Friday, September 13, 2019

Valspiersssews Pattern Club cute button front skirt

Button front skirt for 18" dolls

Some styles are just perfect for dolls. I love the way a flat front yoke or waist band makes a doll outfit look like a mini person outfit.

This modern little skirt was inspired by a Vogue skirt design I saw in Australian Vogue Magazine. The little belt loops and belt are an easy way to glam up the skirt.

I noticed this skirt has a bit more gather and a button band down the front. That will be a good idea for a variation on this design. I will keep that in mind for another time.

I like to add variations on a design as extra patterns other than the 3 main ones each month.
You can find the pattern for this skirt to fit 18" dolls like American Girl and Our Generation in the Valspierssews Pattern Club.

Every month I add 3 or more patterns to fit various dolls.

You can download the patterns and keep them. The monthly subscription details for the club can be found HERE

Happy Doll Dressmaking,

Valspierssews Pattern Club Vintage Skirt and Blouse for 18" dolls

valspierssews vintage 50s skirt and blouse doll clothes pattern

Aren't vintage outfits cute on dolls?

I am really taken with the 50s designs for little girls and I love translating them into doll clothes.

In order to get a good idea of the type of clothes children used to wear in the 50s I looked up the archived pages of the Betsy McCall paper doll that came out in the McCalls magazine over several decades.

You can find the paper doll pages year by year HERE

You can find out more about Betsy McCall HERE

The page I started with is July 1951 and Betsy is going to visit her grandma on a farm.  I have recreated the red skirt style and the blouse.

You can find the patterns for the skirt and blouse to fit 18" dolls like American Girl and Our Generation in the Valspierssews Pattern Club.

Every month I add 3 or more patterns to fit various dolls.

You can download the patterns and keep them. The monthly subscription details for the club can be found HERE

Happy Doll Dressmaking,

Saturday, September 7, 2019

5 free must have doll clothes petticoats you can make for your 18' doll: The 50s L-seam petticoat

Free petticoat patterns by valspierssews

I love to design and when I started designing petticoats I just kept going. After 5 designs, including the drafting, the sewing and the instruction writing I decided it was time to get back to some dresses. I wouldn't expect you to make all 5 petticoats at once but making a dress and a petticoat at the same time is an easy way to create a beautiful outfit.
You will also find some panties patterns in the pattern library that are easy to make as well.

It's always fun to complete an outfit with underwear and there is no need to use the same old petticoat pattern for every dress you make. I created this petticoat collection to showcase some of the best designs from different eras so you can choose the perfect design to suit the dress you have made.

The 50s L seam petticoat

  • Perfect fit for dolls like American Girl Doll or Our Generation Dolls
Don't you hate it when a pattern doesn't fit your doll!

When I create patterns I include enough ease to help them fit a range of doll tummies. This petticoat just fits my vintage Kit with a waist of 11", yet it still looks good on the slimmer dolls. The tapered waist on the bodice pattern pieces make it easy to adjust the waist by just straightening out the side edge before you cut out.
  • Full step by step instructions
Do you like instructions that are made for printing out?
Do you like the idea of minimal pages with clear neat diagrams?

Your instruction pages consist of line diagrams with some shading and easy to read 12pt text. This makes them perfect for printing out.

The diagrams clearly depict each step and you will find the right side of the fabric lightly shaded and the linings marked with a simple hash mark to make it obvious what you are looking at. Since the diagrams can be smaller than photos and still show the details, patterns written by me rarely have more than 8 pages.

The clarity of the diagrams and the size of the text make the instruction pages perfect for making into 1/2 page booklets using the booklet button in Adobe Reader.

Free petticoat by valspierssews

You can read more about this petticoat and more photos in this blog post
This is just one of the patterns that are part of my free pattern library at

Join the hundreds of other doll dressmakers who enjoy the free pattern library by setting up a your login HERE. You will need to create a teachable account then log into the Free Resource Library Bundle.
Patterns are free to download and yours to keep.

You can download the pattern for this cute 50s petticoat plus the other 4 in this collection, plus many other free patterns for 18" dolls. The petticoat files are in the Underwear Module.
Make sure you tick the box to receive instructional and promotional emails so you will be added to my mailing list. Once or twice a month I will send you an email about new free patterns, doll dressmaking sewing tips and ideas and new patterns in my shops.

Happy Doll Dressmaking,

Sunday, August 25, 2019

How to create Butterfly sleeves for doll dresses

How to create Butterfly sleeves for doll clothes patterns

One of the reasons I keep getting behind on the pattern instructions is that I love to experiment with pattern pieces instead of making the one dress and writing up the pattern.

Last year I had a go at making a ruffle sleeve based on what I had seen for ruffles in other patterns, not particularly butterfly sleeve patterns. This time I just used sleeve patterns and cut off the bottom part. I can't believe I didn't think of doing that before.

This was my first attempt:

A few weeks ago I found a dress on pinterest that I just loved. It had sort of arm hugging butterfly sleeves. My first thought to recreate them was to use the blouse sleeve from my 1806 blouse. I knew it had a bit of gathering on the sleeve head but was fairly fitted down the arm.

This is how I adjusted it tp make it flutter just a bit.

I thought it turned out great. This is one of the Pattern Club patterns for September 2019. It will also turn up in my Etsy shop around October 2019.

Armed with lots of confidence I decided to make it flutter a bit more.

I used the basic puffed sleeve that I have used in several of my early patterns. It is the puffed sleeve that normally has a sleeve band.

Here is how I adjusted it:

The deeper curved hemline is the one I have tried in this floral dress.

I have just finished the bodice so that is all you see of this one.
Now I think it looks OK and I will probably use this pattern again for various garments but I thought it was just a tad overwhelming on this delicate looking doll. It does look a bit better on one of the other dolls.

Anyway, I have made another adjustment to the puffed sleeve so the flutter is quite as broad.
You can see that when I drew the lines for the new cutting lines I in the armhole part of the sleeve at the point that i thought looked about halfway down the armhole from the shoulder. Don't forget you have to take into account that the sleeve head has to be gathered quite a lot so it is not halfway between the centre of the sleeve and the underarm.

  • Once you have hemmed the bottom edge and added trim you gather the sleeve head.
  • Place the gathered edge right sides together with the main bodice armhole and baste in place. 
  • I put dots on my bodice pieces so I could tell where the pointy part had to go.
  • Place the bodice lining right sides together with the main lining to enclose the sleeves. Stitch around the armholes and down the back edges. Leave the neck edge open and bind it after turning your bodice.

I hope these guidelines will encourage you to customise lots of the patterns you already own. I'm sure you will be able to find a couple of suitable sleeves to use.
Just incase you don't have any you can find the blouse pattern HERE and the puffed sleeve on this dress HERE or HERE.