basic would be more versatile.  So being up front and honest, this is a mixed review.  The pattern went together well, but ended up being over half an inch too big at the waist for my Gabriella doll.  I know a bit of the problem was from fabric choice and cutting.  But I can’t believe I was that far off that it made the pants that big.

The pants have a Velcro closure in the back.  I wasn’t expecting that.  I am not sure I care much for that. But as this pair doesn’t fit, I am going to table that decision until I try a back Velcro closure that does fit my dolls.

 

My absolute first recommendation if you use this pattern is to use a thin stable cotton.  I used the linen look rayon/ poly for my pants.  It was a bit temperamental in cutting out with my rotary cutter.  So that probably didn’t help my pants out.  Also, with the cuff, there is a lot of bulk at the hem of the pants.  So a thin fabric will be better for that.

My other recommendation is do not use your quarter- inch foot with this pattern.  I honestly believe if I had used my 0 foot for my Pfaff, I would have at least had a closer to fitting pair of pant.  My honest guess is that this pattern is geared more towards someone who may not sew doll clothing as much and not have a quarter- inch  foot for their sewing machine.

Finally, before installing the waistband, try the pants on your doll.  If I had, then I would have been able to pull in the side seams and front crotch seam.  But honestly, I didn’t expect them to be that big.  So I didn’t even think about trying them on Gabriella.  I think they were even too big for my older dolls.

In the end, instead of removing the waistband and taking in side seams, I decided to just put a second strip of Velcro in the back.  It takes care of most of the excess but not all.  At least now, Gabriella’s pants are not falling off of her.

Tell you how disappointed I was, I decided not to even bother making a top to go with this pair of pants.  I will just owe Gabriella another outfit instead.

 

 

 

Panty party

Front

Back to school time always seems to be the time when I think about buying new underwear even though I have been out of college for 11 years.  This time I decided to skip the heartache of searching at the store and make my own underwear.  For my “panty party”, I decided to use Simplicity 8229, Simplicity 8228, Simplicity 8436 and Butterick 6031.

Back

When I decided that I was going to have my own “panty party”, I went ahead and purchased a pack of men’s white t-shirts to use for the crotch lining on all patterns chosen.  I figured this would be the easiest solution without me having to hunt for appropriate fabric on the internet or in store.  Anyways, I was having a flare up of endometriosis symptoms so less work was best at the time.

I also went ahead and picked up a coral bamboo knit from Emerald Erin to try out in all 4 patterns.

Simplicity 8229

Previous Simplicity 8229

Let’s start with Simplicity 8229.  Back before my sewing machine went in for repair in March or April, I did make a couple of pairs of Simplicity 8229.  At the time I never really thought about blogging about them but I did put them in for Emerald Erin’s panty party.  For sizing, I cut out a small but used the elastic size for medium (by mistake but it works).  I used a pair of high-waisted underwear that I got from Marshalls before and like to determine the size.  They were very stretchy so I knew as long as I used ITY, I should be fine on fit.  The bamboo worked well in the small also.  I think I may go back and reduce the rise by half-inch.

Next was Simplicity 8228.

Simplicity 8228

The first pair was from black stretch lace that I got from a lace grab bag and the ITY fabric I used for a skirt on a dress for my mom.  As I was cutting it out, I decided to add a quarter-inch to the front of the crotch lining.  I also used the hem already in the shirt to make the hem on the lining.  Since the lace gets applied on top, I basted the center front and back with the quarter-inch seam allowance so I had an easier time lining the lace side pieces up.

I used the size small again and with the medium elastic.

I didn’t want all high waist panties, so I decided to branch out to include Simplicity 8436.  This pair is so different from anything I had in my simple boring underwear drawer.  Since it was another Madelynne for Simplicity pattern, I traced out a small also.  Honestly, I don’t think I will ever wear this.  The front of the underwear is alright.  However, the back does not have as much coverage.

Simplicity 8436

Butterick 6031 (from Gertie) was the last pair I decided to try out.  For this one I decided to go with the size 14.  The side seams are 5/8 inch.  But the elastic seam allowance is the 1/4 inch.   I really don’t care much for the mixed seam allowance.  I wish the underwear would have been a consistent quarter-inch.   Otherwise, the underwear went together easily.  As the lace elastic I used had a straight side, I basted along the edge and then turned and zig-zag stitched.

Butterick 6031

 

Cashmerette Appleton

To start with, this isn’t my first Appleton. I made a few of them for my mom for Christmas (one test that she got around Thanksgiving and two for Christmas presents from the pets).  Out of respect, I did not post her dresses to the blog.  I did post one on the KC Pinheads Facebook pages just incase they had some fitting advice for me.  She didn’t like it but at least understood why.  Her dresses look so great on her but we do have the discussion of are they too long.  The dress covers the top of her knee-high compression support stockings by three inches so I say it is perfect length because I was told to make it long enough to cover the top of the stockings.  She thinks it is too long. However, the dresses in the post are the first ones I ever made for myself.

Picking pattern size was the hardest part. There is a lot of negative ease in the pattern.  I don’t usually do too much negative ease.  So choosing size was a big hurdle.  In fact I traced a 14/18 combo then about a week later , I had size doubts and then re-traced the pattern out in a 16/18 combo.  In the end, I used the 16 E/F for the bust and grading out to the 18 at the waist line (where the ties wrap through is what I took as waistline).  I ended up with about 5 inches negative ease (about a 2 inch reduction in negative ease).  My bust is around a 42 inch.

Since I have made this dress before, I didn’t use the instruction really. I did put it out when it came time to apply the neckband.

The only other alteration I made was to shorten the dress by 2 inches at the hem and to take a 2.25 inch hem.

I decided to remake this dress for a friend’s wedding in early June.  The only change I made was to length the short sleeves to almost elbow length.  They may be a little long but I like them a bit better.  This one is from a little thinner ITY.  It feels so silky to the touch.

 

 

But as my wardrobe is more separates based, I really want to modify the Appleton into a top using Cashmerette’s hack they release.

Cashmerette Dartmouth

Cashmerette Dartmouth was another top that I cut out while my sewing machine was being repaired.  But tragedy struck that top.  All pictures are from the re-make.

For this one I picked a 16 C/D at the bust and graded out to the 18 at the waist.  To be honest, I don’t think I picked the right size.  This feels a little too relaxed and oversized as I am wearing it when I stitched it at the recommended seam allowances.

I was trying to improve the fit of my top so that I would wear it more.  As I was trimming the seam allowances, I cut a huge hole in the back of the top.  It was complete un-repairable.  Luckily, I did have the next day off from work, so I put some new fabric in the washing machine and hung to dry.  Both attempts were made from Rayon/ lycra jersey.

Dartmouth was actually a fairly fast make.  I probably started cutting it out around 8 am in the morning and by 11:30 I was finished with the top.  I really did not look at the directions much on the second time.  I made the same size as previously made.  This time I used 5/8 to 3/4 inches for the side seams.  I achieved a much better fit for the top.  I have realized that I probably need to size down or remove some of the hip curve.

The only part that annoys me a bit is the front hem.  Since there is two layers of fabric in the front, my hem just seems too bulky.  Once I get the correct size picked out, I will probably go back and trace out a second front for me and short it by an inch just so that it is caught in the hem but hopefully not making the hem be too bulky.

 

There is still a couple of Cashmerette Appletons to get on the blog and a Scroop Miramar.  Besides the blog worthy, most of the other projects in the back log are t-shirts which have been covered before.

Right now, I have been sorting through patterns trying to figure out what I need most.  After the Sew Powerful Purses, my focus should shift towards lingerie, blouses and trying to make some pants.