Tag Archive | American girl doll

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.

 

 

 

Samantha’s floral dress Simplicity 1179

Samantha was the last doll to get a new dress for Me- Made- May.  Now all my dolls are wearing hand-made for the month.

Samantha got view D from Simplicity 1179 designed by Keepers Dolly Duds for Simplicity.  Her dress made from a quilting cotton.  Like previous doll makes, I switched out the button closure for Velcro.  I really should have tried the dress on my doll before finishing it.  It is a touch looser than expected because I really didn’t consider where her back seam should be for switching the closure out to Velcro.

I like this view much better than the view B that I made for Rebecca back in February.  I recommend being slow and cautious when doing the pin-tucks on the sleeve.  As far as I could tell, there was really not a great method of marking them.  I marked it on the back like usual, but the pin-tuck covers the marking as one is sewing.

I really didn’t have a great match for lace on the front bodice so I left that off of Samantha’s dress.  However, if Samantha gets a light lavender pinafore that should complete her outfit off quite nicely.

With the weather picking up and hopefully no rain, I should be able to get pictures of the back log of projects.

Melody’s Sunday Outfit- Butterick 6265

Melody got her first hand-made outfit!  Melody got a lined jacket and a dress from Butterick 6265.  It is a reprint from 1957.  I did a quick internet check to see if the style was still around in 1964 girls sewing patterns.  I was able to find some examples so I went ahead with my plan.

I have half a yard of this lime green daisy print quilting cotton that would work well for the skirt.  The pattern shows the jacket and the skirt matching, however, my print was just too big for the jacket to look as nice.  So for the jacket, I decided on a coordinating solid (probably a little more of a contemporary look since it isn’t matching).

Lets start first with the lined dress.  I think the main reason the bodice is lined is for a clean finish at the neck line.  The instructions have you sew the neckline and end of sleeves of the lining and outer fabric together.  Side seams I finished off with my serger.  Skirt and petticoat are sewn on after the side seams are finished.

I did cheat on the netting petticoat.  I bought one of the 6 inch wide rolls of tulle and just used that.  I didn’t follow the pattern piece but just took a length off the roll and baste stitched it.  Then I matched it up to the skirt piece; gathering as needed.  The skirt was basted and gathered to fit the bodice.  To be honest, with the amount of gathers in the skirt, one probably doesn’t need the netting petticoat that is included in the pattern if you use a quilting cotton.

 

On to the jacket, the lined jacket was actually easier than I anticipated and I had it completed before dinner the day I cut it out.  It is just 2 pattern pieces the jacket front and jacket back.  In the end, I decided to construct all the outer blue fabric together as one time.  Then after a break, I cut out the lining and put it together.  The lining and outer fashion fabric are sewn together on the outside edge, then slipped through the opening you leave at the bottom.  That opening is hand sewn closed.  So after a good press, it was on to attaching the sleeve lining to the outer fabric.  It was not able to be machine sewn so it was hand sewn also.  Lastly, I decided to just sew in a snap so the jacket can close but still have the simple front.

To be honest, I think this jacket would look so cute with jeans and a t-shirt also.

Molly’s Floral Dress- K&R Vintage Patterns (S3234)

I was able to sneak another doll outfit in between items for my dad. This time it was Molly’s turn for a new dress.  For Molly’s new dress, I decided to try out a new pattern designer, K&R Vintage patterns.  The patterns are scaled down children’s sewing patterns.  It was nice to be able to say you made a real 1940’s dress for your doll. The one I chose was Simplicity 3234 (rough estimate of 1940-ish).

This was another time that my fabric stash let me down. I just couldn’t find anything in it that fit my vision of what Molly’s dress should look like.  So it was another trip to the fabric store.  There I came across this lovely aqua floral quilting cotton that ended up being perfect.  I decided against trim for the collar of the dress and opted for letting the print be the main focal point.  I figured the dress could be trim-less because Molly didn’t have enough rationing coupons for lace.

I only made the dress, but I did notice that the cutting layout has you include an item for the pinafore (Pinafore Belt N) on the dress layout. If you are just making the dress, it isn’t needed.  If you are making the pinafore, you probably should decide whether you want it out of the pinafore fabric or the dress fabric.

I didn’t do any pattern alternations even though I know Molly is on the larger size of dolls. However, I knew that I was not going to keep the button back closure.  I inserted the collar.  For the lining I only stitched the neckline seams (I didn’t continue it down the sides).  Then the bodice and lining were ironed flat.  Sleeves were stitched to both outer fabric and lining then ran through the serger for seam finishing.  I really didn’t want to hand sew the lining to the sleeve.  Bottom of bodice (and lining) were basted for gathering into the “belt” waistband pieces.  The bodice was attached to the waistband.  Skirt was attached to waistband.  Then I measured to find where the center back was on the pattern piece.  It was half-inch from raw edge.  My Velcro is quarter-inch wide, so I subtracted that out from the half-inch and used a three-eighth seam allowance for the back.

Overall, the pattern was fairly easy to put together.  Since, it is a scale down of the 1940s children’s sewing pattern, the instruction may confuse a new seamstress.  In the center is the original pattern instructions.  The instructions along the sides is how you put together your doll dress.  I did print out the instructions just because I was not certain about the instructions layout.  But otherwise, it was easy to follow.

Slowly working through my dolls, next up will be Melody.  I have a Butterick pattern picked out and some fabric.  I just need to decide what fabric to use for the jacket.