Thursday, March 24, 2016

Photo tutorial for 1836/2036 8 Gore Skirt - Doll Clothes for American and Australian Girl Dolls

Comes in two lengths.

Above the knee looks much better than the longer version. I think so anyway.

This is such an easy skirt to make and it looks fantastic in all sorts of fabrics. I have used quilting cotton and scuba knit.

I measured and marked the 1/4" seam on all the panels just to make sure of the fit. Whether I measured or just judged the 1/4" with the markings on the overlocker it turned out much the same.
Skim past the angle with the overlocker.

Stitch all the panels together. Leave one open. Overlock the hem edge skimming off the pointy bits. Press up 1/4" hem. Stitch the last seam then sew the hem all the way around.

Turn up one song side of the waist band 1/4" and press. Open it out again and stitch the centre back seam with a 2mm stitch length. Press the seam open. I think it is easier to have the skirt right side out and place the waist band inside the tube, right side to the wrong side of the skirt. Stitch all the way around. (I will add a few more photos soon)

Press the waist band up over the seam. Turn the skirt inside out. Fold the waist band to the right side, turning under the 1/4" fold and pinning it so it just covers the stitching line. Stitch all the way around 1/16" from the edge.

Here I have used homespun for the waist band on stretch fabric. It works really well. If you try to use the knit fabric for the waist band, trust me, what you get doesn't look much like a waist band.

Stitch all the way around again, 1/16 " from the top edge.

Either on the inside or the outside, unpick the centre back seam.
Thread 1/4" or 1/8" elastic with a safety pin.
Sew the ends of the elastic together then use a narrow zig zag to close the seam.

You can find the pattern on Craftsy or Etsy  
It is 1836/2036 8 Gore Skirt.

Happy Sewing,

Monday, March 21, 2016

New - Doll Clothes Pattern for a Complete Outfit

I have had so much fun making this outfit.
I saw a photo of a model dressed in these very trendy cropped flares and a long sleeve knit top that had those ridiculous too long sleeves young people seem to be able to wear and I knew I just had to create that look for the doll.

The outfit consists of the cropped flares, the knit top, a scarf and a hand bag. I have kept the price down because I used my basic patterns to create the look.

If you have a flare for designing things I have been building my pattern stock with lots of basic patterns such as the pull-on pants I used as the sloper for the cropped flares and the classic knit tops pattern that I used to make the knit top with just a few adjustments to the sleeves and neckline.

Not everyone wants to draft patterns so I have put this outfit together for my shop.

I love creating and I hope to create a few more I'm 17 outfits in the near future. I also want to make some I'm 7 and I'm 12 outfits too. There are so many possibilities.

I used black denim for the pants and grey knit for the top but blue denim cropped flares are also popular with cream or white tops, t-shirts and tank tops.

The hand bag is designed for fabric that doesn't fray. I have discovered the amazing properties of scuba knit fabric. It is fairly expensive but so easy to sew and looks fabulous.

The studs for the bag handles I bought from CHSupply on Etsy
I have bought a few things from this shop. The service is good.

The scarf is just the right length and width to complement the outfit. She could also wear it as a hair ribbon. You could make an infinity scarf instead, using the free pattern on my Free Patterns page.

You can find the outfit pattern bundle on Craftsy or Etsy. Just $5.50USD

Happy Sewing,

Saturday, March 19, 2016

February Successes and Goals for March

The March list is finally on the board!

I can't believe I haven't completed any of my goals for February. Well I can really.
I had a bit of a break down with my daily planning and to do list. I didn't write it up. I know why I didn't get my list of goals done but I am not too concerned.

I did have a lovely time making and sewing lots of new designs and I bought some new fabric collections for new wardrobe capsules.

I am a bit behind with the monthly posting of my goals but I haven't given up hope. I have started back with the daily to do list and I am trying to concentrate on some housework goals and habits.

In the bit of March I have left I hope to get a few things done.
  • Publish 2 more patterns. The 8 gore skirt and the denim jacket for the Australian Girl Doll. 
  • Add another gallery picture with an outfit made from my patterns.
  • Add the hankie skirt to my free patterns.
  • List 2 more clothes packages on Etsy. As fast as I sell them I add more samples to the pile.
  • Cut out 4 more groups of elements for the applique quilt.
  • Steam the floors.
  • Interact with 10 of my bloggy friends blogs.
  • Pin twenty new links rather than just repinning.
  • Read one more e-book
  • Finish listening to one audio book
The only way I am going to get these things done is if I write them into my paper journal. So that is what I am going to do now.

Happy Sewing,

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Sewing the Slim Dress 1828 for American Girl Doll

I did this extra sample for 1828 because someone was concerned that the dress was too tight. I suggested it was because they didn't print the pattern pieces at 100% but I still had to check for myself.
I followed my pattern and the finished dress had nearly an inch of ease all down the back.

The other concern was that the sleeves were too short for the armholes. They do need to be stretched a bit as they are sewn in but I have explained that in detail further down.

It never hurts to add some instructions with photos so while I do sample number 3 I have worked on a tutorial that covers most of the making.

Getting Started

When you print out your pattern pieces make sure you have selected custom scale and set it to 100%.

It never hurts to measure the 1 inch square anyway.

When you cut out the piece for the front pin tucks leave 1/4" of fabric sticking out at the top and the bottom. This makes it much easier to mark the fold lines.

Press each pin tuck then stitch 1/8" from the folds.

Press the folds to each side.

Line up the front pattern piece and cut it out.

As usual I have cut out my pieces where ever I can fit them on my fabric. Here I have cut the bias strip for the cap sleeves.

I folded the fabric on the bias, pinned on my pattern piece and cut it out. Then I cut along the fold to get two pieces.

Fold each piece in half and press. Then use the template to cut it to shape.

Usually when I include notches it is because you need to be able to tell side from centre or up from down. I have put a cross to mark the side edge of the back skirts. I then pressed over the back facing just as an extra visual guide.

I find the position for the darts and pleats by folding the paper piece along the lines and ruling or dotting their position on the fabric.

I take the paper pattern off and flip the fabric pieces over then mark the other sides. Make sure you flip the paper pattern upside down too.


One side.

Other side.

You need to know the side edges of the backs, so I just put a cross on the fabric near where the notch is for the side seam of the back.


When you come to sew in the sleeves it only works if you have bias sleeve caps because they need to be stretched a bit. If you use straight grain sleeve caps and cut them long enough to fit the arm hole or bias sleeve caps and cut them longer they will wave and gape after you stitch them.

The sleeve on the right of this photo is my first try. I wasn't happy with the way it waved a bit.
The sleeve on the left is the final version. I cut it a bit shorter so it had to be stretched. I think it fits better.

Pin the sleeve caps at each underarm then lie it flat and pin at the shoulder seam. The centre of the sleeve cap is not the exact match to the shoulder seam. The back armhole is a tiny bit bigger than the front armhole. Just lie it flat and judge and even fit along the whole armhole by eye then pin it at the shoulder seam.

These are just small amounts and I think we are all going to get in some trouble if I start giving you exact marks to match. It only takes a small inexactness when cutting out to make the marks all wrong. So use your eye and play with it a bit until you are happy with how it looks.
Stretch the sleeve cap a bit as you sew each half.


I like to stitch the collar with a short stitch length (2mm). It makes turning the back corner easier.
I also stitch around a paper pattern piece that I have trimmed the seam allowance off. It just makes it easier to get the small curves even.

I also do the top stitching with the 2mm stitch length. I'm hopeless at getting the top stitching even and using a short stitch length for tiny areas like the collar and cuff or pocket flaps just makes it easier to get neat.

When I stitch the collars on I still use the 2mm stitch length because I will be pushing out the corners of the back facing.

The Skirt

When stitching the darts and pleats I used a short stitch length (2mm) instead of my normal 2.5mm.
It just gives a firmer finish.

I decided to stitch the centre front seam before doing the pleats just because the pieces are small and sewing them together makes one bigger piece that I found easier to handle.

When you stitch the back darts, press them towards the centre backs. You can see I forgot to overlock the centre backs. If you overlock them early you won't get the side edges mixed up with the centre backs.

When I stitched the side seams I found there was a 1/8" discrepancy with the length of the front and back. I am going to leave that for you to smooth out. I didn't touch the centre front. I just took a bit off the side edges.

Here I have trimmed the seam on the left.

Joining the skirt and bodice

I am no exacto freak when it comes to stitching seams and darts but my bodice and skirt matched easily.

Just make sure you measure the 1/2" for the facing at the waist and check at several places along the facing. Adding a bit to the facing fold anywhere along the back can make the dress too snug.

On the skirt

At the waist


I always use velcro patches. I put the neck and the waist in place then stitch in the middle piece just placing it by eye.

All done. 

The people pattern that I used for this doll design had a view with a monochrome dress and jacket. One day I might make the jacket using pattern 1829. 

If you want to make a skirt using pin whale corduroy or something thicker than shirt weight (I have used homespun here) you should print the pattern pieces at say 105%. I have used 102% for flannelette weight but you may need more for the corduroy. I haven't actually tried it in corduroy yet.

Happy Sewing,