Thursday, October 19, 2017

Sewing Knits, My New Easy T and Some Fashion Ideas

Doll clothes patterns by valspierssews

Doll clothes patterns by valspierssews

Hi everyone,
I am having a great time playing with my Easy-T design. It doesn't have a number yet. It is just in the drafting folder with a few other ideas.

It is a continuation of my obsession with the kimono sleeve and drop shoulder. The jacket is in the drafting folder along with a shaped dress and an a-line dress.


So the t-shirt has the drop shoulders which is a very flattering style for the dolls.
This pattern will have lots of features.

  • Hemmed neck and sleeves
  • Neck and sleeves with ribbing
  • Straight hem
  • Hi-lo hem
  • Draped hem
  • and I am going to try it with bias on the neck and folded to the wrong side.
  • So far I can see that there will need to be an extra 1" added to the bottom hem to make it great for the 20" Aussie Girl Doll too.

You must try sewing with knits.
They look so good for modern outfits.

How do I sew with knits?
  • Use a stretch or jersey needle
  • Use a very narrow zigzag for the seams
  • If you don't want the neck or hem to stretch then you need to hem them with a straight stitch
  • Straight stitch works for the back facings and the sleeve hems too

  • When I sew on a band I use the narrow zigzag.
  • To get the band right, pin it at one end of the garment and stretch it quite firmly past the neck, sleeve or bottom. Use a finger to mark where the garment edge touches the band then pin it in place.
I had to stretch the band quite a lot to get it to gather the thicker red fabric.

  • Bands fit depends on the strength of the garment fabric and the band fabric. The band has to be able to gather up the garment. The easier it is to stretch the band the more you will have to stretch it to make it gather up the garment.
  • Don't bother finishing off edges or seam allowances. 
  • Pressing as you go is great, even on difficult to press knits
  • I am going to try the bias facing at the neck. I think this will be good for very stretch knits

The Santa sweatshirt with the black shorts is a bit of a modern take on the Christmas outfit. It looks cute bit not too old fashioned. The Santa is a motive I cut from some fabric I had with various motives for Christmas. I just put an oval of fusible applique paper on to cover the motive then cut around close to the Santa and ironed him on.


I'm still working on some stockings and a beanie. Once they are done I will post a bit more about what I did.


I used the 1820 Bulky Knit sweater for the jumper but I had to lengthen the sleeves because they have no cuffs and I made the knee shorts length as boxers from 1813.
I know, we haven't even got past Halloween and I am onto Christmas. 

Looking for a quick fix for halloween? Sign up for my Newsletter to get some applique letters to add BOO to a t-shirt. Perfect size and perfect placement. I have done all the experimenting so all you have to do is pop the letters on an existing t-shirt  or sweatshirt and your doll will be set for Halloween.

Happy Sewing,
Val

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Progress report and revisiting the ski pyjamas from 2 years ago.


This sleeveless roll neck top is made using 1801. It is perfect for spring or autumn and looks great under a jacket or coat or cardigan for winter.

I have been working steadily on my E-book. Not settled on the title yet but it will be about creating a 4 season wardrobe for your doll from several patterns. It will include what steps to take for choosing fabrics and colours as well as outfit ideas using all the pieces. I'm really excited about this. I just need to make all the items.
I will probably launch it through my newsletter first and add a special offer. Look out for my first
E-Book in the next few months.

I am also working on the first draft of the school dress collection. This is the first design. It looks pretty cute so far but already I am drafting some changes. The collar needs to be a bit narrower and I didn't quite nail the tuck in the bodice. I will be changing it just a bit.



Over the years I haven't quite managed to get the Australian Girl Doll summer items out at the same time as I publish the American Girl Doll winter items. I tend to just make whatever I feel like. If there is some garment that you have always been wanting to make for either doll just let me know and I will have a go at drafting a pattern.

The ski pyjamas that I blogged about more than 2 years ago still look really cute and are quite easy to make using 1801 and 1813. I have just put together a Fashion File for the ski pyjamas that I will publish as soon as I make another set for photos. The Retail Fashion Files that I publish have all the pattern pieces you need so you don't have to go looking through your pattern collection and you don't have to do any alterations. I do it all for you.


You can check out the DIY blog post here.

Happy Sewing,
Val

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

New Doll Clothes Designs for 18" dolls

I bought my fabric at Spotlight in Australia

I love collecting design ideas on my Pinterest.
Lately I have been absorbed with hi lo skirts and a wide neck bodice that looks great on Barbie.

This is the new bodice design. It is very wide necked and the shoulders are extended.


I have designed a gathered hi lo skirt that will go on any of my waist length bodices from my patterns such as the 18" Dress 1804 or the 50's dress 1827 or even the new Trapezium Dress  bodice.


I am still a bit obsessed with the kimono sleeves. The little T-shirt is a spin-off. There will be an A-line dress and wrap around robes and jackets too. I already have the coat with a collar or a bolero well under way.



I made a combo dress using one of the sleeve styles from 1804, the sweetheart bodice front from 1863 Rompers with the bodice back from 18" Dress Lined Bodice and the hi lo gathered skirt. The Hi Lo Skirt 1849 gathered or flared will be published end of September 2017.



This is just an example of how you can combine my pattern pieces to make new designs for yourself.
This particular dress will be available as a stand alone pattern hopefully by the end of September 2017. I publish the Fashion File as I call it as a blog post with simple instructions and also as a retail pattern in my shop.


You may remember I did this with my Ruffle Party Dress. The blog post and the retail pattern.
I have lots of Fashion Files posted on my blog but this will only be the second one I have published with the pattern pieces collected together with all the features of my regular retail patterns. I know that not everyone loves to play with the designs the way I do. Sometimes you just want it in a neat package.


Look out for my new designs coming soon. Why not subscribe to my newsletter so you can keep up as well as get the occasional free pattern.
See the sign up form at the top of the side bar. Check out some of my links while you are there.

Happy Sewing,
Val