Tag Archive | American girl

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.

 

 

Felicity’s Jacket- Thimbles & Acorns 18th Century Hooded Jacket

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After Rebecca, Felicity was up next for a new outfit.  I had seen Jessa’s version of Thimbles and Acorns’ 18th Century Hooded jacket so that plus that the pattern is rated as easy seem to seal the deal as that is what Felicity was going to get for the new outfit.

My friend Annette had given me some lovely scraps of fabric at one of our Christmas parties for KC Pinheads.  If I remember right, I think she said that the fabric I ended up using for Felicity’s skirt is an Italian wool?.  Anyways, the skirt was very simple to make.  It is gathered rectangles on a waistband.  Now, I determined I don’t care for the instructions of sewing ties into the waistband and then tying the skirt shut on both sides.  So I decided to use Velcro on one side only.  The other side’s waist band was sewn closed and the pocket opening sides were stitched down.  So the pocket opening is still usable (if Felicity had pockets).

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As for the jacket, I had planned on using the skirt fabric to make the hood.  But the more I thought about it; the more I came to realize that doing that would limit the versatility of having separate pieces.  In the end, I decided to use the blue cotton voile for the collar and outer fabric and the white quilting cotton for the lining.  Maybe if I scour my fabric stash some more, Felicity could have another skirt to coordinate with her blue jacket.

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Again, I changed the closure of the jacket from laced/ hooks to Velcro.  Since I made that change, I used a narrower seam allowance on the front of 3/8 inch instead so the fronts would overlap.

Lace was subbed in for the soutashe on the sleeves.

I had a little bit of trouble with the sleeves.  I was under the impression that the whole jacket was being turned through the bottom of the sleeve then hand sewing the bottom of sleeve closed.  So it would be making complete outer and complete lining then put them together.  But the instructions have you turning through the armhole at the shoulder area.  I had to remove my sleeve and redo them.  Then after everything was finished, the arm shoulder/ sleeve seam was hand sewn shut.

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In the photos, Felicity is wearing her original shift (chemise) from American Girl under the jacket and skirt.  To be honest, the jacket is a bit tight in the upper arm area because of it.  I almost wonder if I had finished my seams with the serger, I may have been able to skip the hand sewing and maybe get a little extra ease at the armhole.

Felicity was so fortunate that my friends at the New Lancaster General store let her have a photo shoot in their lunch area/ overflow tasting room when my parents and I visited before Valentine’s day.

One three more dolls are waiting for new hand-made outfits: Samantha, Molly, and Melody.  But for now, they will have to wait until a few other projects are completed first.

 

Rebecca’s Blue Dress- Simplicity 1179

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So moving along in my American Girl doll collection, it was Rebecca’s turn for a new dress.  So Simplicity 1179 is another of the Keeper’s Dolly Duds patterns for Simplicity.

I honestly don’t know what the light blue fabric is, but based on drape, I think there is some rayon in it.  This was probably a bit light for the pattern.  The white fabric used for the sleeve accent and collar is a quilting cotton.

 

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The pattern instructions are well done and easy to follow.

I probably err on the side of simplicity as I didn’t use all the buttons that the pattern request.  My version is missing the buttons on the sleeves, and on the collar.  I reduced the number of buttons on the placket to three because I used a 3/8 inch buttons instead of 1/4 buttons.  That was mainly because I wanted gold buttons.

I used Velcro to close the back of the dress instead of buttons which are mentioned on the pattern.  I have probably about 20 yards left from the 25 yard roll of Velcro I bought from Etsy last year.

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As always with Keeper’s Dolly Duds patterns, the pattern is well drafted.  However, it may just be me, I feel like the waistband is a little low.  I know it is a dropped waist style; but Rebecca looks like she has a saggy waistband in the back.  I think the next time I make this pattern I may take in the waistband to see if that helps out the saggy backside.

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As Samantha is still needing a new dress, I may come back to this pattern and try out either view C or view D.

 

Marie Grace got a dress too- Simplicity 1391

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After finishing up Cecile’s dress, I should have moved on to making me some more t-shirts.  However, that didn’t happen; I blame it on the cold weather.  I just don’t want to sew something and have to wait till it warms up to wear it.  So instead, the dolls got another new dress.  This time it was Marie Grace’s turn for the new dress, but all that I knew was that I didn’t want Marie Grace’s dress to look like Cecile’s dress.  From that I had 3 pattern options:  Addy’s Christmas dress from Pleasant Company, Addy’s school set from Pleasant Company and Simplicity 1391.  In the end, I decided that view A from Simplicity 1391 went best with the fabric I bought.

This is actually the second time I have used this pattern.  Cecile got a dress B from it back in March 2015 (Cecile’s dress).  This time I decided to use view A with the peplum.

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So remembering from the first time, I knew that this pattern really needs the trim to elevate the dress from a simple plain dress.  As I didn’t really have coordinating trims, I decided that the lace at the hem was more important to the overall look than the lace at the collar.  After that I made sure I picked out a thicker white lace to pick up the flowers in the dress.

As a reminder, the back of the dress does have darts and there is bias facing for the neckline.

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The instructions are well done.  If I had followed them more closely than just for the sleeves, I would have remembered to put in the ties at the side seams.  I realized I had forgotten them as I was attaching the skirt to the bodice.  At that point I was not seam ripping out serging and stitches to add them in.  The peplum dress is probably fine without the ties, but the other dresses will benefit from the added detail.

Like previous dresses made, I decided to use Velcro for the back closure instead of the pattern recommended buttons.  Otherwise, there really were not any more changes made from the pattern beside the missing ties and missing lace at the collar.

Marie Grace is able to wear her hoop skirt, and chemise under this.  I didn’t go to my doll clothing box to get her out a petticoat, but considering Cecile was able to wear her view B of the dress with one, Marie Grace should be able to also.

 

 

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Cecile’s New Gown- Keeper’s Dolly Duds 1

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Right off, I have finally came to the conclusion my Cecile does not like winter (which I guess is understandable for a character from New Orleans as Kansas is much colder).  So these pictures really do not do full justice to how beautiful Cecile really is.

Last time that Cecile had a new dress was in March of 2015.  So she was long over due for a new outfit.  In the end, all the pieces came together and Cecile got Keeper’s Dolly Duds 1- “1850’s girl’s gown” in an ivory and white quilting cotton with black looped braid trim and black bias piping.

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Pattern is rated as easy which seems to be accurate.  I was able to easily put it together with a little help from the instructions.  I think I had the dress together in 7 to 8 hours.  The most time- consuming part of this dress was all the trim.

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Instead of using the same trim on the over skirt, upper sleeve and bodice, I decided to go with bias tape piping that I bought in store.  The piping did add extra bulk to the shoulders and neckline.  For the lower sleeve and skirt, I used a looped braid.  I serged the hems then turned them up.  After that I lined the braid trim with the edge of hem and zig-zagged stitched it to the dress.

The skirt pieces are long and get gathered into the waist of the dress.  I put in three rows of basting stitches for the gathers.  Then I pinned the ends and the center.  Afterwards I gathered it all up and pinned.  I was so happy that the skirt was sewn into the dress so easily.  I doubt I would have had that if I had done only two rows of basting for the gathers.

In the pictures, Cecile is wearing her American Girl chemise and hoop skirt plus a petticoat I made along with the meet pantalettes.

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Grace’s New Outfit- Simplicity 8282

dsci0097I picked this pattern and several of the other American Girl patterns from Simplicity in early December.  Honestly, the teal dress on the pattern enveloped just jumped out as one to make for Grace.

I decided on view C (supposedly a tunic but looks like a short dress) with view D’s sleeve.  I used rayon challis left over from my McCall’s blouse.  And I paired it with view A’s leggings from a denim knit found at Wal-Mart.

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Now for instructions, they were clear but not simple.  First thing I noticed reading them was that it had you inserting the sleeves in on the round on the top.  That is so not what I want to be doing is inserting tiny doll sleeves in the round.  I refused to do that so I modified how to construct the top.

I gathered and attached the front and back pieces to their respective yokes.  Then I attached those pieces at the shoulder seams.  Next I worked on the yoke lining.  After I had that together, I attached the yoke lining to the front at the neckline, clipped and top-stitched.  I basted the bottom of the yoke lining so I had something to turn under when I pressed the yoke area.  After pressing, I top-stitched the bottom of the yoke pieces.

I stitched the sleeve lining to the sleeve at the hem then pressed and top-stitched.  I put the sleeve into the dress bodice in the flat and used my serger to finish the seam allowance.  Next, I closed up the side seams and serged.  I gathered; applied the bottom ruffle and finished the seam allowances.  The back of the dress was closed up to the back opening.  Lastly, Velcro was applied.

There is probably a better order of instructions but hopefully this helps someone else out in trying to think of how to change the instructions.

If I had thought about it more, it may have been nice to finish the neckline with a bias facing.  It would then make the yoke lining optional but the top would have a clean finish using the yoke with the lining and serging the ruffle, side seams, and sleeves.  Another option would be using the burrito method.  I had thought about the burrito method but couldn’t at the time work out how to use the method with small doll clothing.

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The leggings had better instructions and I followed those.  The leggings went together in an hour and a half including cut to putting them on the doll.

I found a piece of leather cord in the beading stash that I used for the belt.

Last point I have about the pattern is a couple of the views have 1/8th inch elastic as required notion.  Honestly, I am not sure if that is available.  I think one would have to use elastic cord to get the 1/8th inch otherwise, the other option is to add extra to the seam allowances needing elastic (if possible).  I didn’t use any of those views but felt that it was important to let anyone looking at this know there could be hard to find notions needed for the pattern or adjustments because of it.

 

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