Thursday, October 12, 2017

Progress report and revisiting the ski pyjamas from 2 years ago.


This sleeveless roll neck top is made using 1801. It is perfect for spring or autumn and looks great under a jacket or coat or cardigan for winter.

I have been working steadily on my E-book. Not settled on the title yet but it will be about creating a 4 season wardrobe for your doll from several patterns. It will include what steps to take for choosing fabrics and colours as well as outfit ideas using all the pieces. I'm really excited about this. I just need to make all the items.
I will probably launch it through my newsletter first and add a special offer. Look out for my first
E-Book in the next few months.

I am also working on the first draft of the school dress collection. This is the first design. It looks pretty cute so far but already I am drafting some changes. The collar needs to be a bit narrower and I didn't quite nail the tuck in the bodice. I will be changing it just a bit.



Over the years I haven't quite managed to get the Australian Girl Doll summer items out at the same time as I publish the American Girl Doll winter items. I tend to just make whatever I feel like. If there is some garment that you have always been wanting to make for either doll just let me know and I will have a go at drafting a pattern.

The ski pyjamas that I blogged about more than 2 years ago still look really cute and are quite easy to make using 1801 and 1813. I have just put together a Fashion File for the ski pyjamas that I will publish as soon as I make another set for photos. The Retail Fashion Files that I publish have all the pattern pieces you need so you don't have to go looking through your pattern collection and you don't have to do any alterations. I do it all for you.


You can check out the DIY blog post here.

Happy Sewing,
Val

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

New Doll Clothes Designs for 18" dolls

I bought my fabric at Spotlight in Australia

I love collecting design ideas on my Pinterest.
Lately I have been absorbed with hi lo skirts and a wide neck bodice that looks great on Barbie.

This is the new bodice design. It is very wide necked and the shoulders are extended.


I have designed a gathered hi lo skirt that will go on any of my waist length bodices from my patterns such as the 18" Dress 1804 or the 50's dress 1827 or even the new Trapezium Dress  bodice.


I am still a bit obsessed with the kimono sleeves. The little T-shirt is a spin-off. There will be an A-line dress and wrap around robes and jackets too. I already have the coat with a collar or a bolero well under way.



I made a combo dress using one of the sleeve styles from 1804, the sweetheart bodice front from 1863 Rompers with the bodice back from 18" Dress Lined Bodice and the hi lo gathered skirt. The Hi Lo Skirt 1849 gathered or flared will be published end of September 2017.



This is just an example of how you can combine my pattern pieces to make new designs for yourself.
This particular dress will be available as a stand alone pattern hopefully by the end of September 2017. I publish the Fashion File as I call it as a blog post with simple instructions and also as a retail pattern in my shop.


You may remember I did this with my Ruffle Party Dress. The blog post and the retail pattern.
I have lots of Fashion Files posted on my blog but this will only be the second one I have published with the pattern pieces collected together with all the features of my regular retail patterns. I know that not everyone loves to play with the designs the way I do. Sometimes you just want it in a neat package.


Look out for my new designs coming soon. Why not subscribe to my newsletter so you can keep up as well as get the occasional free pattern.
See the sign up form at the top of the side bar. Check out some of my links while you are there.

Happy Sewing,
Val


How to sew doll clothes: Lining a kimono sleeve bodice


Pattern by Valspierssews


This is a photo tutorial that goes with my Trapezium Dress and T-shirt pattern No. 1868/2068. It is both 18 and 20 because it fits American Girl 18" dolls and Australian Girl 20" dolls.

Pattern by Valspierssews

Stitching up the side seams of the lined bodice is a bit difficult to represent in diagrams so there is a link to this post on the title page of the pattern that you purchase.

After you have stitched the main bodice to the lining around the neck and back edges and the hem edges of the sleeves you trim the seams and clip the curves. Then you turn it right side out and press it.
The next steps are for the side seams.

Place the bodice flat on your bench. I have marked the critical points with my big safety pins. First you bring together the underarms of the main fabric only.

This bodice is the longer bodice not the high waisted bodice
you are supposed to use with the Tapezium Dress. I didn't
realise I had cut out the wrong length until after I had sewn
on the skirt. I had to unpick it and cut the bodice shorter.
One day I will learn to follow my own instructions!


Next you bring together the waist edges of the main fabric only.



Then you have to pick it all up and move the lining out of the way a bit so you can bring together the ends of the sleeve hem seam. I nest the seams one to each side.



Bring the underarms of the lining together.


Then pin the waist edges of the lining.


You get a donut. That's what I think it looks like anyway.


Stitch the seam. Trim the seam. Then carefully clip into the underarm of the both the main and the lining.


Hold the sleeve in your hands so your thumbs go inside the main sleeve. (My other hand is holding the camera).


Pull the main fabric through until you see the lining.



Leave the sleeve lining inside the main sleeve. Smooth out the sleeve hem seam. Press it. Top stitch around the sleeve hem edge. Turn up your cute cuff.





Happy sewing,
Val

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Working on new Valspierssews Doll Clothes Patterns and 'Fixing' a Few Things

1869 progress sample

I have been away for a week visiting my mum. I do that every couple of months. It means that I am away from my computer and all my files so sometimes I have to put off 'fixing' some things until I get home.
I had one customer find that Etsy said the file was no longer available even though I had updated the listing and updated the file. When I got home I made a whole new listing and even renamed the file before uploading it. Hopefully that fixes it.
I also had a lady ask me about a very old design. The Applique Tote is actually the very first pattern I published when I was using Craftsy. It was archived, but now it will have new life breathed into it because it was requested with great enthusiasm. If you don't know it, it looks like this:


and you can make all sorts of other designs from the basic pattern. The applique design is based on my own tote bag that I bought in Rome.







So I will be working on getting this pattern up to scratch. It is not quite hand drawn but pretty close to it so it needs redrafting on the computer. Shouldn't take too long.

I have been adding to the options for the kimono sleeves and drop shoulders. You know there is the T-shirt peplum top and the trapezium dress. The trapezium dress is quite unusual.



I now have the little jacket that is reversible and very cute. This is the first trial. I really like it but I will be including a bit more on the cuff length and another collar that comes together more if you want to do it up to the chin.
This jacket and several other bodice designs with similar sleeves will make up the full retail pattern along with the free t-shirt and trapezium dress. The t-shirt and trapezium dress designs will be free in the Oct No.1 2017 newsletter.  Make sure you subscribe to keep getting free patterns. Some will only be free in the newsletters but may be available later as a published collections for sale.

This is my sample, made up in flannelette and plain homespun. I wanted to test it with something of medium thickness so you can use light coat fabric. I will be making my good one with a light rugby knit type fabric and printed cotton. It looks really good with a belt too.




I have started drafting several more designs. One is a collection of cute looking school dresses. The pattern will include all the designs for around $6 AUD.


It will take me a while to get this one out because I have to make up each design at least once.

Before you leave make sure you subscribe to my newsletter if you like making doll clothes and take a minute to visit my Etsy Shop to see see all my great value patterns for instant download.

Happy Sewing,
Val


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Creating Doll Clothes with Valspierssews Patterns



I so love creating different garments from just one set of pattern pieces.

My patterns are designed with this in mind.

With the exception of several Fashion Garment Patterns all my patterns are like slopers that can be used to make variations on a theme.

I started out making a trapezium shape dress with a high waisted bodice and kimono style sleeves. It has now become a cute t-shirt with a gathered peplum skirt.
Because the high waist is at exactly the same height as my 1804 dress pattern I used the gathered hip length skirt for the high waist dress straight from the 1804 pattern envelope. Saves a lot of drafting time and experimenting time and fabric.

My first October Valspierssews News will have a link to the Trapezium dress pattern which can also be used to make the t-shirt.

Make sure you sign up for my newsletter if you haven't already because the free Trapezium dress and t-shirt link will only be in the newsletter. The sign up form is in the side bar.


  • As you would expect this bodice design can be used for all sorts of dresses and tops so at the same time I will be publishing a shop pattern with all sorts of variations in sleeve length, and dress style, opening at the front for a jacket or coat as well as the designs that were free in the newsletter.
  • All is possible with just one basic kimono sleeve sloper.
  • But you won't have to do all the experimenting. I will do that and draft all the variations as pattern pieces. I'm excited at the possibilities. I love designing and sewing.



It looks pretty good on the 20" Australian Girl Doll too.
The latest pattern that I am reviewing is my quite old 1820 Bulky Knit sweater and dress. I will be making the instructions a bit clearer. I have gained so much experience over the last year with my sewing skills and writing instructions and I have improved my diagram details as well. The pattern pieces will stay the same.

Current Promo photo for 1820 on Etsy
Updated files are always free if you already have the pattern.

I will be publishing the updated file on Etsy towards the end of September. It will have the original designs as well as some revised sewing methods and more detail on sewing knits.
If you already have the pattern I want to work out a way for customers to get the pattern without me having to send it to each individual. Not sure what I will do yet.

I will be doing some extra instructions to create this cute sweater with the high neckline from the 1820 pattern. The number sweater uses the low neckline.


The scarf and headband are made using my free Infinity Scarf Pattern (see my Free Patterns Page)


When the revised file goes up this jumper will be the new promo photo.

Like what I do? Visit my Etsy Shop to see all my patterns.

Remember sign up for my newsletter if you haven't already because the free Trapezium dress and t-shirt link will only be in the newsletter. See the top of the side bar.

Happy Sewing,
Val


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Making a Sundress from Valspierssews 18" Underwear No.2 Pattern

My Underwear No.2 design for 18" dolls is perfect for a sundress. Here is how I did the straps on mine.


I cut a piece of dress fabric 1 1/4" wide and about 14" long or enough for two straps.

I then folded over the long sides to the middle and pressed them.

Then I overlocked down both long sides.



Next, I top stitched 1/8" from the fold down both sides.


I made the strap this way because I didn't want it to be too thick. You could use the usual double fold handle or strap method with a 2" wide piece of fabric.

When I made my dress I overlocked the top edge too soon.
Next time I will cut the straps 5 1/2" long and pin the raw edge level with the top of the dress.
The straps will be overlocked onto the dress and have a finished end.
You pin them on the same as I did mine but I had to turn under the ends of the straps.

Because I wanted to fold the ends of the straps over twice I cut them 6 1/2" long. The ribbon on the petticoat I only folded over once. (The actual length of the strap is 5" then you have to add whatever allowance you want for sewing them on).



I pinned the folded end of the strap, right sides together to the overlocked edge of the dress over the side front seam and basted it in place.


I then pinned them to the back edge. Make sure you don't twist then straps. You can see how they would have been overlocked in place if I had overlocked the top edge now.


Fold over the 1/4" hem allowance for the top edge and top stitch all the way around the same as for the petticoat. Make sure the straps are well out of the way.

I might try overlocking the ribbon straps on too but the ribbon may be a bit flimsy and not be held by the overlocking as securely as turning under the end and straight stitching.

 

You could make it for your Australian Girl Doll as well. It is a fraction short but some trim around the hem edge should make it perfect.
You can find the pattern in my Etsy Shop. 

It is Underwear No.2 Petticoat and Bloomers.

Happy Sewing,
Val