Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Vintage doll clothes petticoat. A 40s design.

Pattern by valspierssews

The latest in  the Underwear Collection is a cute 40s design. It has curved panels in the front and back and a nice neat flare at the hem.

The instructions are for lace at the neck and armholes but 1/2" bias makes a good facing too.

The hem can be cut at this length or cut up to 1/2" longer. It can be made longer with lace at the hem too if you like. It is perfect for the 20" Australian Girl Doll.

It is also really sweet on the 17" Baby Born doll

It opens all the way down the back and I use velcro patches for ease of dressing.

Batiste is a perfect fabric that is easy to sew and has a nice crisp look about it.

Best of all this petticoat is part of my newsletter offer for October 2018 and will be free to download with the newsletter for a few weeks in October only. Iy then goes into my shop.

Make sure you are signed up for the newsletter. You can click on the link below. There are always great offers.

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Sunday, September 9, 2018

Vintage Doll Petticoat Design is Underwear No.5 for Valspierssews


This little girls' vintage petticoat design from the 50s era is perfect for dolls. I love the flat front panel and gathered side skirts. Without much more effort than a regular gathered skirt petticoat you can create this beautiful petticoat with stand out design features.

You can also make it without the ruffle. Just extend the hemline.

If you intend to sew this one I have written up some details that may be helpful.

The best fabric for underwear is batiste. It is a moderately lose weave fabric that has a nice crisp feel to it. The slight stiffness is perfect for holding out dress skirts.

Another fabric I used was polycotton. This closely woven fabric is a bit softer and thinner than quilters 100% cotton and still fits under the dresses I make using my 1804 pattern.
I have started putting a 3/4" facing allowance on my designs so you can easily finish the egde as you please. I have done a single fold hem on this one.

Synthetic Lining
I had some synthetic lining fabric that I thought might be good. It is thin yet still has some body to it. Unfortunately it tends to fray easily and makes a fluffy ball of threads in seconds if you handle it a lot like when you are gathering the ruffle.

If I was to use this fabric again I would overlock the edge and pull up the overlocker thread to gather. You can see where the trim is that it is starting to fray.

I also tried zig zagging over a thin cord but found that the edge got messy as I stitched and I had to move further in than the 1/4" seam allowance. So if you want to zig zag over cord to gather the ruffle for this fabric you will need a wider seam allowance.

Adding trim to the ruffle
Because the ruffle edge is straight you will need to finish the edge to stop it fraying either before you sew on the trim or as you sew on the trim.
Some flat laces could be overlocked on. For other trims it is best to use pinking shears and just shave off the very edge so you don't reduce the seam allowance.

Trim at the neck and arm holes
The stretchiness of the gathered lace trim allowed the hem to turn smoothly. However, whenI used the rick rack I had to put a few snips at the tightest section of the curves to help it lie flat.
The raw edge on the garment and the snipping is not a problem because the curved edges of the neck and arm holes resist fraying.

The rick rack I used measures 1/4" from the crest to the trough so it just fits nicely on my 1/4" seam allowance leaving the little bumps to show when I turn it in.

The length of my pattern finishes about 1/2" above the just on the knee skirt length for dresses I make with my 1804 pattern.
I haven't tried making it shorter or longer but my educated suggestion is that to make it longer you should lengthen the body section by just adding to the bottom edge. You will then have to lengthen the side skirt pattern piece by the same amount. Just make sure you lengthen the hem edge not the side edge. I have labelled the waist edge and the side edge on the pattern pieces.

Fit and resizing

Vintage AGD: I have found that this petticoat fits my plumper vintage Kit Kitridge doll without any changes and the 1804 dress goes over it also without any changes.

Our Generation Doll: If you just have an Our Generation Doll you can make a permanent change to the back facing by folding it in 1" and trimming it back to 1/2" when you hem the raw edge.

Both AGD and OGD: If you want the petticoat or 1804 dress to fit both OGD and AGD you can put a wider velcro patch for the hooks only, then you can pull it across further on the thinner OGD.

Australian Girl Doll: I have tried my AGD petticoat on the Australian Girl Doll and even though I haven't included fitting for the Australian Girl Doll you should be able to make a lovely petticoat for her by just adding 3/4" to the bottom of the main pieces and the side skirts so it is longer. This will make it about 1/2" shorter than the 2004 dress pattern. I will probably do up pattern pieces with the extra length soon so if you want Australian Girl pattern pieces you can convo me through your receipt or email valspierssews at gmail dot com with an image of the title page for the free version. Just give a a week or two to sew up one first.

As with nearly all my garments I have used velcro patches for closure. They don'y get in such a  muddle as the long strips do yet they seam to hold just as well for dressing. I have used my coloured velcro that I got from Allie Express. I cut off a piece just wide enough to fit on the facing.

I hope you enjoy this design. I have a dress or two planned using the same flat front panel design.

Look out for them in my shop or sign up for my newsletter so you will always be kept up to date.

This petticoat is the second in a series of 5 that I am giving away for free in my newsletter. You have a week to download then from the newsletter each month then they go in my shop.

Happy Sewing and Dress Making

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Must Read Insights into The School Uniform Dress and Patterns 1804 and 2004

While making the school uniform dress I perfected a lot of my skills in making dresses.

If you have the Uniform Pattern No.1 It is worth reading through this post to get a better feel for why I have done things a certain way.

If you have the 1804 or 2004 Dress Pattern you should also have a read because you may be able to improve how you sew the dresses by applying some of the points. You should try adding an extra 1/4" to the back facings. One day I will redo the pattern pieces but not for a while yet.

There are some slight variations to the way I used to make dresses that I think make it easier to get a perfect result.

I will point out the things I did differently for the school dress and explain why I did them that way.

  1. I made the back facing 3/4". I did this so you can finish the raw back edge with a single fold hem or a rolled hem or overlocking while cutting off 1/8"
  2. I pressed the back facing fold line before finishing the back edge so you can just measure 3/4" and fold and press. If you do it after neatening the back edge you would have to check where the fold line was by using the pattern piece.
  3. When stitching the collar pieces together use a short 2mm stitch. This makes it easier to go round the curves and also helps to stop the corner poking out and breaking through the stitches while you are pushing out the corner.
  4. I placed and basted each collar 1 at a time. In the past I just pinned them on and basted right across. I also place the doll's left collar on first so the other collar lies on top at the CF. This makes it easier to sew across the front when you sew on the collar.
  5. The collars have to be at lest 1/4" from the facing fold line so you can overlap the backs to close.
  6. When I stitch on the collar I am happy with stitching the seam then overlocking it. Press it then under stitch on the right side 1/8" away from the seam line, keeping the collar out of the way.
  7. For the School dress I have added a bias facing to the neckline. I experimented with a 1" wide piece folded in half then I experimented with a 1 1/8" bias piece folded in half. Even though the narrower facing only just covers the trimmed seam it works best. When stitching it down you aim along the middle of the strip so you are close to the seam line and it all turns out good.

    If you use the wider strip you end up with a fraction too much facing width so you have a choice of stitching close to the neck seam line and having a flappy facing edge or sewing close to the facing edge and having trouble getting the neck to sit flat.
  8. I made the bias facing strip about an inch too long because there is nothing worse than finding you are just a fraction short with strips. This means that if you find that your are just a fraction short on fabric for the bias strip you can cut it back about 3/4" shorter and it should still work. I don't recommend doing this unless you have tried the design with the full strip at least once to calculate for yourself how much shorter you can make it.
  9. I am still not set in one way to do the hem and fold the back facings in. Sometimes I overlock the hem the fold in the back facing and stitch across the facing on the hemline. You then turn the back facing and stitch the hem. I do it this way in some of my instructions.
  10. Another way it to overlock the hem leaving thread tails at each end. Press up the hem tucking in the thread tails then fold in the back facing and stitch the hem and back facing at the same time. I do it this way in some of my instructions.
  11. A third way to do the hem is to overlock the hem leaving thread tails. Press up the hem tucking the tails in. Stitch the hem then turn in the back facing.
Happy Sewing,