Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Snugfit Witch PDF doll pattern - a little witch, a big witch and a princess all in one.

This has been a big project mainly because I kept wanting to add to it as I went.
I have included lots of instructions for those who haven't sewn clothes before. I realise that gathering with a gathering thread or applying elastic are not normal things for patchworkers so there is a bit more detail than I would normally do.

I had to add some witch's britches because the short skirt was quite short. I only had navy stripe knit but I think they would look great in red and white stripe.

The hat was a bit of a challenge. I had to use my maths to get the circles and slopes right but it fits perfectly. I wish I had a pumpkin brooch to add to it.

The big witch has a much more grown up look and I wanted to try a skirt with lots of gather. The look is helped a bit with a long tulle petticoat.

I thought not everyone is into witches and I could see how I could make a great princess costume without much change. The hardest part was sewing on the roses by hand.

The little buckle here is a plastic scrapbooking embellishment. I bought a bag of them from the craft shop for $2.00. It looks great. The ribbon roses are also from the craft shop.

The pattern includes pattern pieces and instructions to make everything.

See lots more ideas for using your pattern and the bonus pieces I have included in this blog post.

You can see how to make the necklace here.

Visit valspierssews's Craftsy Pattern Store »


Velcro Fastening for Doll Tops, Dresses and Gathered Skirts

I have tried long strips of velcro and you need big muscles to open it. It also tends to stick in rolls and wrinkles so you have to keep undoing it to get it smooth. With small pieces you can close the garment a bit at a time and get it snug and neat.

One of the parts I include in all my patterns is Fastenings. This is the one about Velcro.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Progress on the Snugfit Witch

I have been really enjoying playing with this design. The plan was to make a cute witch costume for Halloween but after I made the short skirt little witch version I thought it would look pretty awesome with a long black skirt.
Once I did the long black skirt I thought this design would look great as a princess dress in pink satin so I had to go and get some pink satin. I already had some pink chiffon that I thought would look nice as short sleeves.
The sleeve pattern curves on the bottom edge as well as the top edge and I discovered that curves are not good for the rolled hem foot. I had to re-do several sections in the centre of the sleeve hem.

I finished off the princess outfit and decided to play with the sleeves a bit more. I didn't really want to make another witch or princess outfit so I looked at my design and figured it would make a great Regency style dress if I just cut the bodice a bit shorter. To fix the sleeves I just cut the hem off straight and hoped it would still look OK. As you can see they still look great.

I have been learning so much about the fit of sleeves making doll clothes. I didn't like the way the sleeves sat in the princess dress because I gathered them nearly to the side seam edge. The sleeve above I only gathered to within 2" of the side seam making it really puffy in the top. It still looks alright but I am thinking I need to do another test garment and gather the sleeve to within 1" of the side seam.
The garment I have in mind is a shirt waist blouse using the Snugfit Anna bodice and the Snugfit Witch sleeve with some pin tucks in the front and the pointy collar. I think it will look perfect with the long black skirt. She will look like an old fashioned shop girl.

It is difficult to see in these photos but I made some ruffles for the front of the dress bodice using my ruffler foot. They didn't really ruffle enough so next time I will try tension 7 and stitch length 3 instead of stitch length 2. There will be lots more chances to put ruffles on things.

The ribbon is just tied around the bodice and has a bow at the back. I thought if I sewed it on it might look a bit rough and wrinkly.
I got this fabric for a good price at my Spotlight store. The pretty stripe has a slightly raised white floral design printed on it.

Yes. Believe it or not this dress can be made from the pieces in the Snugfit Witch pattern. I can't wait to get it published. Hopefully next week.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tame Those Tiny Buttons

I was going crazy trying to keep the buttons still while I sewed them. I like to sew them on the sewing machine with the button foot and putting a bit of sticky tape just above or below the holes works perfectly.
I taped all these buttons on at once then hand sewed them all at once running the thread down behind between the buttons. I wasn't sure how the knit would go on the machine.
For woven fabrics I tape and sew one button at a time on the sewing machine.

This is not an original idea but I have only seen it published once so I thought I would share it now I know it really works.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

10 Minute Doll Necklace (Halloween Charm)

Make a cute doll necklace in 10 minutes from a a few easy to find craft shop items. No special tools. Just a pair of pliers and scissors for the fine chain.

I dabble in a lot of crafts. Beading and making jewellery is a lot of fun. When I tried the square neckline witch dress on my doll I realized she needed a necklace.
I went to my stash and found several metres of silver chain with fine links that need to be cut with scissors and a pair of earrings with owl charms that I bought at Melbourne Markets to use as zipper pull charms.
I have more packed away somewhere, but we are in the process of moving so I don't know where!
Off to Flash Harry's to get some supplies. Flash Harry's is what I call a junk shop. Everything is new but not everybody wants it. They do have a good lot of craft supplies.

I bought some jump rings, some parrot clasps, some key charms, some cord ends and some joiners. These cost me $10 for the 5 packets. The necklaces were 3 for $2.

This is what I made.

It is easy to do.

I cut 8 1/2 " of chain for the owl necklace. Opened and closed the jump rings with the pliers on one side and my fingers on the other.
Parrot clasp - jump ring - slide on owl on a jump ring - jump ring on the other end.

I cut my ribbon necklace in half and used the parrot clasp end. Slide the key charm on, on a jump ring. Gather the ribbon ends in the cord end and squeeze the little arms closed with the pliers. Add a jump ring and an adjusting chain. I had several of the adjusting chains in my stash. You don't really need it but it looks nice.

The key charm hangs a bit lower than the owl so I cut 7" of chain for that necklace.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Lots of Tote Bag ideas and a Witch Costume in the making

I have a really neat skivvy/turtleneck pattern that I want to put up on Craftsy for free as a sample of how great my patterns are. While I was thinking about what to say with the pattern I realised that my first pattern - The Applique Doll Tote - was set out completely different to my more recent patterns. Since it is for sale I had to update the layout and tidy up a few lines in the pattern pieces so it matched the others.
It has taken me a few days to do this in between riding my bike and walking on the beach and visiting the new house being built and playing with lots of new tote bag ideas. I tend to get a bit carried away with the sewing though. Every time I finished one tote bag I had a new idea I wanted to try.
Here are the ones I made before calling it a day. I still have a few more in my head.

Download Fashion File No. 1 with the pictures and some instructions on how to get the look. I have based them all on the Applique Doll Tote pattern that I have for sale.

Visit valspierssews's Craftsy Pattern Store »

I have lots of Fashion Files planned so customers can get the most out of their patterns.

I am now working on a witch costume that has a top with pointy bits around the waist and I bought some sparkly orange tulle to make a skirt. Already I want to make a princess dress with the same pattern from my pink satin and pink chiffon. This pattern has been very satisfying to create. Here is a quick progress photo. I can't wait to start playing with the felt hat:) I plan to publish it next week.