Friday, December 22, 2017

How to sew doll clothes - Creating a V-Neckband for a Sweater or Vest

A little while ago I posted a picture of my latest creation. As requested I am posting some more details on how to do the V-neck band.
This design will be out for sale soon.

valspierssews doll clothes

  • You can easily change a T-shirt or knit top that already has a a round neck band into a V-neck top. Just fold the front in half and cut the V starting from about halfway down the armholes at the centre front and finishing at the original cutting line at the shoulder.
  • If your original design is not made for a neck band you may have to trim off the seam allowance before cutting your V so there is room for the extra width of the band.

So, after cutting out my top and sewing the shoulder seams it is time to do the neck band.

Use the front pattern 
piece to mark the point 
of the V at the seam line.

Don't try to guess where to stop. It is always
further than you would expect. Use the pattern
piece to mark it.

The band is about 2" shorter than the neck 
(1" when folded in half).

Fold the band wrong sides together and pin it all
the way along.

To adjust the length I pinned it at one end then stretched it
gently but firmly to the CF. I held it in place then stretched
the band along the rest of the neck.

After stretching it along the second half of the neck
I have a bit extra.

Just trim off the bit extra. I had about an inch extra
because my jumper knit is soft and stretchy.

Find the centre of the neck band then pin it to the V
at the centre front.

Use both hands to stretch that half of the band and
use your thumbs and pointers to hold it in place over the
shoulder seam then pin it in place.
Stretch each quarter and put a pin in the middle. Pin the other half of the band in the same manner staring by pinning it at the back.

Using a narrow zig zag, stitch the neck band with the
sweater bodice facing up so you can see where the snip is.
The neck should be pretty straight for sewing as you open
out the snip.

Fold the band up pushing the seam allowance
towards the bodice. Top stitch with a straight
stitch on the right side of the bodice close to
the seam.
Just check as you sew that you are stitching
the seam allowance in place. It tends to roll
around a bit.
Look under then push it into place with your
right thumb as you sew.

Fold the neck in half so you can stitch a little dart
in the V of the neck band.

Don't stitch the pleat parallel to the centre front!

Start the pleat closer to the fold. Try to stop at the
seam line in the centre of the v so you don't get a
little pleat. you just want a dart.

This is my finished v-neck. (You can see that little pleat.
It is driving me nuts but I don't think I can make it any
better and I don't want to nick the fabric by trying to
unpick it).
Next up I have to put in the armhole bands, stitch the side seams and do the waist band.
Trust me it is such fun to dress your doll in knit tops. I am no expert and even if it doesn't turn out perfect on your first try I can guarantee your knit top is going to look so cute.

Happy Sewing and Crafting,

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Make a Christmas Stocking for your Doll

pattern by valspierssews
Deck the Halls or Trim the Tree

Grab a free Christmas Stocking Pattern for your doll this Christmas.

It is such fun at this time of the year to create cute accessories for our dolls.

Easy to make with felt

No fraying to worry about and no bulky seams to turn.
Just cut out the pieces and stitch them together.

6 Steps to a cute Stocking

For the heart window design
  1. Cut out the heart window
  2. Pin and stitch the fabric behind the window
  3. Stitch the stocking top on the front stocking
  4. Pin the two stocking pieces together with a ribbon loop in between
  5. Stitch the top of the stocking together
  6. Stitch the bottom of the stocking together.

2 different styles

  • View 1 has the little heart window to showcase some Christmas characters or pretty fabric.
  • View 2 uses scrap lengths of ribbon for a festive affect.

Ribbon Stocking from my sewing blog

I adapted the ribbon method to decorate my stocking. 
You can use pinking shears to cut out the felt pieces for a nice affect as well as add bows or beads.
It is also easy to make fusible applique motives from decorative fabrics to iron on when your stocking is finished. Just remember to place a cloth over the felt when you use the iron.

I made my tree decorations sealed at the top with a bit of plastic filling to give it some weight. You can use rice too.

Free download. Just Print, Sew, Play

Because my next newsletter will be a bit close to Christmas I have posted this design on my blog. I only discovered the stocking on the sewing blog last week when I was looking for some Christmas ideas.
Normally I put my freebies in the Newsletter so make sure you sign up. The form is at the top in the side bar.
I am working on a cute little hobo bag making the instructions and pattern fit my image. It will make a perfect little holiday kids project and only takes a short time to make. The pattern and instructions for the bag will be in my next newsletter out on Friday 22nd December. You may even have time to make it as a Christmas present for your doll.

There are two files for the stocking design:

Happy sewing and crafting,

Friday, December 1, 2017

Have the best dressed baby doll in town!

doll clothes patterns

I have just published a new baby doll pattern to fit baby Born 17" doll. The design is cute little rompers. So easy to dress your doll in these side opening rompers and of course all the little girls will want some dresses to fill out their wardrobe.

Easy to dress your doll

  • Watch my video to see how easy it is to get these rompers on your doll

  • I always use velcro patches. They are so easy to do up and undo yet they hold the outfit together really well.

  • If you know your little one won't be able to tie a knot for the belt just add 3/4" to the end next to the fold and don't cut it on the fold. Sew each end and down one side so most of the other side is open. Finish it off like the one piece belt then put velcro patches at the back. Put it on the doll and tie up the knot. Now just use the velcro at the back to take it on and off. You may need to also make a special one for a head band.
Lots of dresses for those family get togethers

  • Rompers are OK for playing but special visits need something a bit more dressy.

  • The BD Dress is perfect for creating all sorts of dress variations. You could even make the rompers with singlet and pants fabric and make the dress into a top with a shorter skirt. Just fold up 1" to make the skirt pattern into a little over top.
  • The dress pattern comes with two sleeves, two collars and pockets.

Download the patterns from my Etsy shop

Organise your patterns so you can use them over and over

  • Watch my video on how quick it is to make a booklet of instructions to go into your envelope.

  • I keep all my patterns in folders with plastic pockets. 
  • The folder divider page keeps my folders in order when I take out the pattern
  • The envelope keeps my pieces in order while I have the pattern out for sewing.
  • The instructions as booklet style fits neatly next to my sewing machine.
You may think my videos are a bit ordinary but the only way for me to get better is to just jump in and make some. I hope you enjoyed seeing me and my sewing room in my dress up video. I nearly dropped the doll trying to do up the belt knot so you could see what I was doing and it was really hard to cut out some of the dumbest bits and keep the commentary making sense.

I did make an effort to dress well. The check shirt I had on for the day was just a bit busy to hold the doll in front of and I figured if I was changing I may as well go all out and find a nice necklace.

I couldn't believe how hard it was to get the booklet into the envelope. I should have seen that coming. I might have to have a word with the props manager.

I hope you head on over to my shop now if not before. I have lots of 18" doll clothes patterns as well as the 3 Baby Doll patterns.
You should also sign up for my Newsletter. I send out free things exclusively for my subscribers as well as keep you in the loop with new patterns and tutorials. The form is at the top in my side bar.

Happy Sewing and Crafting,