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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I have been working on a crochet blanket since September but progress on it is very slow. I needed a break and decided to crochet my dolls a poncho.
I used the K-sized crochet hook and the left over Red Heart yarn from my koala and sheep. I really liked that Yarnpirations had a video that I could follow along when I needed it. It was simpler than I had thought it would be but I think that is because I was able to watch the video to see it being done.
Since I was using left over yarn, the collar is only 9 stitches wide. The collar is sort of awkward size, if I had it to redo, I probably would have used 6 or 7 slip stitches. 9 stitches does not fold over as nicely. I guess I can always hand stitch the “corners” of the neckline down to get a nicely folded collar. Also, the sides are only 4 slip stitches wide.
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.