Tag Archive | cotton

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.




Liesl + Co Everyday Skirt

I have at least 5 navy tops (either just plain navy or navy/ cream stripe) that really needed a lighter colored skirt to go with for the summer. My current light colored skirt (Vogue 1247 ) is just too short to wear to work.   As for fabric, I had a light colored cotton twill which was recently added to the stash.  I decided to try out the Liesl + Co everyday skirt to fill the wardrobe hole.


After reading some reviews and such, I was torn on what size to make. In the end, I decided on a large.  The only alterations I made was to shorten the skirt by an inch and to shorten the elastic (probably by three inches).   Since, I didn’t have three- quarter inch elastic at home, I went ahead and used one and half- inch elastic instead.  This did make the back of my skirt bulky especially because of shortening the elastic.  To tame it down some, I zig-zag stitched down the center of the elastic.


As of right now, I am not sure if I would be better going down to the medium or just altering the large more. The side seams feel too far back.  I think taking a quarter-inch (for a half- inch total) out of the center front would help that.  I would definitely go out and buy half- inch and three-quarter inch elastic for any future versions.  Otherwise, I know the back piece needs less width but I don’t know how much to take out.  The length needs to go up at least another inch beyond what I have done.  I really want it to end just above the knee that way there is a gap between the top of my boots that I wear in winter and the bottom of the skirt.




Last Blue Floral Doll Dress- Simplicity 1391

DSCI0191This time I tried out Simplicity 1391 for Cecile.  The pattern was designed by Eve Coleman from Keeper Dolly Duds.  This pattern contains three dress views, one jacket, one bonnet, one apron, and a pair of pantaloons.

I decided to make view B’s dress.  I did not have any coordinating trim in my stash so I left that part off.  The blue floral cotton is a fairly busy print but after my dress was completed I do feel like it is lacking something special that the trim would provide.  The dress is a little plain without the trim.  I think I still have some of the navy linen look fabric that I can use to make her the coordinating jacket.


I had not tried out any Keeper Dolly Duds pattern before.  Since this was my first and I knew I wanted to put it on Cecile, I did not make any alterations to the pattern.

Interesting items to note about this pattern is the back bodice of the dress has darts.  I haven’t seen that used before.  The other item is the neckline facing.  It was fiddly to sew but give the dress a beautifully clean look on the inside.  I definitely will keep that pattern piece in mind when another doll pattern needs a neckline facing and it isn’t provided (example: coat in Simplicity 4347).

The dress came together easily and the directions were pretty good.  The pattern recommends three-eighth inch buttons which I did not have so I subbed in Velcro instead for the closure.


In the pictures Cecile is wearing her chemise, hoop skirt and pantalets (all from American Girl) as well as a petticoat that I made for her.  I really like that the dress still fits well over all that stuff.  I think that this dress would also fit my older Kirsten doll well as long as she doesn’t have on too many undergarments.

I still have a tiny bit of the blue floral cotton left.  So the actual last item from this blue floral cotton will be a pair of Janes shoes whenever I get around to making them.


Lacy Finery: Heritage Doll Fashion Harriet’s Yellow Dress

One of the last patterns from my recent doll pattern spending spree was Heritage Doll Fashion’s Harriet’s Yellow dress. I think I got it mostly because it looked simpler than a couple of the other patterns I had purchased. After looking at the directions, they were the least intimidating. So that means it was the first to try out.


According to Pixie Faire website, this pattern is rated as intermediate. I don’t know if I quite agree with that. It was fairly easy to put together. But, this isn’t a dress that you can put together for your dolls in a couple of hours. It took me about 8 hours to complete this dress. I did get it finished all in one day but I started early in the morning. However, Harriet’s yellow dress isn’t a pattern that someone who hasn’t sewn before could do by themselves.


All the work is in the details of the dress. I think the intermediate rating probably comes from the amount of lace on the dress.   This dress took a lot of lace, 4.5 yards of lace. All of that lace had to be pinned on. So by the end of the project, my poor fingers looked like Swiss cheese with the amount of times I pricked myself with pins.


After I put the new dress on Marie Grace, I had to remove her hoop skirt (from AG) and her petticoat (that I made) also. There was just too much at her waist to neatly fasten the Velcro in back. It was bulging and that was even with the undergarments waistbands at different locations. So, now all that Marie Grace has on under her dress is the chemise (from AG) and her pantalettes.   If you are going for the “traditional” look with undergarments, you will need to add to the waist of the dress some.


I forgot to look at the receipt for the price I paid for the lace. So roughly guessing, I think this dress cost me $15.00 to make.


1960s Spring dress- Simplicity 5822


Originally, I was planning on post both versions of this dress up at the same time. But the more progress I made on the navy cotton dress, I felt like it needed to have its own post. The navy cotton dress is sort of the warm-up for the silk duiponi version that I am currently working on. It isn’t technically a muslin because I had all the fit issues worked out already. But I wanted to know what to expect for the main star dress and when I adapted the pattern to be lined.

I don’t want to give away too many details in this post because then you may not want to see the final silk result. But I did go ahead and tried a new pattern alteration method. It worked out fine and was much easier to understand the changes to be made.

I honestly can’t blame the pattern alterations for this, but my bodice ended up too long (about half an inch at least). It is most likely because I didn’t account for how much the skirt would weigh the bodice down.



Construction of the navy dress was pretty straight forward and ease. I serged all the edges of the pieces before beginning so I would have a clean finish. My serger re-claimed its spot on the dining table and evicted all the quilt blocks (I had hoped to work on when sick but didn’t get to) and doll clothes patterns. Collar came together easily. The front facing was narrowed hemmed. All eight darts had no difficulties. One mistake on the shoulder seams had to be fixed. I sewed them together backwards so that the center front was connecting to the back side seam. But quickly noticed and fixed.

I basted the collar down, put the front facing on and clipped where needed. Then I went back to the sewing machine to topstitch the neckline seam only to notice that I was out of navy blue thread. Even though everything was clicking and going well, I had to put my bodice on hold the rest of the night until I could get more navy thread.

This is the first time I used the buttonhole stitch on my little Pfaff Ambition Essentials. It took an hour to do 5 button holes. I had to rip out stitching on buttonholes about 3 times. The weight of the whole dress must have been fighting against my sewing machine. All the small samples I made came out fine, but on the dress they were too small. I think next time I will go ahead and put the buttonholes in before attaching to the skirt.

Arms were finished with bias strips instead of the armhole facing from the pattern at the very end. I ended up taking in the side seams about a half-inch more on each side after I had the buttonholes in.

The wind did affect the picture session on Sunday.

I am going to wait for the other version of this pattern before I go ahead and post it on Pattern Review for everyone. It is sort of sneak peek at what is to come. But between this and the final silk version, I may go ahead and make a doll dress sort of as a mental break.


What to do with the Left-over fabric? Heritage Doll Fashion Bubblegum


So after cutting out my plaid summer dress, I was adding a lot more fabric to the odds & ends fabric scrap pile.  The stuff that is not enough to make an article of clothing for me but too large to just throw away.  I don’t quilt so the amount is starting to overrun the box it is in.

I thought about making more items for Toby.  (Toby is probably thinking I have way too much time available and to not make anything for him.  Halloween is one outfit too many.)  One day when I opened up my closet, I remembered about the American Girl dolls I have.  I own four of them altogether (Felicity, Kristen, Samantha, and Molly); two were originally my sister’s dolls but she didn’t want them anymore.  Those scraps of fabric will work out perfect for making doll clothes for them.  Also, I may be able to donate the extra clothes I make for the dolls to either Toys for Tots or the Christmas Worthy.  I am sure Toby heaved a sigh of relieve as I am typing this.  Granted I may still make him a t-shirt out of the orange plaid cotton so he can have an outfit to match my summer dress.

After spending a couple of hours cleaning up all four doll and washing their laundry by hand.  Apparently my kitchen island isn’t big enough for the laundry of 3 American girls.  They cleaned up very well for being a box for several years.  I told my dad he gets the privilege of going to the American Girl store to shop for socks, panties, and stockings.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to get him to come with me four different times so that is why all four were cleaned at once.  I think I am going to display them in the living room.

So, first up on this American Girl sewing adventure is Heritage Doll Fashions “Bubble Gum” 1940s dress for Molly.  I got the pattern from an Etsy store.  It is an easy to use pdf pattern.  I used the orange plaid cotton I had left over from McCall’s 6340 dress.  Colors may not be historically accurate but at least the fabric will be.

As far as I can figure my American girl dolls were purchased around 1992 to 1995 (at the latest).  I am providing Molly’s measurements just as a comparison for anyone who is making this for a more modern doll.  I know there are differences between new and old but I am not sure how much.  From what I read on the internet, my older dolls are chubbier than the new ones.

Bust:  11.5 inches

Waist: 11 inches

Hips: 13 inches

In the end the waistband area seems a little tight on Molly.  I am not sure if it is because of Molly’s waist or just seam bulk.  If anything an additional quarter of an inch would probably make the waist fit better.  The bodice of the dress fit Molly just perfectly.

Looking at the pattern, I thought the hardest part of the pattern would be the rounded yoke.  It was not.  The hardest part turns out to be the sleeves.  So be prepared for that.  During construction, I went ahead and basted the lining and the bodice together at the side seams and the waistband to make it easier to sew.


Summer of 1962- McCall’s 6340


Here are the highlights of August 1962:

  • Actress/ Icon Marilyn Monroe passes away
  • Nelson Mandela is arrested
  • Patsy Cline releases “Sentimentally Yours”
  • Cuban Missile Crisis
  • Berlin Wall riots
  • 1st Mediterranean Grand Prix
  • NASA launches the Mariner 2 to Venus
  • Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago become independent countries.

Actually I didn’t realize this at first, but my dress would work for the Sew Weekly Reunion.  I never got to participate when it was going on but I wanted to at least try to do a couple.  But I was sick Friday and couldn’t take pictures.  Then Saturday was too hot for makeup.  Sunday was too wet.  I got my pictures done today but it was too late to participate.

The Facts

Fabric: 100% cotton

Notions: Thread from stash I didn’t care about what color I used so there is some light pink, white, and light yellow. The pattern is too busy to tell the thread changes colors mid-way through the hem.

Pantone Challenge colors: Koi and Vivacious

mccall 6340

Pattern: (post a picture of the pattern) McCall’s 6340 (Copyright 1962 McCall’s 6340 sewing pattern for misses retro Muu muu in two lengths. Four-gore muu muu, in choice of two lengths, with or without raglan sleeves. Muu muu is gathered to faced neckband at back and front. Contrasting, gathered ruffles in sleeve facing seams of longer muu muu. Shorter muu muu has gathered, self-fabric ruffle on lower edges; separate tie belt.)

Year: 2013

Time to complete: 4 hours total

First worn: Labor day weekend

Wear again? Yes. I adore that it is cute and fun. An easy wear for the heat wave we are having.

Total Cost: $22.00

I decided to go to the fabric store after I wasn’t able to find a decent sized watermelon for Toby (family doggie) one evening. Isn’t a fabric store where everyone wants to go to after a disappointment? I was able to find a cute light weight plaid cotton fabric in the clearance section. I couldn’t wait to cut the pattern out, so I didn’t pre-wash the fabric. I know this is bad but the pattern I picked is for bust size 38 to 40, so I think I should be alright if it shrinks in the wash. I may only put it in the dryer once to shrink it a little.

The pattern is super simple. It is perfect for those wanting to try out vintage pattern and for those just learning to sew. It isn’t highly fitted and makes an adorable summer dress with a belt. For it being a 1962 pattern, the style is still very current.  Very important a belt is needed otherwise it is a huge tent on.  No zipper or fasteners so it worked out perfect for me to try to get over my machine disappointments. I was able to get it half way finished in 2 hours. That was cutting and mostly piecing together. After that two hours I was missing a ruffle, finished arms, finishing back of neck and hemming.

I didn’t do any pattern alterations except for shortening the pattern. I started with about 2 inches. After piecing most of it together I took off another 4 inches of length. I also took in the side seams a couple of inches on each side. I did end up with a dress that is probably a little too big but makes a perfect loose summer dress with a belt. If I make it again, I may want to consider taking a couple of inches out of the center front and the center back seams instead of the side seams. Also, I probably should interface the neckline. The shoulder seams stick out a little. I think washing and wear should help this out some.

Thinking of other possible fabric choices it would have to be some sort of light weight woven like a rayon Challis or cotton lawn.  A knit fabric would possibly stretch out (especially on the maxi length) and may not gather as nicely on the neckline and the ruffle.

I sort of want to make the maxi-length dress. I haven’t quite decided yet on whether I should. But after seeing this dress completed, I have been considering it even more. It would definitely have to be sleeveless (view B) otherwise it will look like I am playing dress up because it is just too big and overwhelming for shorter people with the sleeves that have ruffles at the end. Anyways I am not sure I like the ruffles at the end of the sleeves for view A.

I picked the highlights of August 1962 from the Wikipedia article.  There are many other events that I didn’t include.