Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Drop Shoulder and Knit Designs Well Underway.

I have been taking a break from the classic dolly designs to play with some more modern designs. I found the plans for a drop shoulder dress with a different coloured yoke.

This is my second test. The first one didn't have the sleeve length quite right.  From looking at this one, the sleeves are perfect but I have drawn the side seams in a fraction to make it fit more snuggly around the waist. I haven't made the final dress yet.
This is the guide I used. I have been collecting lots of people fashions and drafting ideas on Pinterest.

I got side tracked thinking it would make a great knit t-shirt. Well, actually I was keen to make a cowl neckline for it. I had a drafting guide picture from Pinterest for that as well.

The red dress was my first dress test. I draw up the pattern pieces on loose leaf lined paper. They are just firm enough to trace around when I want to make changes and thin enough so I can trace through the paper for inside lines. The top was my first go at the cowl neck.

It looks great with a tank top underneath. I have tried a higher cowl neck but no matter how soft the fabric is it doesn't hang like a human size cowl. I took out a lot of the ease so the knit stretched around the doll and fit snuggly. It is still just done up with velcro in the back.
I can't wait to make a dress with this neckline out of some slinky knit fabric that I have.

Next I drew the seam lines much wider to suit a bulky knit to make a sweater type top. I used some test fabric thinking it would be too dark to look good but it turned out really nice with the white skivvy underneath.

I haven't even named this design yet. I am tentatively calling it 1501 because it might be the first pattern I publish in the new year. I hope to get the open neck blouse or maybe the skivvy out before the end of the year but I will just see how I go.

Now I am playing with raglan sleeves! I have just got the coverlocker set up to do the hems and neck band for a raglan t-shirt.

Visit Craftsy to see the patterns I have published so far.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Snugfit Donna is out. Just in time for Christmas.

There is still time to make a nice Christmas pinny, top or vest. These designs come together so quickly and only use a small amount of fabric.


Visit my Craftsy Shop for all my patterns. Just $2.00 USD

Download some sample pages from this pattern to see what you get.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Tip for putting a yoke on an existing blouse pattern

I always love an easy way to get a great look, and doing intricate piecing before you cut out the pattern can make things a bit easier.

I want to put a fancy yoke on my open neck blouse so I drew a line where I wanted it to go and worked out how big my fabric rectangles needed to be to fit the pattern on later.

I then cut out rectangles for the yokes and rectangles for the back and fronts.

I pieced them together adding a few details to the back and then cut out the pattern piece.

This is as far as I got this morning but I can see it is going to look so cute. I am using my open neck blouse pattern that is still on the design desk but coming up next for publishing. I am going to use an almost straight sleeve so I can get a soft gather that won't get in the way when the sleeves are rolled up a bit.

I worked a lot on my Snugfit Donna Versatile Vest pattern instructions yesterday so it is very close to being published. I have used some Christmas fabrics in the samples.

I also sat and drew up some ideas for Fashion File 3 which will be mainly about using Snugfit Donna. There are lots of cute drop waist designs that work with it because it is straight sided and skims over the hips when you make it longer.

I am still perfecting my instruction format. After six patterns I have made a few improvements along the way. I really want all my patterns to have exactly the same feel when you work with them because that is what I would want. This means I will be spending some time changing the first patterns so they match the latest pattern instructions in look and layout. Not sure how long that will take me because cutting and sewing is much more fun, but I won't be completely happy until I get it done.

I would also like to say thank you to all those people who have bought my patterns so far. It is very exciting to have my work 'out there'. It is very encouraging to see that people buy one pattern and obviously look at it then come back and buy the others.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Progress on Flounces and Circle Skirts

The beauty of working for myself on a hobby business I can change the deadlines on a whim. At first I wanted to finish off the last photos and instructions for Snugfit Donna Versatile Vest but for some reason I started wanting to make things.
I transferred the vest necklines to Snugfit Anna Blouse and Snugfit Carol Dress because I wanted to make a V-neck dress but somehow that idea morphed into a v-neck blouse with a flared neck flounce. I got busy making up a pattern for the flounce. I had a picture in my mind of how it was done for a blouse I made for myself. It was a sort of spiral.

I wanted it to fall softly so I chose a printed chiffon style fabric. When I made up the flounce it didn't look how I wanted it to but sometimes you just need to finish the sample before making judgements.

It didn't flounce enough and the stay stitching I put in gathered it all up. I also decided the v-neck didn't come down quite low enough.
I wanted the sleeves to look soft and floppy so I made them 1/4" longer. It looks OK but the sleeves probably need a flouncy cuff.

At this point I decided that I needed a nice skirt and since circles were the shape of the day I made a circle skirt pattern and a circle flounce pattern. I love using maths and measurements and rulers so making the circles was very satisfying.

So now I have made a great navy skirt to go with this blouse but this blouse design is probably not going to make it onto the shelf so to speak. I want to test out my circle flounces and flouncy cuffs and lower the v-neck a bit. To save me having to make another skirt straight away I need to find some fabric that goes with the navy.

I have a box of fabric leftovers from things I have made for myself over the years as well as some nice fashion fabrics in my stash. I don't think quilting cotton is going to sit right.

I was really excited when the circle skirt fit exactly on the waistband and I started to wonder what patterns for circle skirts are already out there, because it seemed to work quite easily. Surprisingly there isn't very much, so I am going to keep working on it to make up some variations. I may publish it with a dress I have been working on that has a half circle skirt. If the flounces work I will add them in as well.

This is how she looks tonight. Very grown up. Maybe going to the theatre or somewhere nice for dinner.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Preview of my next designs

I only have 4 doll clothes patterns published and 3 more that I have some samples done and I have this huge pile of doll clothes on my shelf.
I have hung up some of the ones I am working on now and they look so cute hanging on the door.

The Versatile Vest is almost ready to go.
The vest can be a vest that opens in the front or a pinafore or dress by adding a skirt. There is also the pattern piece for a back opening top or pinafore or dress.

The Christmas pinny has coordinating fabric trim that I plan to make a dress out of using the Snugfit Carol pattern but the pinny looks cute as a dress on its own too.

The open neck blouse is so easy to make and looks so 'human' on the doll. This is the next design to be published after the vest.

The white blouse with the vest above has slightly puffy sleeves and a pleat with a button on the bottom edge. I have made a different design with straight sleeves that roll up with a button tab. Both sleeve patterns will be included in the blouse pattern and probably a few more sleeve lengths as well. Since it will be part of the Snugfit range the sleeves can be used with other designs. The little pleated sleeve will look great on Snugfit Carol Dress.

Be sure to visit my Craftsy shop to see what is on offer. If you follow me on Craftsy you will see when I put up something new.
Craftsy online has a great sale on too.

Fashion File 2

It is so exciting to see my idea of mixing around the pattern pieces starting to come together as I create more patterns.
In this latest Fashion File I have concentrated on making different garments from just the one pattern - Snugfit Wanda. I did mix the Wanda sleeves with the Anna bodice and now that I have Snugfit Carol Dress in the range there are more collars and sleeves to swap around.

With the Snugfit Wanda Costume pattern for $1.50 USD you get the witch costume made up of a short skirt, pointed peplum bodice, witch's britches pointed tu tu and a felt hat pattern. You also get the long skirt and tu tu instructions.

Then you can make the princess design made up of the short sleeves from the sleeve design and instructions for a chiffon tu tu.

But that is not all. I have included some bonus pattern pieces that only required some slight line changes. You get the bonus Empire waist bodice pieces and a bonus peplum with a straight edge. These bonus pieces allow for a number of extra variations.

Regency Dress

Day Dress

Party Dress

Yoke Waisted Skirt

I have provided some basic instructions to make the extra variations in Free Fashion File 2.

The instructions in the Fashion File are pretty scant but there are photos and measurements for doing the ruffles and trims and getting the skirt length just right.

The tie belt on the pink dress is a 1" x 20" strip with a rolled hem along both sides done on the overlocker. I thought this was an easy way to make some hair ties too. It would be simple to make them into head bands so you didn't have to keep tying them up. I like the little bow look.

I put an extra piece of velcro closure on the peplum to hold the skirt in place better. So three on the bodice and one on the peplum.

Twice I have made the neck ruffle now and twice it has turned out narrower than I wanted. The ruffle in the picture was made from a 1" strip. I haven't made the ruffle with the 1 1/4" strip yet but I will try it our on a Christmas dress I think.

When I made the skirt I sewed it all together before putting on the velcro and buttons. When I make a denim one I will be putting the velcro on before joining up the yoke. The buttons will have to go on last because they will probably get in the way when you try to sew the skirt on.

All this from one pattern purchase. You can spend the money you save on special fabric.

If you have any problems with any of the instructions just leave a comment.

My next patterns are a versatile vest and an open neck blouse. The samples are looking so cute.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Progress on the Open Neck Blouse

While making the pinny variation of my new vest pattern I needed a cute blouse to wear underneath. The check fabric looked a lot like school uniform fabric so I decided on a simple white open neck blouse to go with it.
I had already made blouses with no shaping so this time I tried the darted version. It worked so well and fits just right.

Darts in front and back and a nice wide facing.

Convertible collar for a nice open neck look.

Should look great with a Preppy outfit.

The short sleeves are a little bit full around the hem so I plan to put in a little pleat and a button to perfect the look of this design. The plan is to adjust the sleeve shape to get a sleek line. A little less gather by lowering the sleeve head then cut a bit out of the centre to make it all narrower. I love working on the pattern shapes.
I spent a week away visiting my mum this month so it looks like I won't get the Snugfit Donna - Versatile Vest out until the end of November. Seems I can only manage one pattern a month at the leisurely pace I like to work.
I have the Fashion File related to Snugfit Wanda - Costume on the go and I have some samples and drawings done to put in a Fashion File for Snugfit Carol - Dress and Snugfit Donna.
I am really torn between adding to my basic wardrobe with new patterns and creating new versions for the existing patterns. Both take quite a lot of time. I am also really excited about all the fashions in fashion magazines like Vogue and Marie Claire and Shopping. I already have photos to work from and will probably spend some time over Christmas creating some fashion pieces.

I plan to get the vest pattern out this month. It is a great versatile pattern perfect for border fabrics and really easy to sew.