Monday, October 24, 2016

A New Design: 1850 / 2050 Godette Skirt

valspierssews doll clothes

This new doll clothes pattern is for an elastic waist godette skirt that will fit both the American Girl dolls and the Australian Girl dolls.
This very cute skirt pattern also includes a very cute headband pattern as a bonus.

Once you have cut out the fabric use one of the pattern pieces to mark the dots on each godette inset. I found this was easy if I cut a little hole where the dot is on one of the pattern pieces.
Do the same for each panel piece.

I set my machine to do the merest hint of a zig zag. I even keep my 1/4" foot on. The stitch is not quite 1mm or 1 on my dial. I find this seems to feed the knit better than using straight stitch and I don't have to use the zig zag foot.

Stitch one side of the godette insert to one panel. Stitch the other side of the godette insert to the next panel.

Finally stitch the top part of the two panels together.

Press the seams open. Continue around the skirt to make a complete circle.

The knit fabric doesn't need the seams finished in any way. I didn't do anything with the woven fabric seams either but I would think pinking the edges after stitching would be fine.

Don't be afraid of knits. I got a little pleat because the top layer stretches a bit as you sew.

Who's going to see it once the dress is on the doll?

You can make the skirt a bit shorter by cutting off the seam allowance from the waist edge of the panel pattern piece before cutting out your fabric. The green skirt is the original length. The pink skirt is a 1/4" shorter.

Believe it or not this waistband is some patchwork woven cotton that almost perfectly matches my knit fabric. You can't use the knit fabric for the waistband. Trust me I have tried, more than once, and it just makes a globby stretchy mess.

Happy Sewing,

Friday, October 14, 2016

Putting a Box Pleat in the Free A-line Doll Clothes Skirt

Here is another easy variation for the A-line skirt.

Valspierssews Doll Clothes

You can get the original pattern from my Facebook Page. It is a pinned post.

Box Pleat
Just take your front pattern piece and place it 1 inch from the fold instead of on the fold. This gives you 2" to make the pleat.

Fold the front in half with right sides together. Place the folded edge 1" from the needle and stitch down 2".

Form the box pleat and stitch across the top edge to hold it in place. Press the whole pleat. Sew some top stitching down the CF.

Finish making the skirt.

Free 20" Doll Pattern
I have made a pattern for the 20" Australian Girl Doll that will be on Facebook soon. I used the pattern to make the pleated version so now I need to make a basic version for some photos to go on the title page.

20" Skirt Pattern Fits Pleasant Company 18" Dolls
I tried the 18" size on my old Kit Kittredge doll and found it just a bit too tight. So then I tried the 20" size on her and it fit pretty well. It overlaps at the back a bit more so you have to make your velcro patch a bit bigger to close properly.

I have been busy drafting some more complicated versions of the A-line skirt with panels and pockets. I will be publishing these in my shop in the not too distant future. Look out for them.

I love sharing my designs but it is also nice to get payment for all the time I spend on the computer making my patterns. The fun part is the sewing and designing. I have deliberately set my prices at just enough so I need to sell about 200 to get paid for my computer skills for each pattern I publish.

If you like my patterns I ask you to tell your friends, like my Facebook Page and share my Facebook posts.
If you are on Google Plus put me in your circles and comment on and share my posts. My Blog posts always get linked to Google Plus. See my profile at the top of the side bar for following.

Happy Sewing,

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Flat Felled Centre Front Seam for 18" Doll Clothes A-Line Skirt

That title is a mouthful! It could be longer because I also use my braiding foot.

Many of you downloaded my free A-line Skirt for 18" dolls from Facebook. My Facebook Page is the only place you will find this pattern. You will have to scroll down to September 10 2016.

There is so much you can do with an A-line skirt. This first variation is a simple one. I have made a seam down the centre front.

Valspierssews doll clothes

I recently purchased a set of machine feet as well as 2 flat felling feet so I have done a flat felled seam on the front of this denim weight design. My biggest flat felled foot is only 6mm so it only just worked with my light denim fabric. The trick is getting the second step fold into the foot.

Even though my denim is light weight it is still quite a bit thicker than shirt cotton so I am using the denim fabric pattern pieces for this skirt.

To make a flat felled seam you need to cut a 1/4" seam allowance on the left side front. The pattern piece is face up.

You then cut a 1/2" seam allowance for the right hand front. The pattern piece is face down.

If you just want a regular seam cut two front pieces with the extra 1/4" seam allowance.

Make sure you keep track of which edge is the centre front and which piece is left or right.

Using the 6mm flat felling foot line up the centre fronts, make a few stitches, then put the first fold into the foot. Stitch to the end.

Press the fold flat. Stitch it in place for a few stitches then fit the fold into the foot. I struggled a bit because the fabric was thickish. I had to pull pretty hard to the get the fold lying flat.

Keep going as for the regular skirt. However, because the fabric is quite thick I overlocked the waist band edge instead of turning it under. I stitched the waist band and skirt right sides together so my overlocked edge turned towards the inside.

I did the hem. THEN.... I used my braiding foot.
This is one of the feet that came in my box of 32 feet.

I had to adjust the screw to make the slot as wide as possible. I could just fit in my 3/8" ribbon.

I drew a line 1" from the hem as a guide.

It wasn't as straight forward as I would have liked. After sewing half way I saw the skirt was puckering and had to unpick it. It may have been a function of my extra wide and extra long stitch.
To fix it I loosened the tension to 1. The lowest I can go apart from 0. With a firm hand on the the skirt as it sewed it seemed to work OK. 
The perfect alignment of the stitching on the ribbon was a dream. I will be using this foot more often.

I used the wavy running stitch with top thread to match the ribbon. I didn't want the stitching to be a feature. You can see it on the inside.

I am drafting the skirt for the Australian Girl Doll at the same time I am writing this up. I love working on more than one thing at a time. I will sew it soon and post it on my Facebook Page.

I love how this skirt turned out. I also love the top she has on. It might be time to publish the pattern for it. I just want to add some applique ideas on some plain fleece first.

Happy Sewing,

Sunday, October 9, 2016

1843 Publishing a new doll clothes pattern

valspierssews doll clothes

I have really enjoyed creating this pattern from such a cute design. It was a request from one of my followers and it has stretched me but also made me more aware of how much I am capable of.

I had to work out the best way to do the yoke and settled on cutting the curve in the front and back dress and stitching on the curved yoke. I was surprised at how easily the two curves fit together for sewing.

I had to reshape my existing sleeves to make the cream puff rounded shape and was thrilled that it worked first go.

I suppose the greatest challenge was drawing the flared and curved diagrams for the instructions. I had to copy from the actual fabric stages to get the perspective right. I imagine that those of you making this dress will look at your fabric item and use it to make the diagrams more clear if you need to.

My other big news is the arrival of a new doll. Well, actually she is an old doll. I bought an original Kit Kittredge so I could make sure my designs fit the older American Girl dolls as well as the modern dolls. I know Kit is circa 2000 but I am not exactly a collector and wasn't prepared to pay the high prices being asked for the pre-Mattel dolls. I will post a bit more about Kit later.

Here are some photos of the dress and how it goes together. They are the same as the ones in my Facebook album for 1843.

The pink dress has more flare than the yellow dress which makes it look longer as well. I think I like the fuller flare more than the original flare that I designed.
I also tried piping around the yoke. I think the lace ruffle or any ruffle looks better than the piping mainly because it is much easier to do than the piping. I had to use my piping foot for the first time too. I think ruffled broderie anglaise would look good too.

You can find this pattern 1843 in my Etsy Shop. I have several 50's designs.

Happy Sewing,