Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sewing for a J-Doll

I tried out a Blythe pattern, made using a modified Skipper pattern. As I've shown in a previous post, Skipper clothes seem to be somewhat compatible with J-Dolls. J-Dolls are slightly slimmer than Skipper, and are 9" tall. The dress is not going to be a keeper, so I didn't bother taking really great photos, but it was a good learning experience. Here's how it turned out:

The sleeves are just a bit long on her, but the real problem is that the dress doesn't close completely in the back. Blythe dolls seem to have less hip circumference than the J-Doll. Which means she probably wouldn't rock the A-line dress look like Blythe does anyway. That's fine; this dress was largely just a test.

The other thing about this dress was that I had problems with the collar. I'm not sure what I was doing wrong; I presume my seam allowances were slightly off. The seam allowances on this were a little frustrating, since they were not quite 1/4". If I was going to remake this dress, I'd probably change some of the seam allowances. Oh, and I also lengthened this dress by 1/2". Overall not bad for this small scale.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Brown dress for Tonner 10" Sophie

I think this dress turned out fairly well, but there are enough mistakes, which I mentioned in the last post, that I am not completely happy with how it turned out. But I have learned from it, which will help with next time. I do think the fabric choices look fabulous with Sophie's coloring.

Monday, October 28, 2013


So I did get the dress done, and... I'm not impressed with it. There were places where I made mistakes, such as not getting the sleeve cuffs lined up perfectly when I sewed the sleeves shut. But the biggest issue is the fact that the skirt is just too full. I was hoping that the extra weight of a full skirt with a double-folded piece of fabric for the hem, plus the rickrack trim, would weigh the skirt down, but it didn't. Unfortunately, I find too often when I use doll patterns that I have not created, that there is some sort of problem. In this case, I really see no reason why the skirt was made so extremely full.

In good news, the neckline looks a lot better than I thought it might. I used the thinnest white batiste fabric that I had to underline the top, but I was afraid that white was going to show too much around the neckline. Somehow when I got the top all assembled and the dress on the doll, it doesn't look so bad. On the other hand, I have an awful time getting the two collar pieces to meet up nicely in the middle. I try basting the collar pieces on before I sew the fabric and underlining, but they still end up to far apart, to my eyes. Oh well.

I will possibly post pictures of this dress tomorrow, when I've gotten over my disappointment, and the lighting is better. I'm also starting fresh with a new pattern for a different doll. I'm so over this pattern for now.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Coming Along

I've been struggling with an Ann Estelle/Sophie sized dress for a while, but I think I've gotten it to the point where I can finish it and move on to something else. At the moment, I'm sewing rickrack trim on the skirt, which is really perking up the look, and encouraging me to get this done. I've ended up having to hand sew the trim, because it's not working with my sewing machine. My only guess is that the rickrack and the serged finish of the two fabrics on the underside is too thick overall. I even tried moving up to a size 90 needle, but it still didn't work out.

Here's the skirt in progress:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Coming Back

Being in a family that perpetually has more time than money, I decided to make my niece an outfit out of my stash, and a matching outfit for her 18" Madame Alexander doll as a gift. Perhaps because I was making it for someone else, I ended up being really motivated, and enjoyed making the clothes. Below, you can see the result. Once again, I used a Jean Becker and Joan Hinds book, although I changed the patterns slightly. I also didn't like the neckline for the top. "Turn over 1/4" and hem" just doesn't work out for me on a round neckline. The neckline doesn't stay a neat 1/4" all the way around, because of the curve. If I had the time, I could have basted and then used the machine to finish, but I would just as well like making a facing, or a self-fabric neckband like I did with my niece's shirt. Of course, the doll's top is open in the back, to make it easy to get on and off, so I don't know if a neckband would lay properly.
I got a lot of use out of the doll-size ironing board that Mr. BTEG made for me last year. Getting a small iron would be useful, but for now my regular size iron works.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Looking for Patterns

I am searching for three patterns designed by Alice Leverett that were created for the 15 1/2" Josephine doll by the Franklin Mint. I have been in touch with Alice Leverett, and she no longer has those patterns available; even the computer file she had them on is gone. I have never seen them on ebay and never seen them available anywhere else. Did any of them even get sold? If you have any of these patterns, please contact me!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ironing Things Out

I finally arrived at the point where I really needed a doll-size ironing board. Ironing miniature necklines was the point where my regular-size ironing board just wouldn't cut it anymore, although I imagine I'll find more uses for the mini one also. Mr. BTEG was kind enough to make one for me, and I used cotton batting and muslin to make a cover for it. I based mine on the example shown here. It didn't turn out exactly the way I wanted, but it's very good for my first experience ever making any size ironing board cover, without a pattern. It's definitely good enough to use. A little more progress.

Here it is, with Tonner's 10" Sophie doll modeling with it.