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.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sewing Buttons on with your Machine.

I posted once before that I use sticky tape to hold my buttons in place while I sew them on with the sewing machine but I didn't go through the process. It is not hard, but maybe a few simple steps will encourage someone else to give it a go and save themselves time and effort - important commodities these days.

1. Sticky tape the first button in place. Depending on the garment I will sometimes tape on all the buttons then just move from button to button starting and finishing each button. I then clip the threads and remove the sticky tape.

2. Attach your button foot.

3. Put the button under and lower the presser foot.
4. Adjust the stitch length to zero.

5. On straight stitch mode adjust the stitch width so the needle goes into the left hand hole cleanly. Make about 4 stitches into the left hand hole.

6. Lift the presser foot and change the mode to zig zag.

7. Turn the crank by hand to check that the needled goes into both holes cleanly.

Stitch about 8 zig zags finishing with the needle about to go into the left hand hole.

8. Lift the presser foot and change to straight stitch mode. Lower the foot and check the needle goes into the left hand hole cleanly. Make about 4 stitches to finish off.

9. Sticky tape the next button in place. The process should go a bit quicker this time since the stitch width probably won't need changing.
10. When doing three buttons I stitch on the top and bottom ones first then place the middle one by eye.

This is the latest pattern I am working on. It works as a vest, a button up dress, a top and a pinny. This one is the pinny version. It is amazing what a little bit of embellishment can do to liven up your doll clothes. I had the contrast band around the hemline planned but the buttons were just something I found in my stash and realised they would work perfectly. I even forgot to change the thread to blue to match the buttons and they still look good.

Keep that button foot handy.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

A New Snugfit Pattern - A Cute Dress

I am so excited about this pattern. Not just because it is such a cute dress pattern but also because this file has all new formatting perfect for iPads and tablets and also Acrobat Reader.

I love lots of structure and lots of space on pages so this file has chapters and sections.
I won't bore you with how I made it but will say that I have enjoyed making good use of my computer skills.
If you open the PDF in Acrobat Reader you will see there is a book marks tab. You can use this to jump to the different sections in the contents.
Mine opens with the thumbnail and book marks icons on the left. Click the little blue book mark icon...

then you get the book mark list to click on. However, I want to see one page at a time.

So I changed the view. In the top menu I went to View - Page Display - Single Page View ...

and ended up with one page showing at a time.

I also like to use the thumbnail list once I am more familiar with the file. Click the 'two little pages' icon above the book marks icon to get a thumbnail overview.

I don't know much about tablets because I am an Apple fan. It is easy to navigate a PDF in iBooks on the iPad. Great for using in the sewing room. The following are all screen shots of my iPad.

I did have to reduce the file size but you can still pinch out on the pages to double the size of the photos without losing much quality.

There are lots of diagrams and lots of photos.

See those little horizontal lines in the top left of the menu bar in the image below? Touch that icon to get a thumbnail view. This makes it easy to jump to different sections. The menu bar shows up when you touch the page in the middle.

Swipe up and down to see the thumbnails. Touch the page you want or touch 'Resume' to go back to full page.

The next pattern file will be a lot easier to make and hopefully quicker as well. A month is a long time for you to wait for a new pattern. The next pattern is what I call 'The Versatile Vest'. There are lots of cute things you can make with it.
Go to Craftsy to see my patterns.

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