Friday, June 9, 2017

How to Sew Doll Clothes: Adding Slant Front Pockets

Doll clothes look so cute with front slant pockets. They are easy to add to garments that have a waist seam.

For this free tutorial I am putting front slant pockets into my free A-Line skirt pattern. You can find the skirt pattern on my Facebook Page.

First you have to realise that adding extra bulk to the front as pockets will affect the fit. You need to add more ease to the skirt front or the front of any pattern not sized for front pockets.

Place the centre front of the skirt pattern 1/4" from the fold and cut it out. This doesn't have to be exact. Cut the backs the same as the pattern.

Cut out the pocket pieces from the free download at the end of the tutorial.

If you want to do piping trim you will need to stitch the piping to the right side of the lining top edge first.
Place the pocket linings on the skirt front right sides together and matching the side and waist edges.
Stitch along the top edge of the lining 1/4" from the raw edge.

Trim the seam. Clip the curve every 1/4".

Turn the pocket linings to the inside and press. Do top stitching or fancy stitching or add trim at this point.

Place the pocket bag right side down so it matches the edges of the lining and the waist and side edges of the skirt.

Flip it over and pin the pocket bag to the lining, inside out.

Match and pin the inside edges. They come together easily but you have to distort the skirt to get them together.

Stitch around the inside of the pocket with a 1/8" seam allowance. I didn't find it necessary to clip the curve.

Turn the pocket. The neat edge is on the outside and the raw edge is on the inside.

Stitch around the outside of the pocket so you just enclose the raw edge on the inside.

Finish the skirt as directed in the pattern.

Download Free Pocket Pattern Pieces

Happy Sewing,

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Coming up soon: How to add slant pockets to your doll clothes.

Since I published the free A-Line skirt doll clothes pattern on my Facebook page I have been working on different things you can do with the skirt.
The first thing was the reverse box pleat in the front. So easy to do but such a nice detail. See the Tutorial for Putting in a Box Pleat.

I am in the process of creating a tutorial and pattern for slant pockets on the front of the skirt for the 18" doll.

The slant pockets are one of those details that are not hard to do if you have instructions and they look so cute.

I realised that adding bulk to the front with the pockets made a big difference to the fit so I ended up adding a 1/4" to the centre front to increase the ease and make the skirt fit nicely again. It always surprises me what a difference a few layers of fabric can make.

I discovered that it is also very easy to neaten the edges of the pocket bag on the inside by doing a French seam. I was very excited at how great it looked.

You can download the free 18" A-Line skirt pattern from my Facebook Page. It is the pinned post. make sure you Like my page so you won't miss out on any news or the Free Pocket Tutorial.

Happy sewing,

An A-line Skirt to fit the Australian Girl Doll

I found this draft post while looking at the A-Line skirt pattern and thought I should put up the 20" 
A-Line skirt pattern here because I can't find it on Facebook anymore. The 18" skirt is in the pinned post on my Facebook page.

It is such fun to create. I have published a free pattern for an A-line skirt that fits the 20" Australian Girl Doll. I am not in any way affiliated with Australian Girl Doll®. I just love the dolls.

The 18" A-line skirt was not suitable for the 20" doll because it is quite fitted. Unlike a dress, the skirt waistband has to fit snugly.

I demonstrated how to do a front box pleat by making the 20" skirt so to publish the 20" pattern I had to make it up with no pleats because that is the pattern you get. It is easy to put in your own pleat. See the post Putting in a Box Pleat.

I was feeling a bit patchworky so I decided to applique a pumpkin onto the front of the plain A-line skirt. The cute applique will fit onto the 18" skirt as well.

Happy Sewing,

Monday, May 22, 2017

How to Sew Doll Clothes: Capris Pants with a Notched Leg

Valspierssews Doll Clothes

These look so cute and there is only a little bit of fiddling. They still only take less than 2 hours to make.
I used my 1813 Gathered Pull-Ons Pattern available in my Etsy Shop. This is one of my low priced basic patterns.

If you have the pattern all you have to do is take the front and back with the extensions taped on then measure down 2.5cm or 1" from the bottom edge of the capris cutoff line and draw a new cutoff line.

Cut out your pants.
Because I always overlock the waist edge I cut off the 1/4" turning allowance to start with. This meant my pattern fit nicely on the 18" width of a fat quarter. Don't forget to put a pin in the centre of each back piece so they don't get mixed up with the fronts.I will be updating a couple of small things in the published pattern to match what I say here but I will let you know when it is updated.

Instead of using the fold line on the pattern to mark the casing I sewed the side seams then overlocked the waist edge then I measured 7/8" from the top edge and drew a line with my marker pen on the right side of the fabric. I found this easier to do.

Pin a back and a front together at the side seam. Measure up 2 1/4" from the hem edge and put a dash. Stitch from the top edge to the dash. Back stitch at each end.

Cut a slit in the seam allowance 1/4" above the end of the stitching.

Carefully fold the bottom section out of the way and overlock the top section only.
Then overlock each separate hem edge.

Fold the hem edge right sides together so bottom edge extends about 1/4" past the end of the side seam stitching. I used the inside edge of the overlocking as my mark. Pin it in place.
Use a ruler to mark 1/4" in at the end of the side seam stitching and 1/2" in from the side edge at the fold.

Stitch from dot to dot, back stitching at each end and keeping the other half a hem out of the way.
Do the same for the other half a hem.
Just snip a bit off the corners.

Turn the hems. Because the notch seam was at an angle a little corner of seam allowance sticks out on each side of the notch point. Just use a pin to tuck it in then pin it in place. You could have pressed the rest of the side seam towards the back before now but I saved up the pressing until now. Press, avoiding any plastic bits on the pins.

With matching thread in my needle and bobbin I stitched a bar tack to hold the seam corners in and prevent the notch from tearing. I used a satin stitch length and wide zig zag and stitched it from the wrong side so I caught all the bits accurately.

Now you can finish the hem by stitching along the overlocked edge or hand sewing if you like. You probably should put the button on now. If you wait until you have finished the pants you will need to sew the button on by hand.

Finish off the pants by stitching the inseam, stitching the crotch seam then doing the casing according to the pattern 1813.

You can buy the pull-ons pattern

Happy Sewing,

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Sewing in Progress - An A-line Doll Clothes Pattern

My sewing room is looking a little wild lately. When I design and sew I tend to have fabric and dolls and pattern pieces all over the place. I have finally disciplined my self enough to put each set of pattern pieces in a labeled plastic pocket. With 4 or 5 designs on the go it is so easy to get them all muddled up. I won't be doing that again :)

I have  a very cute A-line dress well under way. It has an asymmetrical top section with a reverse box pleat down one side of the skirt. This pattern will also include the dress without the pleat and the dress with 3 pieces in the front.
I have been getting much better at drafting a pattern that fits first time. I have been doing this for nearly 3 years so I have become quite good at adjusting designs to suit the doll size such as where to draw the line for the top section of this dress.

I am just making a few improvements to the witch/princess outfit 1817. It was never published on Etsy. It has been waiting for an upgrade for 2 years at least. I have learnt a lot about sleeves over the years of designing. I have adjusted the puffy part so it looks more rounded and less strained under the arm than my original pattern from the early days.
I wanted to make another princess dress to test the changes and chose a dramatic looking, almost sheer, metallic woven fabric. One tip I can give you if you are thinking of sewing with such fabric - put it back quick before your daughter or granddaughter sees it and choose something else. The threads just seem to disappear as you sew and the stitching is left waving in the breeze. Curves fray to become straight lines and don't ask me how I am going to press it! It looks stunning though.
The skirt will be made from the cream satin back crepe at her feet.

I have just decided what variations I will include with the Little Black Dress design. I will be making one more with no cut out back to make 3 options. V back, scoop back and regular back. I had a lady ask how it closed so I have opened the side and shoulder closure to show this. When it is closed up you can hardly see where it is.

Happy Sewing,

Sunday, March 26, 2017

New Patterns 1857 and 1858 from Valspierssews Doll Clothes

Doll clothes patterns by Valspierssews
1858 A-Line Skirt and Fashion T-shirt

1857 Fashion Top with 1858 Skirt

I am really excited to announce that I have 2 new 18" doll clothes patterns in the shop. 1857 is the curved hem top that I put up quietly a few weeks ago. I didn't announce it because I wanted to finish the perfect A-line skirt to go with it.

I still do photo tutorials for sections of my patterns and provide a link on the title page of the pattern.
You can find out how this top goes together at "1857 Photo Tutorial for the Tricky Bits"
It is another view of basic techniques like sewing in the lining, turning and doing the side seams to complement the diagrams in the pattern instructions.

The skirt is one of those designs that goes with everything. I originally made it with the yoke-like facing and immediately saw that it would look great as a skirt with a yoke on the outside. So I have included both styles.

I have found that if I publish a pattern that is teamed with another garment I get questions about the garment not in the pattern so I have included, as a bonus, the pattern for the cute little fashion T-shirt that I teamed with the skirt. I made this pink shirt from an old polo shirt of mine. It is a medium weight knit and went together perfectly without enlarging the pattern.

The fashion top with the curved hem was one of those designs that I saw for sale as a ladies top and just had to make it for the doll and it goes perfectly with the A-line skirt in both styles.

The top, the skirt and the T-shirt are all easy and quick to sew.

I have had great feedback on the quality of my instructions and diagrams. I try to thank all my customers who leave feedback. A few slip through but I am thrilled that my patterns are so well received.
When I thanked one lady for her good review of "The 18" Dress" I received a convo back with this reply,

Oh, my goodness!!!! i have purchased and downloaded many, many doll clothes patterns over the last couple of years. Let me say that this pattern is without a doubt the most complete, well illustrated, and clearest I have yet to see. Wow! The drawn illustrations are so much better and easier to see than blurry photos with several different fabrics included. I cannot wait to get started!! One last comment, the pattern is extremely reasonable for its quality. Thanks, and feel free to quote me!Sincerely, Carol

So thank you to all my customers. I will continue to create great patterns at a great price for as long as I can. I really enjoy the process.

If you like my patterns please share this blog post with your friends on Facebook or Google Plus or sewing group.

I am working on a few requested designs at present. I love hearing from you what designs you would like to have patterns for. It is such fun to see the ideas come to life on the doll.

Have fun with the new patterns.

1857 Top

1858 Skirt and Top

Happy Sewing,