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Samantha’s Sailor dress

 

Samantha’s turn for a new outfit.  Back to my faithful Joan Hinds’ “Heritage Doll Clothes” book.  I used quilting cotton I had at home for her entire outfit.  As before, the instructions in the book are excellent.  The pattern went together easily.  The only piece I re-did was placing the collar so it was more even.

 

 

 

I did not use the suggested ribbon for the neckline area.  I did a bias strip of fabric.  I used a 1″ thick bias strip then folded it in half a couple times.  As for the blue “belt”, that I ended up hand stitching at the top so it would lay better on the dress.

The collar tie is also the same quilting cotton.  I just had to make the fabric tube then experiment until I got a reasonable length.

 

 

Rebecca’s New Outfit- Pemberley Threads Anne

I had seen Pemberley Threads mentioned in the No Drama Doll Sewing Group on Facebook.  Pemberley Threads has what I love which is historical clothes for dolls.  So I chose out Anne as my one pattern to buy and try out.  Rebecca got to be the model.

I started with the skirt.  It is made from the rayon/ poly linen look fabric.  The skirt was easy to sew and went together without any problems.  I used the three thread overlock to finish the skirt seams.

Intermediate is probably an accurate description for the shirtwaist.  The shirtwaist did take twice as much time to make as the skirt.  I made version A of the pattern.

For it I used a quilting cotton.  The pattern does call for a bit of lace.  As I was using what I had at home, I did reduce the amount of lace to just the yoke trim.  I didn’t add the 4 half inch pieces to the yoke.

I found the gathering on the bodice to be the trickiest part.  I followed the recommendation in the pattern of tying a knot at the beginning of the gathers.  That did secure that end easily enough.  But the other side seemed to slip out of my pins as I was stitching the twill tape down.

McCall’s 6963

This McCall’s pattern has become a fast favorite.  As of right now, I have a dress, 5 sleeveless tops, and one long sleeve top from it.  I definitely have improved on the back neck finishing since I started using this pattern in October 2018.

Here is what I had originally written in October 2018:

I traced out a straight size 16 but I blended the view A cowl with view C cowl.  I was trying to raise the cowl from being too low.  I didn’t really succeed.  The cowl is still low but blending the 2 cowls together I think gave me a fuller cowl.  The fuller cowl does cover the top more but it is still a low cowl but wearable for me.

The size 16 was fairly close to the size I needed for my waist.  I ended up using quarter inch seam allowance for the side seams just so it wasn’t super skin tight.

I used some of the magenta ITY I had in my stash.  It does drape well for this top.  I used an overlock stitch from my sewing machine just to finish off the cowl edge.

Really the only trouble I had in making my version was the back of neck facing.  There are ripples in along the seam line.  I used clear elastic to stabilize the section instead of twill tape so that maybe the reason.  But otherwise, the top was easy to put together.

I took about 2 inches off the bottom and took about an inch and half hem.

The pink long sleeve top was probably made in March and was a straight trial of view D.  I remember I had to shorten the sleeves.  I may go back and slim the sleeve down some too so it is more wearable.

I completed the dress in June 2019.  It is view C in size 16.  I lengthened the top by 9 inches.  I had to shorten the sleeves by 2 inches and take a 2 inch hem on them.  Plus on the sleeves, I had to taper in the sleeve from the bottom to about the elbow so that the sleeves were slim.

The main goal was to get a sleeveless cowl neck top that I like.  So I traced out view C/D (the higher cowl neck) and did the adjustments to the arm scythe.  I raised it a quarter inch in the bottom and moved the shoulder in a quarter inch.  I did end up removing the quarter inch I raised the under arm area.

 

 

 

Rahel’s maxi skirt

Doll clothes are so much faster to get on the blog.  I do have a couple of items for myself but still need to get some more pictures done.  I really wanted to use the stripe t-shirt to make a maxi skirt for my Hearts for Hearts dolls.  As for patterns, my first thought was Liberty Jane’s mitered maxi but it didn’t come in the 14 inch size.  I did have the mitered maxi in the 18 inch doll size, so I turned to what I learned at Wren Feathers to size the pattern down for my Hearts for Hearts dolls.  I printed the pattern at 77% and checked to see if there was enough width in the waist to fit my doll and seam allowances.

I measured a total length of 9 inches for the waist, so there was enough for my doll and seam allowances.  I used a calculator to figure my waistband measurements.  Then I held the pattern piece up to my doll to make sure the pattern was long enough.  After all the preliminary checks were completed, then I cut out the skirt.

I made the entire skirt on my sewing machine.  I finished the inside seams with a zig-zag stitch.  The hem was basted then turned up and zig zag stitched down.

I used a piece of half inch elastic in the waistband.  It was 7 inches long.

Ottilie Fascinator

I chose the Ottilie fascinator for my derby day hat.  This one was a bit more involved to make as I made the sinamay base from scratch also.  But it still wasn’t too hard to make.

Creating the base was the most involved part.  Most of the base was made during my breaks at work over 4 or so days.  Taping the wire ends was tricky.  So if I make bases again, I will probably get someone to help out with holding the wire.  I used masking tape and it worked but was a bit chunky.  Floral tape will be better choice.  I went with Mod Podge fabric stiffener.  My base took 4 coats.  I did this over 3 days on a Styrofoam head.

I had to create my own bias for the base and to make the bow.  First thing I did was pulled out a calculator and see how long the circumference of the 5.5 inch base was.  The 5.5 inch base needed less bias than I needed for the bow.  To determine how much sinamay I needed, I used a 45 degree right triangle to figure the side length needed.  In the end, I needed a 28 inch long piece of sinamay to make enough bias for the bow.

The instructions in the book for the birdcage veil were very well done.  I understood what it wanted me to do but I was slow and it took me 15 minutes to completely gather the netting.  The bow was easy to construct and I had it together in 30 minutes.

I have fine thin hair so that was not going to support the weight of a fascinator.  I decided to go with a head band wrapped in embroidery floss to match my hair color.  As it was the first head band I wrapped, the hot glue on the ends isn’t as neat as it could be.

 

Fascinator 1- Mariella

Last year I picked up a couple of fascinator/ millinery books to look through.  For the upcoming Kentucky Derby, I decided to make my mom and I a fascinator using Hannah Scheidig’s book “Fascinators: 25 Stylish Accessories to Top Off Your Look”.

The first fascinator was for my mom.  As her derby dress is purple, I knew that the color would be hard to match so I decided on a black and white theme instead for it.  I used the first pattern in the book, Mariella for her hat.  Since it was to be my first hat, I decided to go easy and I bought the sinamay bias from an Etsy store.

The pictures in the instruction are well done.  I used two colors so my Mariella fascinator came out similar but not exactly the same.  I found that it was easier for me to make a complete loop then twist the loop into the figure eight and sew.  After I had the larger white loop and the black interior one, I sewed them stacked together.  The smallest white loop is the last piece put on.  I overlapped the white bias and sew the overlap together.

The book suggest that this pattern is easy and will take about an hour to complete.  The easy skill level is very accurate.  However, the hour to complete may be very optimistic.  I think I probably have been closer to 3 hours.  Some of that is trying to determine if the loops look similar to the pattern and changing it from 1 color to 2 colors.  Another part of it is deciding the best way to put it on one’s head.  In the end, between the hair stylist, my mom and me, we decided her short curly hair could use a clip or bobby pins.  In the end, I hand sewed a small piece of sinamay to the back to slide either a clip or bobby pins in.

Another sewing related item I did last year was to invest in nice hand sewing needles.  I used a number 8 millinery needle from Tulip and that needle never bent at all.

Replacement dress

 

After a lot of consideration, I went with the circle skirt dress with contrast collar from Joan Hinds’ “Heritage Doll Clothes”.  I knew that I had used the book several times already and always had a decent outfit afterwards.  Pictures are behind just because it is harder to get great ones in winter; it was dark when I got home from work.

This is using the same fabric as used for the K&R Vintage dress that didn’t come out well.  The lining is some white quilting cotton.  And I bought some navy ribbon to make the bow belt.  After getting the ribbon, I realized the tiny dots are actually black and not navy like I thought.


The only major change I made was to not use the bias tape for the finishing of the collar and sleeve cuffs.  Instead I double cut the collar and the sleeve cuffs so I would have facings for them.

The ribbon belt length was decided after the dress was completed and then I trimmed it after I got a bow that I liked.


 

K&R Vintage- McCall’s 9958


I love that K&R Vintage takes old children’s patterns and makes them into doll sized.  I decided to try out one from 1939 for Kit.  I had previously used one for Molly and had great success with it.  However, it doesn’t seem like Kit is destined to get the same result. I definitely won’t recommend this one unless you want to take the time to fix it.

All the pattern notches and seams lined up perfectly which is great.

The part that I really don’t like is that the shoulders of the dress are about a quarter of an inch off of Kit’s shoulders.  It isn’t suppose to have dropped shoulder sleeves.  I think this is too much to just be a cutting or off sewing issue.

Below is how it looked before the side seams were brought in.

I pulled in the side seams at least  three-quarters of an inch.  At this point, it is probably as good as it gets.

I did as the pattern requested and checked the wrist measurement and the pattern piece provided looked like it would fit fine.  But in the end I had troubles getting it over Kit’s fingers.  I would have preferred to added some hook & loop fastener at the cuffs just to make it easier on me.

I decided I am not willing to try to make the necessary changes to the pattern to get a better fitting garment for Kit.  I do wonder if the original children’s dress had the same issues though.  I have not been able to find the inspiration pattern on the internet.  Kit will probably just get a different dress altogether.

Start of Marie Grace’s New Outfit

Over Christmas, I was able to make a couple of doll items.  Keeping a less formal look, I decided on a shirtwaist, skirt and jacket for Marie Grace.  As of right now, Marie Grace only got her skirt which was from the 1860s School Outfit from Joan Hind’s “Heritage Doll Clothes”.

The skirt is easy to make and probably should have waited until everything has been completed.  I didn’t make any changes to the pattern except for closure preference.  But realize that Marie Grace has her hoop skirt on underneath this skirt so the pattern works well on newer dolls with all the historical undergarments.

I use a light weight suiting fabric to make the skirt and hook & loop fastener for the closure not the hook & eye requested.

 

Liberty Jane King’s Canyon Peplum

Nahji’s outfit consist of the Liberty Jane mini skirt and the Liberty Jane King’s Canyon Peplum top.  I have already reviewed the skirt with Dell’s outfit.  So this will just be the King’s Canyon Peplum.

Intermediate sewing level is probably about right for this project.  It requires a light weight fabric which if you are not use to can cause problems.  I used rayon challis that I had left over in the scrap bin.  Rayon challis does require a lot of pinning as it is slippery.

As I really didn’t have any trim that I wanted to use it does seem a little plain on the front.  I probably should have used one of the decorative stitches from my sewing machine.  Or maybe I shouldn’t have done the split at the neck line.  I am not sure.

It fits Nahji well and really wasn’t hard to stitch together.  It does require having the right fabric suggestions to get a great drape.  I double rolled the peplum hem and that did cause it to stick out in the rayon.

Harajuku Skirt (Hearts for Hearts dolls)

Lauryce’s skirt has been done since early July .  But I have been horrible about taking time to take pictures.  There is at least 6 other doll items plus a couple of items for myself still needing pictures.

Lauryce got the Harajuku skirt from Liberty Jane.  It was in the Hearts for Hearts/ Les Corrolles section so not the Wellie version.

All I remember is that this was extremely fast to sew.  I think I had it completed in one evening from cutting to end.  I know that I would have done as much as possible flat (even the hem) then put the elastic at the waist.  Lastly was seaming up the back.

Lauryce’s skirt is from left over quilting cotton I had from the grey suit I previously made.  Her top is Liberty Jane’s baseball tee which was previously made.

 

 

More Hearts for Hearts Sewing- Liberty Jane patterns

Dell is up next.  Dell’s new outfit consists of Liberty Jane’s gathered t-shirt and Liberty Jane’s mini skirt pattern.

Dell’s t-shirt is made from ITY knit leftover from a dress I cut for myself (which is waiting to be put together).  I really like the finished t-shirt.  But my biggest complaint is that it didn’t include a neckband piece.  So instead of turning under and hemming, I cut out a band matching the width of the little arm cuffs and longer than the neck line length.  I basically used it as a facing and turned it to the inside and stitched down.

I just used the standard 2 rows of basting stitches for the gathering.  All the gathering was fairly easy even with the knit fabric.

The Liberty Jane mini skirt pattern is sized for Wellie Wishers and Hearts for Hearts dolls (14.5 & 14 inch dolls).  I had cut out four of view A from Kona cotton.  I only ended up with 3 skirts because I figured I needed to bring in the side seams for my Hearts for Hearts (since they are smaller than Wellies).  So the first skirt did not fit on my dolls and I was not going to go through fixing it.  After the first one, I used the recommended quarter- inch for side seams and the fit is fine for my dolls.

Now if you have a Wellie Wisher, you may want to consider including a bit more wearing ease so the skirt is easier to pull on and off.  In that case, my recommendation would be to get your extra width from the center front and center back seams.  For View A, I had to fold the front and back fabric pieces and then stitch in a faux felled seam.  That faux felled seam is where I recommend getting your desired width if necessary.

I did like how Cinnamon has you finish the side seams because it does give you a nice waistband finish.  It may not be the best method for complete beginners as afterwards, you have to sew the front waistband down in the round.  A small 6 inch or so waist is pretty tight to do in the round.  The American girl sized dolls are probably easier to complete like this.  For me, it was slow sewing and constantly trying to make sure I was able to move the skirt and able to see.

Simplicity 8574

Over Father’s Day weekend, several of the Hearts for Hearts girls got new outfits.  As I didn’t want to take away from Rahel’s bold necklaces, I decide to go with Simplicity 8574.  I did view A’s shirt and view B’s leggings.

The leggings used the same sueded ITY that I used for my McCall’s 6654 skirt.  Rahel’s t-shirt uses a cotton knit remnant that one of my friends gave me.

I really think this pattern is designed more in line with the Wellie Wishers sizing.  The shoulders and sleeves of Rahel’s top are just too big for her.  The sleeves would be easy enough to shorten, but I don’t think taking a 3/8th inch seam allowance on the armsythe will fix the shoulders being too wide.  I really don’t know the best way to fix the shoulder problem that Rahel has with this top.

Plus the top did not have a neckband piece.  It was another turn and hem type top.  I don’t feel like I get as nice of a finish this way.  So I cut a rectangular block about 1 inch wide and use it as a facing to finish the neckline.

The leggings are a bit baggy at the waistband.  The leggings should be much easier to adjust.  I think it should just be changing from a quarter-inch seam allowance to a bit over three-eighths seam allowance for the crotch seams.

After I finish up my purses for the Sew Powerful Purse project, I will probably make Rahel a different outfit.

Hearts for Hearts Liberty Jane Jeans

Tipi was the first doll to get a completed outfit (but that is because I used a previously made Wren Feathers gathered blouse).

Tipi’s pants are from Kona cotton.

I pretty much followed the directions of the pattern except for I did not want to insert my elastic in the round.  This time I left one side seam undone but finished off the in-seam so I would be able to hem the second leg easily.  After that, I inserted the elastic and tacked the end of it down.  The final side seam was pinned then sewn and finished with zig-zag stitch.  Side seam was trimmed and I feel that gave me a nice easy to make finish.

This small of a size may have been difficult to complete in the round on a sewing machine.  I am not sure I would want to hand sew it as you do need the waistband to be strong.  My hand-stitching may not be professional enough for this sort of task.

I finished all the seams off with a small zig-zag stitches then trimmed off the rest of the seam allowance (it wasn’t that much).

Butterick 6464 Skirt

 

Last summer I tried shopping for a RTW one but could not find anything I liked. So looking ahead to spring and summer, I decided I needed to make some knit elastic waist skirts.  After searching the pattern stash, I decided to use Butterick 6464.  It is from their Lisette collection.  This was probably finished early May but just now getting blog photo; weather was some of the problem.

I traced out a size 20. I could have sworn I measured myself correctly.  I think my problem was either the stretch material or I measured myself when I was having symptoms from endometriosis and this caused the difference.  So far, the endometriosis theory is the front- runner.  In the end, I took about 4 inches off all over so I should have traced a size 16 instead.

The fabric used first is a candy apple Ponte knit. With my Pfaff Ambition, it handled the Ponte better at a slower sewing speed.

I did not shorten the pattern when I traced it out. I knew I would most likely take off some length but I wanted to be able to see the skirt on before deciding how much should be removed.  I shortened it by an inch then took a 3 inch hem.

I later traced out a 16 one weekend. The following week, I spent cutting out Butterick 6464 skirts in grey, royal blue, and tan Ponte, plus able to cut a Liesl & Co Classic shirt and doll apron.

Over the weekend, I put on my “Home Fires” DVD and went to work on putting together my skirts. As for “Home Fires”, I still don’t agree with the decision to cancel the series.  But back to the skirts, I decided to top-stitch down each side on the center front and back panels.    As for the side seams, I ended up taking them in an inch (2 inches total).  This is a more reasonable amount based on fabric stretch, so I didn’t decide to re-trace out the size 14.

 

The skirts went together fairly quickly and I had all three completed by Sunday afternoon.

 

 

 

 

A bit Late- Simplicity 8365

I really should have thought about making Simplicity 8365 before the Kentucky Derby and the Royal Wedding.  But the thought never crossed my mind then.

In researching the pattern (which I did after I bought and cut the pattern out), I did come across the designer’s tutorial.  It was nice to see the pictures of the flowers being made.

I uses poly satins from Joann’s Casa collection and a block of tan felt.  As a warning, the rosewater pink satin I used was a bit heavy and made it harder to hand sew the roses, so be cautious on the weight.

As for the roses, I found it was easier to hand sew at the bottom as you were wrapping the fabric around.  I started with going through the entire bottom to secure it but eventually switched over to tacking the round to the previous one.

I covered the felt round with a piece of the satin.  On the purple hat I made my mom, I covered the felt before putting the netting on.  But for the second hat (which is the one shown) I decided to sandwich the netting between the satin and the felt.

There is a lot of netting for this hat.  For my hat, I trimmed off about half of the netting.  Otherwise, I think it stuck out about 10 to 12 inches above the base.

All the hand sewing of the flowers convinced me to look for a thimble.  By the end of sewing the flowers on, my poor thumbnail ached.  Since I got a thimble, I decided to invest in hand sewing needles too.  So I will post a review of those items when I try them out especially since they were fairly expensive.

I will be completely honest, I don’t think that a comb or a clip will be able to hold this up.  There is quite a bit of weight from the roses plus all the volume of the netting, which made me think that a thin metal headband would be better.  So I cut another of the felt circle base to be able to glue the fascinator to.  Hot glue ended up being the best way to attach the fascinator onto the headband.

 

 

Dollhouse Designs Fiesta Folklorico Skirt

The Hearts for Hearts dolls haven’t had any new clothes in a while.  So first up was Consuelo.  I already had Consuelo a nice rose-colored t-shirt and wanted something to go with it.  In the end I decided on Dollhouse Design’s Fiesta Folklorico pattern.  It gives options for two dress styles, a peasant style blouse and two skirt options.  I decided to go with the long skirt option with ruffle at the bottom.

Next step was finding fabric for Consuelo’s skirt and out of all the fabric at home nothing seemed to work well.  Friday after paying my mortgage and getting a library book, I went fabric shopping for Consuelo’s skirt.  I picked her out a quilting cotton that has a blue schemed floral pattern on it.  It should work well with her pink shoes and rose top.

This is the first Dollhouse Designs pattern I have used.  The PDF was sixty pages.  The instructions were well written and had great pictures.  I didn’t use the instructions much.  Everything seemed pretty intuitive.

The skirt went together very easily.  The most difficult part was gathering the bottom ruffle to fit. My ruffle was longer than suggested.  I probably had a 89 inch ruffle but I wasn’t going to over think where to trim it for an 86 inch ruffle.

The biggest change I made was switching the skirt from Velcro enclosure to an elastic enclosure.  As Consuelo is a 14 inch doll, she has a waist that is almost a quarter of an inch smaller than the Wellie Wishers.  I did baste in the back for a smaller waistline but really thought it was too much of an overlap.  So instead, I cut a 6.5 inch piece of half- inch elastic and threaded it through the waist band and then sewed the back seam at 3/8 inch.  The skirt was a little tight sliding over Consuelo’s hips but otherwise, it fits her perfectly.

 

 

McCall’s 6654 Skirts

Over the spring, I had a little “knit elastic skirt” project.  Last summer I went to a store and couldn’t find any.  So this year, being proactive, I made about 8 different skirts so I would have plenty for separates over the summer.  First up on the blog is McCall’s 6654 which was the second pattern I tried.

I made two skirts of view F (19 inch length), one skirt in view G (23 inch length) and one skirt in view I (42 inch length).  All skirts are from ITY knit.  I did a larger hem allowance at 1.25 inches for 3 out of the 4 skirts.  I also used size 16 for all of them.  Only the maxi skirt had any major pattern alterations.

First up the View F.  I made two version of this view.  The first was from the black patterned ITY.  I used the 1.25 inches for the hem so it was above knee-length.  As it was the first, I also had doubts so I took in the side seams some which I shouldn’t have done.

The second View F (skirt 3 from pattern) is from a brushed sueded ITY knit.  This fabric did not like heat at all.  I burnt it with the iron which was set under 4 (just on the steam side).  Because of that, I did a double folded narrow hem that I would not need to take the iron to.  It is serged then rolled twice.  Otherwise there were no pattern alterations.

View G was the second version of the pattern completed.  This time the only change made was to use the 1.25 inch hem.  Everything else was according to pattern.

Last skirt completed was View I (the maxi skirt).  I knew immediately that 42 inches long was too much.  I had my dad check the length I needed with a tape measure.  It came to 36 inches.  I ended up using 37 inches.  I figured I would rather have the pattern piece too long instead of not long enough and I used a deeper hem (the 1.25 inches like previous versions).  I started at the lengthen and shorten line and marked off every three inches 4 more times.  At each line I took out an inch of length then blended the side seam from top to end of adjustments.

I really like this pattern (I guess making it 4 times proves it).  It was extremely versatile and allowed me to try out a midi length also.  The pattern is extremely easy to sew together and would make a perfect beginner project.  I think all total each version was probably about 4 hours from cutting to finished.  It took two evenings to complete just because I don’t like fighting elastic late at night.  It always seems to twist.

It is also fairly easy to modify.  I made my mom one for mother’s day and at the side seams to fit her.  But she doesn’t like having her items posted to the blog.

 

 

 

Draped Doll Cardigan

After changing my mind several times about what to make Grace for her new outfit, I went with Suzy M Studios’ draped cardigan, Liberty Jane baseball tee, and the Liberty Jane jeans I had previously made.  This is the first time I have used any of Suzy M Studio’s patterns.

As a quick over-view, I used a cotton slubbed jersey for the baseball tee.

The draped cardigan is rated as easy.  As long as you are comfortable with light weight knit fabric, I would say that is fairly accurate.  I really only checked the directions to see information about hemming.  But you do need to keep in mind that light weight knits can be shifty.

I used a rayon jersey for my version.  So it was definitely shifty when I was trying to hem.

I like that the instructions gave details about how to make it in a stripe fabric also.  I would like to make a stripe one eventually.

 

 

Kirsten’s Prairie Ensemble- Keeper Dolly Duds 3

It was Kirsten’s turn for a new outfit.  I have had this Keeper Dolly Duds’ “Prairie Ruffle” for a little while and went with that for her.

Both the dress and the apron are from quilting cotton.

Prairie Ruffle was listed as easy.  I think that is appropriate for the dress.  I really only looked at the directions for the collar of the dress and for the ruffle on the sleeve.  But the apron while it wasn’t hard was definitely tricky when trying to imagine how the pieces go together.  I used the instructions for the entire apron.  I didn’t quite understand how the bottom corners at the hem were constructed either.

It isn’t something I usually do with doll clothes, but I would definitely recommend stay stitching the neck line for the apron.  It is such a wide open neckline that the stay stitching should help it from stretching out until you finish it with the ruffle and bias binding.

As always, I didn’t want to make the buttonholes so the back closes with hook and loop fastener.  I probably need to add another row of hook and loop fastener on the apron as the back is loose.

This is another personal preference but I didn’t want as long of a button placket down the apron.  I kept all the buttons up on the bodice of the apron so I didn’t mess with the gathering of the apron skirt.

More Heritage Doll Clothes

So this time around, I pulled out Joan Hind’s “Heritage Doll Clothes” book to make the dropped waist dress for a Rebecca doll some little girl got for Christmas.  The designs for the early turn of the century are just so pretty.  I don’t know any of the little girl’s likes or dislikes so hopefully a purple and white dress will be well received.

I will have to admit this was one of those dresses I really didn’t like putting together but look so good when it is done.  I know I will suffer again when I go and make one for my own dolls.

Compared to the other dresses from the book I completed, there may be something just tiny bit off.  The pieces didn’t line up as easily as the other patterns did.

The sleeve cuff was labeled as 5 inches long.  I had to slightly gather the bottom of my sleeve so that it would fit the 5 inch width.  When I make it again, I will have the cuff a little longer so that they match the bottom of the sleeve.  Also my sleeve took some wiggling to get Rebecca’s had through the opening.

I don’t remember seeing it in the directions, but I trimmed the ends of my yoke seams so that it was easier to put in my sleeve.  On my dress, the corners of this seam were very obvious and would have made it harder for me to put in a sleeve.

I didn’t see any marks on the pattern showing where the belt should go.  I probably put this a little low for the doll.  But I did change the look of the belt with using a cross over and a single focal point button.  (Thank you Melody for the button.)

I used the instructions provided in the book to make the yoke piping.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

LJC UK Holiday Outfit for Hearts For Hearts Girls

Another Hearts for Hearts Girls outfit.  This time I made Dell the Liberty Jane UK Holiday outfit.  Lately, I have been using my 1/4″ guide quilting foot for my Pfaff Ambition.  It has been really great and easy to use.

Liberty Jane suggest that the skill level for the UK Holiday outfit is intermediate.  The intermediate rating is more in likely because of the knit fabric choice.  Otherwise the pattern was very easy to assemble.

For Dell’s top, I used a rayon lycra jersey knit.  It is especially important that the knit for the top be very light and drapey.  If it isn’t, then the top will not look great and be pretty bulky looking on your doll.  To make the waist elastic casing and the casing at the bottom of the sleeves, I used my beige colored Hug Snug binding.  I used 1/4 inch elastic for the entire top.

Even though the top was a fairly easy sew, I am not sure I like it enough to use the top pattern again.  I think this is more personal preference than pattern issues.

However, I do like the legging pattern and will be using that more in the future.  Dell is currently wearing the leggings using a stretch knit denim looking fabric.  I used the 1/4 inch elastic for the waist of the leggings.  If I am remembering correctly, I think the leggings took under an hour to make.

Rahel’s Ethiopian Dress

June 10 is World Doll Day.  So lets celebrate by showing off Rahel in her new dress.  Rahel is the third Hearts for Hearts doll added to my collection.

Rahel got the Ethiopian dress from Wren Feathers designs.  Honestly, it is an extremely easy pattern to put together.  I read through the directions and I decided that I was going to use a Velcro to close the back of the dress up.  I printed out a separate piece for the back and then added 3/8th of an inch to the center back for the Velcro.

The stash really didn’t have all the colorful trim that the pattern asked for.  Instead, I used my machine’s decorative stitches and the straight stitch for trim.  It was stitch 32 or 36 on my Pfaff Ambition Essential.  I really wished I would have went with more colorful stitches instead of staying with the single color which matched Rahel’s bangles and necklace.  As for the main fabric, I have to admit it is a mystery fabric that I got from Hancock’s remnant bin.  But it was a lovely light blue which worked well with the trim stitching.

However, I didn’t catch that the sleeve area should have had the binding also.