Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Working on new Valspierssews Doll Clothes Patterns and 'Fixing' a Few Things

1869 progress sample

I have been away for a week visiting my mum. I do that every couple of months. It means that I am away from my computer and all my files so sometimes I have to put off 'fixing' some things until I get home.
I had one customer find that Etsy said the file was no longer available even though I had updated the listing and updated the file. When I got home I made a whole new listing and even renamed the file before uploading it. Hopefully that fixes it.
I also had a lady ask me about a very old design. The Applique Tote is actually the very first pattern I published when I was using Craftsy. It was archived, but now it will have new life breathed into it because it was requested with great enthusiasm. If you don't know it, it looks like this:

and you can make all sorts of other designs from the basic pattern. The applique design is based on my own tote bag that I bought in Rome.

So I will be working on getting this pattern up to scratch. It is not quite hand drawn but pretty close to it so it needs redrafting on the computer. Shouldn't take too long.

I have been adding to the options for the kimono sleeves and drop shoulders. You know there is the T-shirt peplum top and the trapezium dress. The trapezium dress is quite unusual.

I now have the little jacket that is reversible and very cute. This is the first trial. I really like it but I will be including a bit more on the cuff length and another collar that comes together more if you want to do it up to the chin.
This jacket and several other bodice designs with similar sleeves will make up the full retail pattern along with the free t-shirt and trapezium dress. The t-shirt and trapezium dress designs will be free in the Oct No.1 2017 newsletter.  Make sure you subscribe to keep getting free patterns. Some will only be free in the newsletters but may be available later as a published collections for sale.

This is my sample, made up in flannelette and plain homespun. I wanted to test it with something of medium thickness so you can use light coat fabric. I will be making my good one with a light rugby knit type fabric and printed cotton. It looks really good with a belt too.

I have started drafting several more designs. One is a collection of cute looking school dresses. The pattern will include all the designs for around $6 AUD.

It will take me a while to get this one out because I have to make up each design at least once.

Before you leave make sure you subscribe to my newsletter if you like making doll clothes and take a minute to visit my Etsy Shop to see see all my great value patterns for instant download.

Happy Sewing,

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Creating Doll Clothes with Valspierssews Patterns

I so love creating different garments from just one set of pattern pieces.

My patterns are designed with this in mind.

With the exception of several Fashion Garment Patterns all my patterns are like slopers that can be used to make variations on a theme.

I started out making a trapezium shape dress with a high waisted bodice and kimono style sleeves. It has now become a cute t-shirt with a gathered peplum skirt.
Because the high waist is at exactly the same height as my 1804 dress pattern I used the gathered hip length skirt for the high waist dress straight from the 1804 pattern envelope. Saves a lot of drafting time and experimenting time and fabric.

My first October Valspierssews News will have a link to the Trapezium dress pattern which can also be used to make the t-shirt.

Make sure you sign up for my newsletter if you haven't already because the free Trapezium dress and t-shirt link will only be in the newsletter. The sign up form is in the side bar.

  • As you would expect this bodice design can be used for all sorts of dresses and tops so at the same time I will be publishing a shop pattern with all sorts of variations in sleeve length, and dress style, opening at the front for a jacket or coat as well as the designs that were free in the newsletter.
  • All is possible with just one basic kimono sleeve sloper.
  • But you won't have to do all the experimenting. I will do that and draft all the variations as pattern pieces. I'm excited at the possibilities. I love designing and sewing.

It looks pretty good on the 20" Australian Girl Doll too.
The latest pattern that I am reviewing is my quite old 1820 Bulky Knit sweater and dress. I will be making the instructions a bit clearer. I have gained so much experience over the last year with my sewing skills and writing instructions and I have improved my diagram details as well. The pattern pieces will stay the same.

Current Promo photo for 1820 on Etsy
Updated files are always free if you already have the pattern.

I will be publishing the updated file on Etsy towards the end of September. It will have the original designs as well as some revised sewing methods and more detail on sewing knits.
If you already have the pattern I want to work out a way for customers to get the pattern without me having to send it to each individual. Not sure what I will do yet.

I will be doing some extra instructions to create this cute sweater with the high neckline from the 1820 pattern. The number sweater uses the low neckline.

The scarf and headband are made using my free Infinity Scarf Pattern (see my Free Patterns Page)

When the revised file goes up this jumper will be the new promo photo.

Like what I do? Visit my Etsy Shop to see all my patterns.

Remember sign up for my newsletter if you haven't already because the free Trapezium dress and t-shirt link will only be in the newsletter. See the top of the side bar.

Happy Sewing,

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Making a Sundress from Valspierssews 18" Underwear No.2 Pattern

My Underwear No.2 design for 18" dolls is perfect for a sundress. Here is how I did the straps on mine.

I cut a piece of dress fabric 1 1/4" wide and about 14" long or enough for two straps.

I then folded over the long sides to the middle and pressed them.

Then I overlocked down both long sides.

Next, I top stitched 1/8" from the fold down both sides.

I made the strap this way because I didn't want it to be too thick. You could use the usual double fold handle or strap method with a 2" wide piece of fabric.

When I made my dress I overlocked the top edge too soon.
Next time I will cut the straps 5 1/2" long and pin the raw edge level with the top of the dress.
The straps will be overlocked onto the dress and have a finished end.
You pin them on the same as I did mine but I had to turn under the ends of the straps.

Because I wanted to fold the ends of the straps over twice I cut them 6 1/2" long. The ribbon on the petticoat I only folded over once. (The actual length of the strap is 5" then you have to add whatever allowance you want for sewing them on).

I pinned the folded end of the strap, right sides together to the overlocked edge of the dress over the side front seam and basted it in place.

I then pinned them to the back edge. Make sure you don't twist then straps. You can see how they would have been overlocked in place if I had overlocked the top edge now.

Fold over the 1/4" hem allowance for the top edge and top stitch all the way around the same as for the petticoat. Make sure the straps are well out of the way.

I might try overlocking the ribbon straps on too but the ribbon may be a bit flimsy and not be held by the overlocking as securely as turning under the end and straight stitching.


You could make it for your Australian Girl Doll as well. It is a fraction short but some trim around the hem edge should make it perfect.
You can find the pattern in my Etsy Shop. 

It is Underwear No.2 Petticoat and Bloomers.

Happy Sewing,

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Valspierssews News - subscribe to get the latest news on my doll clothes designs

Calling all people interested in making doll clothes!

I have decided to start a Newsletter Subscription for all my keen followers.

No wondering how to follow my blog or how to get my latest designs or free patterns. Just subscribe in the form at the top of the side bar.

I have been working on some cute undies made in woven fabric. The file will be sent out with my first mail out in September.

Happy Sewing,

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

New Baby Doll Dress Pattern

valspierssews doll clothes

I have just published a new baby doll pattern made to fit Baby Born dolls. It is a version of the 18" Dress 1804.
I thought the baby looked cuter with short sleeves rather than long sleeves so the pattern has 2 kinds of short sleeve. The gathered elastic design and the puffed short sleeve with a band.
There are also two collar styles - pointed and peter pan.

The bodice is lined so you can easily swap styles from collar to no collar and from sleeves to no sleeves.

The sleeve with the band allows you to make all sorts of dresses with contrast sleeve bands and collars for different looks.

The pockets give you more opportunity to add some contrast. you can have them match the collar and sleeve bands or just make the pockets in a contrast.

I have tailored the pattern so it fits the baby doll neatly if you make the dress in shirt fabrics or quilting cotton. If you want to use something like velvet I recommend that you print out the pattern at 102% to give some extra ease. Make sure you label it somehow so it doesn't get mixed up with the 100% pieces.

My latest patterns and any that I update from now will have instruction diagrams with the right side of the fabric shaded so it is easier to read the diagrams.

As with all my patterns you get vector drawn pattern pieces that I draw myself using Adobe Illustrator.

You also get a coloured title page so it is easy to tell what the file is. The title page shows as a little preview on most computers. There are links to my facebook page and my blog as well as some photo tutorials to help with the dress.

There is not too much colour on this page so it is possible to print it out but I usually start printing from the second page. This is a black and white title page suitable to use as a divider page in a folder.

The instructions and pattern pieces follow then the last two pages are the pattern envelope that you can cut out and tape together. I usually put the divider page in a plastic pocket then put the pieces in the envelope and put it behind the divider page in the pocket.
When I want to use a pattern I take out the envelope while I use the pattern. It is then easy to put it back in the right place in the folder because the divider is still there.

See this latest pattern plus all my other 18" doll clothes patterns in my Etsy store.

Happy Sewing,

Saturday, July 1, 2017

New Rompers Doll Clothes Pattern for 18" Dolls 1863 by Valspierssews

Valspierssews 1863 Rompers
Dolls Clothes Pattern to fit 18" American Girl Doll

I have enjoyed creating this design because it gave me so much to think about and it felt really good when it all came together.
There were so many things I wanted to do with this design. I knew I couldn't fit them all in one pattern but how was I going to divide it up?
This first rompers pattern number 1863 is the first of several patterns that use the rompers design. I have worked out that I can make them all different by changing the bodice style and the leg style and then all the pieces can be mixed around to give lots of variations.

Mid calf legs.
Original neckline with narrow shoulders

1863 has a band at the bottom of the leg and the pants leg is gathered into the band. There are 4 different leg lengths and the bodice has a very cute sweetheart neckline.

Button strap bodice version.
The pattern with this bodice will have regular hem legs

I was keen to try out the different neckline ideas that I had so I can only show images of the legs for the listing. Only the long leg black patterned fabric garment has the sweetheart neckline that is in the pattern.
I tried one out on the yellow star garment but the shoulders were a bit narrow and it was too hard to turn through. You don't want to spend 20 mins fiddling with one step. It looks great and you can always make the shoulders a bit narrower if you have lots of patience. I like the final version better but the patterned fabric doesn't show it off to its best advantage.

The great part about the bodices on all the rompers designs is that they can be interchanged with all the other Snugfit Range patterns. The collection of necklines will look great with a circle skirt or a half circle skirt or a skinny skirt or just a cute gathered skirt.
Don't you just love these shoes. I have started collecting some cute shoes because I plan to have a go at selling complete outfits that come with a garment, shoes, socks, necklace, earrings, hat and handbag.

You are going to love the bow tie because it is so versatile. You can tie it in front like a bow or tie it in back for a sash or you can use it as a headband. It will look great on lots of other garments too.

Square neckline example.
Knee length pants and contrast bow tie

Some of the other necklines are the square neck, the button strap neck and the scoop neck. The next romper patterns will have elastic casing on the legs, just a hem and also narrow elastic with a ruffle like bloomers. They all have different amounts of gather in the leg and they can all be made into pants with an elastic casing waist.
I will be looking at making one of the rompers with a back opening. It can still be made easy to put on the doll by having one of the shoulders open as well like in the side opening design. That will be a choice for you to make.
When the rompers have a back opening you will be able to use the bodices from other dress patterns to mix things up.

I have already made the pattern pieces for a 20" doll romper for the Australian Girl Doll. It won't have as many variations but I can assure you it looks really cute. I decided against the belt loops and I made a few adjustments to the belt width and length after making this sample.

Look out for these soon.

Click over to my Etsy shop and buy the new 1863 Rompers. The price is my low $4 AUD so you can afford to buy all the other versions when they come out. Unfortunately Australians now have to pay GST on top of that because my patterns come into Australia from the Etsy site.

Happy Sewing,

Friday, June 9, 2017

How to Sew Doll Clothes: Adding Slant Front Pockets

Doll clothes look so cute with front slant pockets. They are easy to add to garments that have a waist seam.

For this free tutorial I am putting front slant pockets into my free A-Line skirt pattern. You can find the skirt pattern on my Facebook Page.

First you have to realise that adding extra bulk to the front as pockets will affect the fit. You need to add more ease to the skirt front or the front of any pattern not sized for front pockets.

Place the centre front of the skirt pattern 1/4" from the fold and cut it out. This doesn't have to be exact. Cut the backs the same as the pattern.

Cut out the pocket pieces from the free download at the end of the tutorial.

If you want to do piping trim you will need to stitch the piping to the right side of the lining top edge first.
Place the pocket linings on the skirt front right sides together and matching the side and waist edges.
Stitch along the top edge of the lining 1/4" from the raw edge.

Trim the seam. Clip the curve every 1/4".

Turn the pocket linings to the inside and press. Do top stitching or fancy stitching or add trim at this point.

Place the pocket bag right side down so it matches the edges of the lining and the waist and side edges of the skirt.

Flip it over and pin the pocket bag to the lining, inside out.

Match and pin the inside edges. They come together easily but you have to distort the skirt to get them together.

Stitch around the inside of the pocket with a 1/8" seam allowance. I didn't find it necessary to clip the curve.

Turn the pocket. The neat edge is on the outside and the raw edge is on the inside.

Stitch around the outside of the pocket so you just enclose the raw edge on the inside.

Finish the skirt as directed in the pattern.

Download Free Pocket Pattern Pieces

Happy Sewing,