Wednesday, March 21, 2018

How to get even more from Valspieressews Patterns

valspierssews 1827 variation

Want patterns that allow you to create your own custom designs?

Do you struggle to get the perfect fit when you want to create a new design for your doll?

Do you wonder how you can get more from a pattern?

When I started my design journey I was trying to solve these problems for myself. I created classic designs that allowed me to easily swap sleeves, skirts, bodices and collars. Sometimes it is just a matter of a slight change to the neckline to give a whole new look.

Use the link at the end to get the front bodice with the V-neck that I drew up for this dress. And before you scroll down you should join my Newsletter Friends by using the sign up form in the side bar of my blog, just incase you are not already receiving my newsletters.

While I was working on my drop shoulder bolero series 1870, I needed a dress with a V neck to look just right under the curved hem of Module 3 Bolero.

I needed:
  • a wide neckline so it matched the neck of the bolero
  • a neat fitted bodice
  • no sleeves
Looking through my patterns I found 1827. This is a 50s design with the wide shoulders and neck and a circle skirt. It has darts in the bodice for a nice tailored look.

Without changing the fit I just drew in a v-neck. The front bodice pattern piece is half the front and cut on the fold. All I had to do was draw my line and fold under a tiny section of the pattern at the centre front neck.

I know that it takes a bit of getting used to the idea that you can make small changes to get just the look you want without compromising the fit but I am happy to show you how. 

I have included the adjusted front bodice pattern piece as a free download below. You can add the circle skirt or a gathered skirt from 1804 or have a go at pleats like I did. The pleats are a story on their own that I will save for another post.

So add this pattern piece to your pattern envelope and make some notes on the back of the envelope for next time.

Download the V-neck variation pattern piece for 1827

Start looking at designs you wish you could make and think about the different elements of the design. Do you already have patterns with those elements? If you have been collecting Valspierssews Patterns you know that lots of the elements can be mixed and matched to create your favourite custom designs.

If you would like to add 1827 to your pattern collection you can get it in my Etsy shop. 

It comes with easy to follow pictorial instructions that are perfect for printing. The design includes the dress that can also double as a jumper dress using the cute 50s style blouse that comes with it.
The bodice is lined and it is easy to enclose the waist seam for a neat look on the inside as well.

I have lots of ideas to share about customising designs.
Valspierssews Patterns allow you to mix and match design elements so you can create your favourite designs and get a perfect fit without multiple test garments.

Make sure you download the free pattern adjustment for the 1827 front bodice and keep it in the pattern envelope.

Download the V-neck variation pattern piece now.

If you don't already have pattern 1827 you can get it here:

 Find 1827 in my Etsy Shop

Happy Sewing,

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Bolero Mania - So many and So Simple to Sew

The 1870 Bolero Series continues with another must have bolero style.

Module 3 out soon.

  • Make it in fur or regular fabric
  • Make it completely reversible
  • also Super easy non reversible version

Modules 1 and 2 are in my Etsy Shop

Module 1 has a square front. It can also be buttoned up.

Module 2 is a cute shrug. Do it in fur or fabric.

I make my designs with a view to using them as jumping off points for creative custom designs. The bolero series provides many variations but there is still room for unique customisation. 

* Lengthen the sleeves and have a turn up cuff (you can use pattern 1868/2068 as a guide for the length)

* Cut off the seam allowance around the hem edges and add a ruffle

* Gradually add to the curved edge from the hem to the neck edge until it is 1/2" wider at the neck. You can now overlap it and do it up like a jacket.

* Place the bodice from 1804 Round Neck Dress on top matching the centre front to the seam line on the front of the bolero and match the necklines and shoulder lines. Trace the armhole for the dress on top of the bolero piece. You can now add many different sleeves to this little jacket. 

These are just 4 ideas that spring to mind.

One of the reasons I kept adding to this Bolero Series as I was creating it was because there are just so many ways to make a bolero and I can't stop until I have designs for them all. Well, I have decided that I just have to stop at 5 Modules because I will never get onto anything else.

Adjusting designs is just so exciting. I keep seeing how I can change things just a bit and I generally don't even worry about making a sample to check for fit - I just use my best fabrics straight up.

That's what I did when I altered the neck on the wide neck dress 1827. The fabric is gorgeous. It feels so nice. It did cost me $27 a metre so I only bought enough to make one dress with sleeves or two without sleeves. I know the dress will fit so changing the neck a bit should not affect the fit. 

I didn't muck around doing a cheap version. I'm not saying that I recommend this for all designs but when you use my designs as slopers and just make small changes there is minimum risk of failure.
1870 Bolero Series is a collection of Bolero variations.
They are great to use as slopers for all sorts of custom designs.
There is no need to make lots of ill fitting test outfits if you like to create your own designs.

Look out for Module 3 of my Bolero Series in my shop soon.

Happy Sewing,


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Friday, March 2, 2018

Make a cute patchwork tote for your 18" doll

This is a post from my sewing blog some years ago before I started the Doll Designs blog. I have left the free pattern the same. But I did change my mix of inches and centimetres to just inches. I hope to modernise the instructions completely one day.

I found a link to this lovely tote bag made in regular size and thought it would make a cute doll bag. I wrote the pattern for an 18" doll size.

The instructions for making the Moda Bake Shop bag may be useful for helping with the basic construction so I have included the link here.

Make sure you sign up for my newsletter. You get free patterns for 18"dolls and some tips on how to stay on top of things as well as interesting links. Of course, if you like a bargain you get some exclusive offers and first go at the sales.

Happy Quilting and Crafting,

P.S. I don't have sales very often because I offer you my best price all the time. Visit my Etsy Shop for 18" doll clothes patterns and 20" doll clothes patterns that fit Australian Girl Doll.